Before and After: Damsel in Dior's Sleek Los Angeles Abode
As a style blogger and the voice behind fashion and lifestyle site Damsel in Dior, Jacey Duprie has an editorial eye. The inspired renovation of her 1919 West Los Angeles home she undertook with the help of her husband, real estate developer Grant Leavitt, is a master class in dovetailed style and chic restraint. And it all started with some neon walls. Keep scrolling to see the dramatic before and after.
“Our goal was to renovate the space to feel more contemporary California,” Duprie tells us. “We aspired to give it a Scandinavian feel. After all of the renovations took place, it took a more modern tone, so we went for it.” Full of laid-back, sophisticated pieces and clean lines, the bright three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1800-square-foot abode is reimagined in a subdued color palette of tonal nudes and grays.
Renovations were extensive and staged over a year and a half. “We completely gutted the entire home, from the walls to the floors, and brought it back down to the bones,” says Duprie. The front of the home was rebuilt to bring the building up to code, maintaining the exact dimensions of the pre-existing structure. The only addition is a master bedroom suite, which includes a 600-square-foot add-on in the way of a master bathroom and some serious closet space.
“I’m a firm believer in having the family sit around a table for dinner as a way of connecting everyone after a long day, and it is the heart of our home,” says Duprie. “Our dining room table from Crate and Barrel was the first thing I bought for the house.”
Courtesy of Jacey Duprie
“Because I travel so much for work, I wanted my home to feel very clean and simple,” says Duprie. “We stuck with a very neutral color palette throughout the space. It allows us to switch out statement pieces throughout the year, so we never grow tired of a particular color or pattern.”
“We’re all about living lives that are free of clutter,” says Duprie. The immaculately edited space shows this, punctuated with sleek natural details from carved white marble to Danish modern furniture.
Duprie drew inspiration from her own closet to settle upon the color story. “One of our favorite stores is James Perse. One of our goals was to have the house feel as neat and tidy as a James Perse store. We went along with that color scheme because it is very easy to bring other trendy elements into the space, and the colors are also what you will find us wearing nearly 24/7.”
“My personal style is transitional, clean, and a little rough around the edges,” she continues. “I love girlie touches of lace and frill, but at the end of the day, you will find me running around barefoot with dirt under my nails.” We’re into it. Who doesn’t love a little grit with couture?
Creating mood boards and amassing a wealth of reference before diving in, Duprie tell us she “relied very heavily” on Pinterest throughout the decorating process. “I created a secret board for our house project.” The board, now public, is full of warm details and sleekly imaginative spaces.
The space features midcentury pieces from Modernica and colorful prints from photographer friend Gray Malin. “We are attached to the art pieces not only because Gray is a very close personal friend, but we were on some of the shoots of the pieces we own. We have a very close connection to his photography. In order to give them a breath of fresh air, we chose to hang them in a new way … closer to the ground near our favorite cacti,” says Duprie. “We literally had them lying on the floor for the first month after moving in. We kept saying how great they looked up against our plants, so we just sort of kept them there!”
When asked to cite other favorite finds in the home, Duprie offers, “We found some pretty awesome chairs at Helm’s Bakery that we fell in love with. We are also obsessed with our bedroom rug from William-Sonoma Home.” She adds, “It was a little outside of the comfort zone for us, but it’s one of our favorite things in the house.”
Any couple designing a shared space for the first time is bound to land upon a few compromises. On her experience curating a shared habitat, Duprie confides she was initially reticent over some of her partner’s suggestions. “I was actually quite shocked through this process at times by some of the things that he would suggest. Grant has a much stronger eye for interior décor than I do. While we have pretty similar aesthetic, I tend to love everything. Grant has a very keen sense for how to bring a room to life.”
Which brings us to that oh-so-damsel-worthy addition. Duprie’s walk-in closet boasts some serious sartorial game and über-organized cool. “California Closets made my closet dreams come true with this space. I seriously do not have enough nice things to say about it,” she emphasizes. “From the jewelry dividers in the drawers to the beautiful lights in the shelves, it still takes my breath away when I walk into it every day.” Her best pointer for keeping everything so meticulously sorted? Edit like a pro.
“I have always strived to keep a very orderly closet. Because my entire job centers around what I am wearing, I find it very vital to treat my closet as I would my desk space,” says Duprie. “If I haven't worn something within a month, unless it’s a seasonal or meaningful piece, it is getting donated. I also keep everything color-coordinated and organized by length or weight of fabric.”
Feminine yet modern, poised while refreshingly relaxed—we’d call Duprie’s goal of cultivating a space to best emulate her personal style a wild success. As she sends us on our way from a full day of shooting with a generous supply of oranges and grapefruits plucked fresh from her grandparents’ farm, we have one final question: What’s her favorite part of the project?
“One day it’s the kitchen and the next it’s my beautiful bathtub,” she muses. “But let’s be honest: It’s the closet!”
What do you think of the transformation? Tell us in the comments below.