“It had a timelessness,” Mark says recalling his first impression of the home. “It had great ribs and bones, and was next to Griffith Park.” While it was not a fixer-upper, the couple looked forward to adapting their new home to their style. First on the list of home repairs was the lighting. “In the 1920s, electric lighting was fairly new,” Mark points out, so the couple spent considerable time and effort updating the wiring and fixtures.
It was important to Mark and Amanda that the materials they used in the renovation process were of the highest quality. They combined authentic imported products with domestic ones to achieve the desired look. For instance, French limestone pillars on the front gate to their driveway were matched with California shale stones that had a similar look.
As you step inside the front door of the home, you are met with a dramatic sweeping staircase sporting original, multicolored Malibu tile from 1920s California. Mark’s favorite room in the house is the breakfast room. “It looks out over the pool, and it’s where I watch golf tournaments; I’m a passionate golfer,” he says.
Among the pieces that Mark is most fond of in his home are a Polynesian painting and a Miro cubism painting from the 1920s that he bought for only $22. He is also very fond of the Hamam steambath that occupies an entire room. But it’s the handmade cabinet from Kenya in the dining room that is a particular favorite of Mark’s for its simplicity. “It is more than 100 years old, made by an unskilled artisan,” he explains. “I was attracted to its primitive beauty.”
Through a serendipitous series of events, Mark Werts is living in a home that is a mere five blocks away from where he was born, but by filling it with treasures from his global travels it is a world away.
By Meryl Schoenbaum
Photography by Bret Gum
Styled by Jacqueline deMontravel