Like other residences designed by Arthur and Nina Zwebell, Jennifer’s complex features a beautiful central courtyard with a fountain. She can view the courtyard with its olive trees and succulents through French doors in her living room.
Like other residences designed by Arthur and Nina Zwebell, this complex features a beautiful central courtyard with a fountain. Jennifer Laskey can view the courtyard with its olive trees and succulents through French doors in her living room.

Expressing your personal style doesn’t have to be at odds with respecting the historical details of your home. From selecting daring yet authentic paint colors to accessorizing with all manner of vintage finds, you can create a home that fits the aesthetics of both you and your home’s era, as Jennifer Laskey’s historic Los Angeles apartment proves.

The home is decorated with antique and vintage pieces Jennifer has collected from a variety of sources, including flea markets, antiques stores, eBay and Craigslist. An avid collector, she knows the pieces that will work best for her home.
The home is decorated with antique and vintage pieces Jennifer has collected from a variety of sources, including flea markets, antiques stores, eBay and Craigslist. An avid collector, she knows the pieces that will work best for her home.

Completed in 1928, the Andalusian-style courtyard complex was designed by famed architects Arthur and Nina Zwebell.

Jennifer, a long-time fan of 1920s and ’30s Spanish-style architecture, was drawn to the townhouse because of its original features, including a grand tiled staircase, 22-foot beamed ceilings in the living room and elaborately carved dark-wood doors.

“I hate when people will redo a bathroom or a kitchen or change windows or anything like that,” she says.

“This was pretty much untouched, which a lot of people don’t like because they want the modern amenities, but I don’t care about any of that and just really want originality.”

When she moved into the apartment, Jennifer undid a number of modern upgrades and added vintage pieces both reflective of the apartment’s late-’20s history and her own eclectic style.

Jennifer worked to enhance the period beauty of the living room. She added gold leaf to the fireplace to give it a dramatic feel befitting a home built at the start of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Details, from the tile to the flooring to the woodwork, are all original.
Jennifer worked to enhance the period beauty of the living room. She added gold leaf to the fireplace to give it a dramatic feel befitting a home built at the start of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Details, from the tile to the flooring to the woodwork, are all original.

Builders-grade medicine cabinets, mirrored doors, screens, light fixtures and more were taken out. Fans, though practical, were removed from the sweeping ceilings in the living room and equally beautiful ceiling in the bedroom, replaced with more-authentic-feeling fixtures.

A favorite upgrade, and a standout in the living room, is the newly gold-leafed fireplace.

“[I]t has a really cool fireplace that’s got original Spanish detail and the top of it was just white, and I don’t know if it was originally gold-leafed or no, but it was something that I could imagine there being that the architects/designers were very ornate,” Jennifer says. “I sourced a painter to do it, it’s just a little detail, it was a really expensive little detail, but I just felt it would be the most amazing detail, so I did that.”

Jennifer selected the striking red wall color to complement the home’s Spanish architectural style. The bookshelf goes with the desk in the loft but was too large for the space, so it gives an industrial punch to the dining room. A mix of vintage finds dresses up the room.
Jennifer selected the striking red wall color to complement the home’s Spanish architectural style. The bookshelf goes with the desk in the loft but was too large for the space, so it gives an industrial punch to the dining room. A mix of vintage finds dresses up the room.

Jennifer used paint to complement the townhome’s striking original details. The dining room was painted in a deep red with an uneven, aged plaster  effect.

Newer doors were treated to gold, white, navy and olive green finishes to give them an older European-influenced appearance.

The work continued onto the patio, accessible via French doors from both the kitchen and dining room.

Electrical was added and Moroccan-style bronze light fixtures were installed.

The area was completed with a large daybed with matching ottoman and an ornate vintage mirror.

The daybed on Jennifer’s patio was a dream purchase, scored on sale after months on her wish list. The new piece is complemented by a mix of new and vintage finds. Electrical was added to the space, and Jennifer installed the bronze fixtures.
The daybed on Jennifer’s patio was a dream purchase, scored on sale after months on her wish list. The new piece is complemented by a mix of new and vintage finds. Electrical was added to the space, and Jennifer installed the bronze fixtures.