A Father/Daughter Team Designs an Enchanting Palisades Home

THE DOSSIER: NAME: Alison Hersel and Marcel DesRochers TRADE: Self-trained interior designer and residential/commercial builder, respectively. VIBE: Rustic meets high-tech. ABODE: Five-bedroom, five-and-a-half bath Belgian-inspired house in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles.

"Better than the Four Seasons," is one description you rarely hear, but it's true of the Pacific Palisades home that Alison Hersel designed with her father, residential and commercial builder Marcel DesRochers. Built with the intention to lease for extended stays, the home's structure is influenced by classic New York brownstones and European country houses. Hersel says she wanted the exterior "to be charming but unassuming, such that a very important person could secretly be living in this neighborhood house on a suburban family street, but still experiencing an enchanting lifestyle."

_header1Beyond the home's humble Belgian-inspired façade is a beautiful juxtaposition of rustic reclaimed materials and state-of-the-art amenities, including a Bulthaup kitchen and controlled lighting, music, climate, and security by Creston. "You would never expect a 1,700-square-foot basement with a totally high-tech screening room," says Hersel, "but there's something great about that. Something quirky." The designer sourced French reclaimed granite and wood panelling from Exquisite Surfaces and wood beams for the garage door and gates from The Vintage Wood Floor Company.


Complimenting the magnificent textural quality of the flawed wood grain is a decidedly neutral palette: soft white, gray, beige, and linen fabrics from Clarence House, Claremont Furnishings, and Raoul Textiles abound. "The beauty of aging wood and distressed stone offers its own symphony of subtle color," Hersel says. "And I needed a quiet backdrop to highlight those elements."


Hersel admits she doesn't take her style too seriously; "My greatest goal is for people to feel comfort and inspiration in my spaces," she says. Hersel and DesRochers worked with Giannetti Architects to design an open floor plan that feels casual, much more like a country home than an address 35 minutes from downtown LA. The pair also maximized ceiling heights to create interesting roof lines and fun lofts in two upstairs bedrooms -- a child's dream hide-and-seek spot.


Hersel, her husband, and her three children (aged 5, 3, and 1) are enjoying their own extended stay in the relaxing home currently, no doubt taking advantage of all of its cozy little niches. That is, until the father/daughter duo's next design project, a family compound in Malibu, is complete. You know what they say: the family that builds together . . .

Interested in moving in? Visit Bungalux for more details on leasing or buying.


Barn Doors and Gates The Vintage Wood Floor Company Bedroom Rugs The Rug Company Beach Photos in Breakfast Nook Cheryl Maeder
Textiles Clarence House Art The Tappan Collective Antiques Rosemarie McCaffrey Antiques
Zebra Rug Holly Hunt Lighting, Music, Climate and Security Controls Creston Textiles Raoul Textiles


home16 cheryl home11
Janson Striped Stool, $1360, Clayton Gray Home Far & Away X by Cheryl Maeder, From $1500, Pure Photo Malplaquet Pendant, Price Upon Request, Urban Electric Co. 
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Ladderback Arm Chair, $699, Wisteria Cosy Pendant Light, Price Upon Request, Urban Electric Co.   Handwoven Chevron Black Wool Rug, $385, Overstock 
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 Ebonized Oak and Brown Hair on Hide Sofa, $7300, 1st Dibs Hamptons Dunes by Cheryl Maeder, From $1500, Pure Photo  Marais AC Chair, $155, Industry West
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 Ming Console, $499, Wisteria Rustic Finish Oval Mirror, $85, Wisteria   Spanish Head, Oregon by Ryan Phillips, From $500, Pure Photo
Photographs: PurePhoto/Mike Kelley