After working with paint and pattern all day, a lot of designers like to return home to a restorative palette of neutrals. Lauren Soloff finds tranquility by allowing in a groundswell of color.
A child of the seventies and eighties known for her invitingly laid-back interiors, Soloff lives with her eight-old-son, Roman, on the ground floor of a 1920s Spanish-style stucco house in LA’s Hancock Park. A California convert, Soloff grew up in New York—she has an undergrad degree in art history from Columbia University and went on to study architecture at UCLA, but she soon found herself with so many clients that she left school and has been working ever since. She currently has her own solo practice.
Soloff and Roman’s rental was in move-in condition when they claimed it almost two years ago. “I’m accustomed to doing overhauls, but this project was really just about decorating, which was great,” she says. “I like to be very bare bones In my own life.” Toward that end, Soloff began with a blank slate by painting every room Benjamin Moore Cloud White. She then layered in texture and color by applying years’ worth of collected objects and ideas. The results have an easy, unstudied look—which is exactly what Soloff always aims for.
Soloff’s front door opens into the living room, sectioned off from the hall by slatted double doors. Eucalyptus leaves from the Hollywood Farmers’ Market sit in a pail from Soloff’s friend fashion designer Jenni Kayne‘s home shop in West Hollywood.
“That rug is magic; it told me what was going to happen in the rest of the house,” says Soloff. A contemporary silk ikat made in India, the design is a one-off from Lawrence of La Brea.
“You know what, it’s a living room we really live in. I wasn’t going to conceal it.”
Soloff’s wicker hoop chair came from the Rose Bowl Flea Market: “If you’re going to use color, it’s good to balance it out with natural materials: wood floors, oatmeal sheepskin, rattan. It all offsets the way color vibrates.”
A perk of the job: Clients and friends give Soloff things they can’t use anymore, such as her farmhouse dining table. The wicker globe light came from Rewire and was inspired by the lights in the dining area at Soho House in LA.
A midcentury sideboard is playfully propped with a toy sailboat and pieces from Soloff’s ceramics collection
The vintage kitchen, with its tiled countertops, is Soloff’s favorite room in the house: “I love to cook; it’s admittedly makeshift—I’m still looking for a kitchen table—but it’s clean and airy and nice to be in.”
The kitchen’s cabinetry is original and only required fresh white paint. “I’ve tried a lot of whites and Cloud White is my go-to. It’s not too cool or too warm, too blue or too yellow. Art looks fantastic on it. And it reflects light beautifully.”
The kitchen came with its freestanding Viking range: “It’s changed my cooking game,” says Soloff. “Admittedly, this isn’t the most practical setup, but I love the way the stove looks on its own.”
Roman loves to draw and has a vintage drafting table that came from Soloff’s grandparents with a pharmacy light. The chair is the Eiffel Shell Side from Modernica. Roman’s bulletin board—”to encourage him to hang things on it instead of the walls”—is just propped on a chair. “I call it a California lean,” says Soloff.
Soloff says she’s been dreaming of her all-white bedroom since childhood. Soloff had her white linen bed frame made by her upholsterer, and she uses classic Tolomeo Desk Lamps as bedside lighting propped on a stump and a chair. The sheepskin throw is paired with a Flokati Rug. “I just wanted the necessities and very little else; the room forces me to declutter.”
Soloff specializes in residential interior design; contact her via her website (above).