Interior designer Brigette Romanek injected her Los Angeles home with her trademark balance of eclectic, cool and livable luxe. That livability component is especially important, since she shares the sprawling abode with her husband, filmmaker Mark Romanek, their two daughters and a duo of labradoodles. They bought the 1925 Mediterranean-style residence from good friend and legendary music producer Rick Rubin, who like others before him, used the property as a recording studio and makeshift inn, with visits from the likes of the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Mick Jagger, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Maroon 5 and more. Here, Brigette talks about the inspiration behind the home’s design, the process of honoring its rock-and-roll history and the abode’s ongoing evolution to meet her family’s needs.
How did you honor your home’s rock-and-roll history during your initial renovation?
I base 90% of my design on feel, and this house always had such a soul. There are these cool little details left by artists that worked or recorded here, like handprints and notes in the concrete and little stickers left on the walls in a few rooms. Some people may think to get rid of details like those, but I kept them and they still make me smile. They really became a part of the design along with the house’s other quirks that had been done by previous owners. If you look at it, the house is a mash-up of styles, from Gothic to Spanish to Mediterranean, and I just didn’t have the heart to change that. Everything that has been done to this house thus far has conspired to make it as cool as it is.
Where did you draw inspiration from for the design?
I drew inspiration from the soulfulness of the property and the vibe of the house. It had great energy, so I wanted to keep most of it light and bright while bringing in pieces with history to keep the soul. Everything had to be harmonious in a way that made me feel the same lovely things that I felt when I first walked in.
What are your favorite spaces?
I love them all for different reasons. The living room, den and library, in particular, are so special, unique and steeped in history.
How would you describe the essence of your home?
The essence I bring into all my client homes as well as my own is eclectic, cool and livable luxe.
How does its design reflect your family’s personality?
The house is quirky, and I like to think of us in the same way. “Quirky” is a great word because it means there’s personality, depth and interest — and my family is definitely eclectic in that way. We all have different interests and enjoy embracing, sharing and exchanging different ideas. This house is really a great platform for that. One of my favorite things to do is invite a group of eclectic friends over to have a lovely night and share our different worlds. I’m really looking forward to having evenings like this once more.
How has the design evolved over the years to meet your family’s needs?
The really great thing is that my family has actually adapted and fallen in with the house in many ways. Like most modern families, we gather together in the kitchen. At the time the house was built, kitchens were of little importance, so it was originally a galley kitchen. Typically the space was reserved for women or a caretaker to cook while the men were working outside the home. After we turned it into an area for all of us, it’s become a big part of the house. It’s not huge in size, but it’s a proper place where we can all flow together at one time. The dining room was also a space that we opened up. In the past, leaving it open to the kitchen would’ve been frowned upon, but we created two doorways to add connection, which has been beautiful.
What are some of your go-to shops for sourcing furnishings?
I love Blackman Cruz and JF Chen.
What’s one design element every home needs to feel complete?
Every home needs coziness. After a day of being out in our incredible — but sometimes crazy — world, one should have a place where they can feel safe, feel like themselves and exhale. Somewhere to relax.