Renovation: A Modern Maritime Dream Home

Julia Millay Walsh
THE DOSSIER: NAME: Jonathan Brown TRADE: Owner of Melrose Place gallery LEADAPRON. VIBE: A clean canvas with artful modern accents. ABODE: William Kesling-inspired house in the Hollywood Hills. Los Angeles gallerist Jonathan Brown was lucky to stumble upon his home in the Hollywood Hills. "There's so much that's unusual about this house," says Alex Brunkhorst, an agent at The Agency and founder of luxury real estate site Bungalux. The home's Streamline Moderne design -- a 1930s style characterized by curving forms, long horizontal lines, and nautical elements -- is hard to find in Los Angeles, "and there's something cool about owning something very few people have," she says. header1

At the same time, the house itself, which was built in 1939, was "lucky" to be discovered by Brown. Owner of by-appointment-only art gallery LEADAPRON, Brown, who studied architecture and was a theatre director, made every conceivable renovation to the house, while maintaining its architectural integrity. "Every screw is new. Everything from the foundation to the roof." he tells us. "I added skylights, a bathroom, reconfigured the staircase, made custom cabinets, and design the kitchen." All of the house's hardware, windows, doors, plumbing, electrical, heating and air-conditioning systems, and smooth coating are new -- even the lap pool overlooking the city. "It's a new house," says Brown. "It was an old sailboat, and now it's a new battleship."

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Creating spaces, Brown tells us, is "one thing that I really enjoy, and I'm often asked to help decorate my clients' homes." When it came time to decorate his interior, Brown didn't have to look very far. In his LeadApron collection sits pieces by the likes of Cy Twombly, Yves Klein, Ed Ruscha, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol. "I do collect until I sell," he says, "so I am more of a guardian who finds a permanent home for the work." The house also holds ceramics by legendary Italian architect Ettore Sottsass and ceramicist Georges Jouve, as well as rare art and photography books (Brown is also a book dealer). "Given that I have two small children, I am a bit careful with what I bring in from the gallery," says Brown. "And then it sells, so I have to rotate it once again."

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If Brown's private collection weren't enough inspiration for an art enthusiast, the house is situated on prime and coveted Hedges Way, one of LAs most significant streets for residential architecture, home to landmark structures by John Lautner, John Woolf, Paul Williams, and Wallace Neff. The house itself is tucked up against the mountain, Brunkhorst says, which "gives the house a very secure and sexy feel." While it's just minutes from the Sunset Strip, the house is also nestled into a small canyon. "I love that from every room you can walk out into nature," says Brown. "It's just as beautiful by day and by night, and the flora and fauna make it magical."

Like what you see? The property is for sale for $2,695,000 -- find more details here.

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Kitchen Stove Küppersbusch Coffee Table in Living Room Twentieth Floor Lamps in Bedroom The Window
Kitchen Rug Plastica Floor Lamp in Living Room Fuller Roberts Chair in Bedroom Gae Aulenti
Lily Print in Kitchen Day Lily II by Alex Katz Leadapron Dining Chairs Poliform Painting Above Bed Vadim Grinberg

shop-look

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Vico Magistretti Atollo Gold Table Lamp, $1950, Nova 68 Plastic Woven Moroccan Mat, From $30, Plastica Pari Parsons Chair, $368, All Modern
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Swivel Coffee Table, $2800, Twentieth Splatter Spell Pillow, From $135, Eskayel Mug Rainbow, $60, Fab
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699 Imbottita Chair, Price Upon Request, Cassina Sisal Almond Rug, $349, Crate & Barrel Magis Table One Dining Table, $1049, All Modern
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Eglo Table Lamp, $170, Build Kontextür x3 Watering Can, $49, Design Public Parsons Dining Table, $399, West Elm
Photographer: Jose Leon

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