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Hollywood Interiors: Style and Design in Los Angeles
by Anthony Iannacci

This oversized, weighty, sumptuously printed tome begins to lure the reader into the fantasy of Hollywood immediately through its Oscar-gold endpapers. Focusing on only 19 homes, author Anthony Iannacci showcases prime examples that epitomize “a relentless celebration of the individual.” The houses are located throughout the Los Angeles area, says the author, though no specifics are given in the text. And, with the identities and professions of owners kept secret, what confirms the Hollywood-ness of the designs?

Iannacci’s premise is that the specificities of the designs—their individual and idiosyncratic (my word) nature—are what define the Hollywood scope. “This interest and investment in creating a cult of the individual and the city’s collective exaltation of talents and personality quirks is at the core of Hollywood’s soul,” he writes. Each home is given an introduction prior to at least 10 pages—some more than 20—of beautiful photography with brief captions. The idea is immersion. In the author’s words, we are “seduced” by the images.

Most of the projects are renovations of homes from the 1920s to the ’60s, which bring a nice melding of old and new. Houses by familiar historical names—Stiles O. Clements, Ralph Carlin Flewelling, Harwell Hamilton Harris, John Lautner—alongside anonymous mid-century, Mediterranean, and Tudor homes, have been lovingly designed by familiar contemporary names, such as Rose Tarlow, Paul Fortune, Chu Gooding, Commune, Kelly Wearstler, Linda Brettler, and the late Steven Shortridge, among others.

One fairly consistent trait among the wide variety of design styles is an emphasis on art collections—each with an individual collector’s touch. This individuality of vision further impels curiosity about the owners. There are no hints beyond the Emmys seen in the cover image that may reveal true Hollywood industry connections. Inquiring minds want to know more, but Hollywood always has its secrets.

The Monacelli Press; 320 pages; hardcover; $75.

 

 

 

 
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