“When my husband took me over to see our new home for the first time, he brought me over at night, so I only saw the expansive city lights—and not the dilapidated mess we’d have to make over,” says Alle Fister, founder and principal of fashion, lifestyle, and beauty PR firm Bollare. Luckily for Fister, her then-fiancé Don Popkes was a pro at home makeovers. As founder and principal of real estate brokerage and renovation firm One Tuscany, Popkes had been investing in real estate and flipping homes for more than 10 years. Because of this “we weren’t intimidated with the construction,” Fister says, and “building and designing a home for ourselves was so exciting!”
Having purchased their 1964 home in Playa Del Rey, Los Angeles, primarily for its beautiful Pacific Ocean views, “knowing its potential within,” the couple tore the property down to the studs and renovated it from top to bottom. “We created the layout and literally chose everything down to the light switch plates,” Fister says. “Our goal was to create a warm, modern, transitional home with bold pops of colour and fun elements that suit our elevated yet playful style.”
With sleek and clean architectural elements like a glass staircase banister, floor-to-ceiling glass windows, and a wood and concrete balcony, the modern structure makes an Italian foundation for furniture and decor by European heavy-hitters like Ligne Roset, B&B Italia, and Roche Bobois.
In addition to the array of imported pieces are a number of pieces custom-made by the men in Fister’s life. Her father, Mike Fister, built the couple’s wooden headboard, as well as the top of their dining room table. “Woodworking is a hobby of his, and since I was a little girl, I’ve helped him in his shop,” Fister says. “Those are such fond memories for me.” Popkes himself also designed the couple’s ping-pong table, which he had made by local craftsmen out of glass, plexiglass, wood, and lime green pigment. The exotic wood and black felt pool table was also designed by Popkes and fabricated by local craftsmen.
Complementing the sleek modern and custom furniture collection is an assortment of contemporary art, including cloud photography by Mike Rosenthal, mixed-media bookshelves hand-painted with buck imagery by graffiti artist Samir Evol, and a mouth print by Shane Bowden. “We’re always keeping our eyes out for art we love and have been doing so since we first became a couple,” Fister says. “As very frequent travellers, we often choose pieces that will remind us of a special time and place on a trip.”
As for how long the whole decorating process took, Fister remarks, “Puh-lease! A design lover never stops decorating.” Isn’t that the truth?