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Homeowners’ Names: Freida Pinto and Cory Tran
Design Professional Names: Bobby Berk, Principal; Adam Nelsen, Design Manager; and Awit Bugtong, Design Manager
Location: Los Feliz — Los Angeles, California
Size: 3,265 square feet
Type of Home: 1950s Traditional Bungalow
Years lived in: 1.5 years, owned
When it came to renovating this house in Los Angeles’ Los Feliz neighborhood, actress and activist Freida Pinto, and her husband, photographer Cory Tran, worked with famed designer and “Queer Eye” star Bobby Berk to breathe new life into the older home. “I was definitely inspired by the architecture of the house,” writes Berk. “It’s a 1950s bungalow with a lot of traditional elements, like decorative molding, chair rails, and leaded glass windows. I wanted to highlight those beautiful elements, while also bringing in plenty of modern touches. Freida’s Indian heritage also provided inspiration, from the color palette of blues and greens, floral patterns, and the use of rattan and natural woven textures throughout the home.”
The end result of the remodel achieved those design goals and more: It’s a beautifully contemporary home that honors the home’s past. The living room is a warm and soothing space thanks to Benjamin Moore’s “Swiss Coffee” on the walls and a plethora of textures sprinkled around the space. Extra architectural interest is added from the wood ceiling beams. But though many of the rooms have a soothing atmosphere, there’s still plenty of bold pattern and color to be found in the house. The den features a rich blue. A gorgeous green, Benjamin Moore’s “Galapagos Green,” enlivens the kitchen cabinets. And an array of wallpapers spice up the dining room, the powder room, and several bedrooms.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Bobby Berk’s Favorite Element: It’s hard to pick a favorite! But I really love how the primary bedroom turned out. It’s the only room on the second floor, so I really wanted it to feel like a private escape they could retreat to at the end of the day. Even though we used a patterned wallpaper that feels somewhat busy, the room still feels very tranquil thanks to the color palette of green, blue, cream, and camel. I think of it as an adult treehouse, because it’s also surrounded by views of the treetops outside.
Bobby Berk’s Inspiration: I was definitely inspired by the architecture of the house. It’s a 1950s bungalow with a lot of traditional elements, like decorative molding, chair rails, and leaded glass windows. I wanted to highlight those beautiful elements, while also bringing in plenty of modern touches. Freida’s Indian heritage also provided inspiration, from the color palette of blues and greens, floral patterns, and the use of rattan and natural woven textures throughout the home.
Bobby Berk’s Biggest Challenge: I became good friends with Freida and Cory prior to taking on this project, and I was hesitant to work with clients that I was so close with. In fact, I initially turned them down when they first asked! But they eventually convinced me, with the condition that I would oversee the design concept and planning, but my team would deal with the day-to-day details.
Bobby Berk’s decorating advice: I think most people move into a space and immediately want it to be completely designed and perfect. But whether you are working with a designer or on your own, furnishing your home is a marathon, not a sprint! It takes time to really make a space a reflection of you and your style. So instead of just shopping for whatever is in stock, I encourage people to invest in pieces they love and collect items over time. It will make your home much more personal — and a more enjoyable place to live.
Thanks Freida, Cory, Bobby, Adam, and Awit!
This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.