New York native and Los Angeles transplant Jenny Levy knows a thing or two about crafting an eye-pleasing arrangement. As a stylist and costume designer, Levy creates the perfect ensembles to tell a story, not unlike the décor of her family’s 1930s three-bedroom home in Los Angeles’ Los Feliz area.
“I wanted to have a home that feels like our family—welcoming, warm, and cosy, not precious,” Levy says. “I wanted a livable place that I wouldn’t have to worry about but at the same time, I wanted it to be chic and lovely to look at.” A mainly neutral space accented with bright colours and an impressive art collection, Levy’s home is a laid-back yet functional space where a mix of materials and modern-influenced furniture combine in harmony.
After purchasing the home, Levy entered into a renovation in order to make the space function optimally for her family. “I really love a blank canvas because life has so much colour and texture, so when working with our contractor I insisted on blank canvases,” Levy says. “I like things to be in order and have purpose. I don’t like design for decoration.”
“I use art and colour for décor and I definitely lean toward functionality,” the homeowner shares when asked about her personal interior style. By keeping the décor of the home’s spaces mainly neutral, Levy is able to better showcase her art collection.
Pottery Barn Teen Oversize Capiz Chandelier ($299)
“One of the things I love most in my house is the art my husband and I collected together,” shares Levy. “I don’t buy any kind of dark or looming art, I buy peaceful, happy art. I want to look at art that makes me feel good, so that I feel dreamy when I’m staring at it.”
A charming detail in Levy’s home, the blue-painted staircase was inspired by the colour of antique cameos and the custom railing design is based on a German staircase Levy’s contractor spotted in an old photo. “The circles feel nautical and beachy, like the bedroom’s blue door and the colour of the painted steps,” Levy shares. “It all feels very Greek.”
“I love my staircase, I don’t really repaint it very often,” the stylist says. “I love the wear and tear of the colour—it gets better with life and age, scuffs and all.”
In addition to the bright canvases on the wall, Levy injected colour into the mainly white bedroom by painting her closet door a deep, moody blue. “The decision to paint the saturated door in the bedroom was just an idea I had with a friend to spice up the space,” Levy tells us. “It’s as shiny as a car and the colour is amazing and sort of makes the closet door like a painting of its own.”
For children’s spaces, Levy likes to keep things bright, but never too juvenile. “I love thrift store kids’ paintings for children’s rooms,” she says. “But nothing too cartoony. I don’t like to dumb down kids in design or in life.”
“The more I live in my house, the more I realise everything we did looks better with time,” says Levy. “I enjoy each room even more the longer I live here.”
When asked about her favourite space in the home, Levy has no hesitation. “I love my terrazzo bathroom,” she says. “The tub is poured terrazzo. There is nothing in the world like it and it is truly my dream. I love taking baths at night when the kids are asleep. It is more than glamorous, it’s luxurious.”
“We love the beach and have rented a house in Malibu since we met, so bringing a casual beach feeling to a traditional home in Los Feliz was seemingly odd,” Levy said. “Yet it works so beautifully. You really get a laid-back feeling in my house, and every detail helped.”
Do you use art as a way to add colour to a neutral space? Share with us your favourite sources for artwork below!