Home Tour: Calm Colors Anchor a New Traditional Home

DOSSIER: NAME: Joe Lucas and David Heikka. TRADE: Interior design and retail design, respectively. VIBE: Layered, chalky New Traditional. ABODE: Two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath duplex apartment in West Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA.

Relationships require all sorts of compromise, but when it comes to design, they demand more than just give-and-take. When interior designer Joe Lucas, co-owner of LA design showroom Harbinger, and partner David Heikka, who manages architecture design for Forever 21, moved into their '20s French Normandy-style duplex apartment, strategy was paramount.


While Lucas is drawn to more traditional interiors and "a little bit more of a layered look," Heikka gravitates toward spare spaces and modern lines. Despite their decidedly different aesthetics, the pair found common ground. "We both really agreed that we wanted a very calm living room and a chalky, sort of plaster-y grayish white wall color," says Lucas. The duo decided on Farrow & Ball's reserved yet dimensional Pavilion Gray paint, trimmed with the brand's All White. "With a calm, simple background in place, we added a little bit of layering in, and I think we found a good balance over time."


The apartment also earned its layered, but well-edited, aesthetic thanks to a long-held appreciation for art and design. "A lot of the artwork in the hall and the master bedroom is from years of us collecting great pieces at flea markets," Lucas says. "We'd spent so much time collecting things, that we waited to finally be able to do our salon wall until we had the right amount of pieces."_header3

In addition to flea market finds, Lucas and Heikka also have a soft spot for sentimental art. "We have a drawing of a brown paper bag that I bought from my niece when she was still in college. I was her first official patron, and I gave it as a gift to Dave," Lucas says. The pair also commissioned an artist friend to do an etching of a photo of their dog, Fred, which was taken the day they found him at the pound. A large-scale black-and-white abstract painting by Jamie Bush, a good friend of the couple, hangs above the living room sofa, while a botanical piece by friend Alex Mason floats above the dining room bar. "There's a story behind everything and they work well together," Lucas says.

_header4 In the nucleus of the house, the dining room, Lucas hung a purple herringbone wallpaper by Italian artist Idarica Gazzoni, which is carried at Harbinger. "That wallpaper was a little crazy for Dave, but at the same time he likes good graphic punches," he says. "As long as everything else is calm around it, he really likes it." The pair painted the dining room ceiling a grayish lavender (Farrow & Ball's Brassica) in a high-gloss lacquer, surrounded by a darker trim, Pitch Black. "The room is the thoroughfare for the whole apartment," he says. "You have to cross through it to get to the kitchen, the living room, and the bedrooms, and we spend a lot of time in there, so we wanted it to have a little bit of a jewel-box effect."

As finished as the space looks, the work is never done. "It's always evolving," Lucas says. "There are definitely pieces that are very Dave and definitely pieces that are very me, but it's a nice combination of the two of us."

What design compromises have you made in your home? Where have you found "a meeting ground"? Share your story in the comments below. real-deal
Purple Tufted Chairs Harbinger Jamie Bush Abstract Painting Harbinger Cheetah Lampshade Fabric Peter Dunham
Bedroom Drapery Fabric Pindler & Pindler Christopher Spitzmiller Bedroom Lamps Mecox Gardens Velvet Sofa Harbinger
Dining Chairs Downtown Living Room Mantel Paint Color "Downpipe" #26 Farrow & Ball Bed Throw Blanket Ferrick Mason


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Pierre Jeanneret Easy Armchair, $19000 (For a Pair), 1st Dibs English Bust of a Woman in Terra Cotta, $495, 1st Dibs Pure White Ceramic Vases, From $10, West Elm
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Leopard Print Drum Shade, $99, Shades of Light Julia Upholstered Chair, From $699, Ballard Designs Modern Needlepoint Pillow, $165, Jonathan Adler
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Unititled #6 by Jamie Bush, $7800, Harbinger Bunny Williams Home Column Drinks Table, $575, Harbinger David Rattan & Brass Armchair, $4250, Harbinger
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Beelin Home Heavy Metal Hurricane, $500, Harbinger Idarica Gazzoni Herringbone Fabric, Price Upon Request, Harbinger Noir Burlap Shelf, $725, Layla Grace
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Seagrass Block Headboard, $200, Pier 1 Imports Tole & Mirror Wall Light, Price Upon Request, Vaughn Designs Eiffel Stool, $225, Fab
Photographs: Karyn R. Millet