Everyone has a room that isn't quite up to snuff with the rest of their house—the one space that gets left behind in the quest for the perfect home. For Catt Sadler, it was the formal living room. The TV personality, journalist, and E! News anchor, who regularly brushes shoulders with Hollywood's rich and famous, needed a first impression to match the level of style and glamour she's accustomed to in her professional life. But when she moved into her Hancock Park home with her two sons five years ago, the family room where she spends time with her boys took priority. "I already have a comfortable room where my sons and I spend most of our time as a family. But I really wanted to create an elevated, glamorous, and sophisticated space that felt more adult," Sadler told us.
The space called for many changes: It needed to make a strong impression for visiting guests and a grown-up entertaining space, while still remaining laid-back and family friendly for Sadler's boys and her dog, Scarlett. An arbiter of style, Sadler knew she needed to bring in the big guns to breathe life into this underused space—and called on the help of Laurel & Wolf Designer Kimberly Winthrop. Together, the pair mixed the TV personality's beloved heirloom pieces with fresh new items to create a light and airy space for Sadler's family and friends to enjoy. Take the tour—we bet you'll want to move in as much as we do.
"I lived in this home for more than four years, and it was the one room that I had not put any real effort into," Sadler says. "It's the first space you see when you walk in the front door, and it always bothered me that it was unfinished. The room gets so much gorgeous light, but it was just unused space—no energy, no soul. It was begging to come to life!"
The biggest challenge of the project: deciding between dark and moody or bright and white. "Catt and I had come up with two really great designs and color palettes that were total opposites," explains the designer. "We loved each and felt both could work in the space. In the end, we felt that the brighter palette was more of a reflection of Catt and what she wanted for the space. While this was the right decision for the design, it brought about a new challenge. Our next task was finding kid- and pet-friendly fabrics that were also elegant and durable."
The journalist already had a few starting pieces: a lucite waterfall coffee table, a champagne-colored rug, a vintage credenza, an heirloom piano, and a daybed that had seen better days. "I had purchased the rug earlier in the year and absolutely loved the lush, champagne color and texture of it. It was a core piece that inspired the rest of the design," Saddler says. "The vintage credenza was already in the space as was the heirloom piano passed down from my grandmother."
To her designer, these pieces were a great starting point to inspire the rest of the room. "Catt had a great waterfall coffee table and really wanted to keep it," Winthrop says. "When we updated the furniture layout, the space called for a larger rectangular table, and her existing table was a square. Instead of getting a totally new coffee table, we got creative and found the exact same waterfall style in a slightly taller and wider size. This allowed us to nest the coffee tables together to achieve the rectangle shape we needed. Catt got to keep her original table, and we got the rectangular table we needed to make the design work. When it arrived and we slid the two pieces together, I couldn't have been more excited, it was as if it was the way they were intended to be."
Sadler's design brief was simple. She wanted a more formal adult space that she could entertain in, and she wanted to make a statement when you walked into the front door. "I already have a comfortable family room where the kids and I watch TV," Sadler says. "It is very livable. It's where we spend most of our time as a family. It's more durable for my two boys, and the hues are grays and blues. For this new space, I really wanted a more elevated, glamorous, more sophisticated room that felt more adult."
When it came to picking a style, Sadler had strong opinions: "I think my personal style is warm and inviting, but also erring on the minimal side," Sadler says. "I despise clutter or too much of anything—it makes me feel heavy. I don't over accessorize when I get dressed, and I certainly don't want too many knickknacks in my home. Less is more." The only exceptions: a beautifully styled bookcase and a stocked bar cart, for entertaining, of course.
Winthrop used this brief to create the ideal inviting but simple space—sparkling Sadler's beloved vintage pieces throughout: "My style is very eclectic. I love mixing and matching vintage pieces, with little touches of traditional added in here and there. Catt had a daybed, but it had been well-loved. When we decided that the room needed a touch of girly pink, recovering the daybed in dusty rose velvet was the perfect place to do it."
As it turned out, Sadler and Winthrop were not the only fans of the daybed transformation: "I can't seem to keep my dog Scarlett off of the pink daybed, but she's always had impeccable taste, so it makes sense," Sadler says.
"Laurel & Wolf was fantastic in making good use of the space in this room," explains the E! News anchor. "The team helped me figure out a more efficient plan for the furniture and created a very inviting space. I wanted a more intimate arrangement of furniture that was conducive to entertaining. The room had felt 'undone' for a long time with not enough seating. I also wanted to mute the color scheme quite a bit and get away from the masculine feel."
The collaboration between Sadler and Winthrop was a match made in design heaven: "I've tried to work on the house myself in the past, and it can be so overwhelming trying to take on a job like this alone," Sadler says. "Kimberly endlessly offered so many alternative options from fabrics to wallpaper, to key furniture pieces. It was like Christmas every time I opened my inbox. She was exceptional at listening to my strong opinions on certain decisions and ultimately wanted me to be happy."