Before and After: Actress Sasha Alexander’s European-Inspired L.A. Home

Updated 06/03/19

The Los Angeles home that actress Sasha Alexander (Shameless, Rizzoli & Isles) and her husband, director Edoardo Ponti, purchased was a far cry from the airy and bright space you see today. “It didn’t have a lot of light. It had a lot of dark, painted walls—like dark blues, reds, and oranges—so it felt a little like a caveman’s house,” Alexander says. Interior designer Estee Stanley adds that the walls were faux-finished in Tuscan-style oranges and reds.

Alexander, Ponti, and Stanley were all in agreeance about one thing, though: the Spanish-style home had fantastic architecture, including beautiful archways, elegant built-ins, and charming windows. “When my husband and I saw it, we both fell in love with it immediately,” Alexander says. “The home had great bones and a lot of character.” "The house itself," Stanley continues, "I could see that it could be fantastic.”

Scroll down to see the stunning transformation.

Christopher Patey
Christopher Patey
Estee Stanley

Before

First, Alexander decided that “the most important thing to do was to strip the house down to its bare bones, which was white, and to add a lot of light to it.” Stanley replaced practically everything in the house that could be replaced: “We added all new doors, bigger doors that lead to outside, new floors, all-new bathrooms, and a brand-new kitchen,” she says. “We painted and staining all the woods. We did literally everything.”

Christopher Patey
Christopher Patey
Estee Stanley

Before

Christopher Patey
Christopher Patey
Christopher Patey
Christopher Patey

A Danish architecture book that Alexander had discovered became the inspiration for much of the new woodwork through the home. “I found this amazing wood in it which was whitewashed oak, and I loved its warmth,” she says. They ended up using it throughout the house: in the kitchen cabinetry (along with other white cabinets), the master bathroom cabinetry, and custom armoires in the master bedroom, which Stanley designed. “I think it brings continuity to the house, which was something that Estee taught me,” Alexander says.

“It’s okay for things to be the same in different rooms. That’s what brings stuff together.”

Christopher Patey

When it came time to decorate, Stanley says she and her clients were “really all on the same page with style.” Stanley mixed the couple’s existing collection of French and Italian antiques (including a set of ancient French Louis XV dining chairs) with thoughtful fabric selections, custom-made pieces, and new modern designs, tying the home’s Spanish-style architecture in with a more fresh, contemporary California lifestyle. "It was important for it to be light and bright and eclectic and that it reflected our European families and lifestyle—you know casual, sexy, but chic," Alexander says.

 Ponti has even coined a term for their style—“urban romantic"—thanks to its warm, sophisticated mix of wood, steel, big windows, and French details.

Estee Stanley

Before

Christopher Patey
Christopher Patey
Christopher Patey
Christopher Patey
Christopher Patey
Christopher Patey

With the exception a few touches of color in the children’s rooms (Lucia, 8, and Leonardo, 4), the trio agreed on a subdued base for the house. “I think all of us really love more of a neutral palette because it’s just more soothing and calming,” Stanley says. Alexander admitted she worried that going all-white could look boring, but Stanley convinced her that “bringing in other textures and colors with fabrics and wood and things like that,” would keep things interesting—and they certainly did.

Estee Stanley

Before

Christopher Patey
Christopher Patey

In addition to the home’s soothing color palette, Alexander says, “The house had good energy when we first walked in… and it still does.” What more could you ask for?

Estee Stanley

Before

Christopher Patey
Christopher Patey
Christopher Patey
Christopher Patey
Estee Stanley

Before

Christopher Patey
Christopher Patey

What’s your favorite room in this house? Tell us in the comments below.

Melissa Levinson Antiques Gold and Coral Fortuny Pillow $245
Shop

Melissa Levinson Antiques Gold and Coral Fortuny Pillow ($245)

Restoration Hardware 1940s French Barrelback Fabric Stool $279
Shop

Restoration Hardware 1940s French Barrelback Fabric Stool ($279)

Arteriors Adrian Lamp $672
Shop

Arteriors Adrian Lamp ($672)

Dara Artisans Baga Kale Linen Throw $399
Shop

Dara Artisans Baga Kale Linen Throw ($399)

Diptyque Baies Scented Candle $60
Shop

Diptyque Baies Scented Candle ($60)

Restoration Hardware French Beam Weathered Teak Rectangular Dining Table $4670
Shop

Restoration Hardware French Beam Weathered Teak Rectangular Dining Table ($4670 and up)

RH Baby&Child Haven Twin-Over-Full Bunk Bed $1329
Shop

RH Baby&Child; Haven Twin-Over-Full Bunk Bed ($1329 and up)

F.S. Henemader Antiques Louis XVI-Style Painted Leather Dining Chairs $6500
Shop

F.S. Henemader Antiques Louis XVI-Style Painted Leather Dining Chairs ($6500 for a set of four)

Ochre Arctic Pear Chandelier
Shop

Ochre Arctic Pear Chandelier (price upon request)

Roberta Roller Rabbit Quilt Dhurry $175
Shop

Roberta Roller Rabbit Quilt Dhurry ($175)

Restoration Hardware Santa Barbara Armchair $845
Shop

Restoration Hardware Santa Barbara Armchair ($845)

Circa Lighting Sloane Single Pendant With Shade $840
Shop

Circa Lighting Sloane Single Pendant With Shade ($840)

Related Stories