Family Living

Tour a Collected L.A. Home That Nails Gender-Neutral Style

Tour a Collected L.A. Home That Nails Gender-Neutral Style
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Lizzie Garrett Mettler’s signature look is a mix of masculine and feminine styles. Though she focuses on fashion on her Tomboy Style blog, Lizzie’s sartorial instincts translate beautifully to the Los Feliz home she shares with husband Matthew Mettler and pup Harrison. The house itself is a hybrid of styles; built in 1921, the sun-filled spot has Spanish Revival and Mission Revival architectural details. With an eye for vintage finds, a sense of humor, and a masterful blend of high/low pieces, Lizzie designed a welcoming, warm space with tons of character. We went inside to see how this superbusy writer lives, works, and entertains.

The painted brick fireplace is the focal point of the living room. Flanking it are Circa Lighting sconces Lizzie chose for their nautical form and vintage look.

The painted brick fireplace is the focal point of the living room. Flanking it are Circa Lighting sconces Lizzie chose for their nautical form and vintage look.

Designed for Company

Rather than sticking to one particular decorating style, Lizzie focused on the overall feel of the house. “I really want people to feel comfortable,” she says, “like they can sit anywhere: on the floor, on the couch, outside.”

In her sunny living room, Lizzie puts her guests-first ethos to work. The facing slipcovered sofas create an instant conversation area. “We decided we didn’t want a TV there,” Lizzie says. “It’s so great to have appetizers with people and face each other, instead of orienting the room around a TV.” Lizzie instead reacted to the room’s natural features. “It’s so bright and breezy—I wanted to let the space be the space,” she says. She opted for bright white sofas, a natural-fiber rug, and pillows that mimic the window details.

A glass coffee table and Lucite side tables make for an airy feel, while graphic pillows mirror the architectural details of the windows.

A glass coffee table and Lucite side tables make for an airy feel, while graphic pillows mirror the architectural details of the windows.

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Lizzie keeps it low-key on the mantel with a jockey print from a Claremont, CA, antiques shop and palm fronds snipped from the yard.

Lizzie keeps it low-key on the mantel with a jockey print from a Claremont, CA, antiques shop and palm fronds snipped from the yard.

In the entry, Lizzie displays a Belgian map she picked up at the Rose Bowl Flea Market. Beneath it, a simple plywood table made by her husband.

In the entry, Lizzie displays a Belgian map she picked up at the Rose Bowl Flea Market. Beneath it, a simple plywood table made by her husband.

Making the most of every nook, Lizzie displays turtle shells and a vintage button-tufted chair in a small alcove.

Making the most of every nook, Lizzie displays turtle shells and a vintage button-tufted chair in a small alcove.

It’s so bright and breezy—I wanted to let the space be the space.

— Lizzie Garrett Mettler
Lizzie designed the dining room around a copper Tom Dixon pendant. Embracing a casual vibe, she picked Tolix chairs and a natural-fiber rug to round out the room.

Lizzie designed the dining room around a copper Tom Dixon pendant. Embracing a casual vibe, she picked Tolix chairs and a natural-fiber rug to round out the room.

Entertaining with Personality

A former writer for Bon Appétit, Lizzie loves to cook and entertain. “I’ll get really deep into a theme,” she says. “Last time I entertained it was British food. I made a meat pie.” Dinner parties at Lizzie’s are casual, fun affairs, so the vibe in the dining room is equally buoyant, with brightly colored art, 1960s Murano blue-glass sconces, and red fretwork chairs she scored on Craigslist. “The entries and main areas are really bright and white, so I brought in these fun and happy colors to liven it up,” says Lizzie.

Her entertaining prowess extends to the bar, too. This summer Lizzie will be mixing up Biciclettas, a refreshing blend of dry white wine, Campari, and ice. “Bars are a homey space to me,” says Lizzie. “Mine is a receptacle of weird things that sort of make sense here.”

Lizzie and her husband have dubbed the house “Falling Fronds” and had a sign made to commemorate it that sits among other quirky extras.

Lizzie and her husband have dubbed the house “Falling Fronds” and had a sign made to commemorate it that sits among other quirky extras.

Lizzie scored these Frédérique Lucien prints at a friend’s Paris atelier. Among her prized finds is a Danish Modern credenza from the Rose Bowl Flea Market.

Lizzie scored these Frédérique Lucien prints at a friend’s Paris atelier. Among her prized finds is a Danish Modern credenza from the Rose Bowl Flea Market.

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Lizzie’s palette inspiration for the den came from the lobby of West Hollywood’s Soho House.

Lizzie’s palette inspiration for the den came from the lobby of West Hollywood’s Soho House.

Playing with Styles

With deep blue walls and a dark sofa, the den has a masculine tone that Lizzie balances with a white hide rug, a clear coffee table, and fresh flowers. “The style I celebrate is equal parts masculine and feminine,” says Lizzie. “It’s not a woman trying to be a man. It’s celebrating all the parts of who you are. I think our house is gender neutral that way.”

Lizzie experimented with paint colors until landing on that dark teal hue, a blend of two Farrow & Ball colors. “The rest of the house is so white, we really wanted to do something fun here.” For the gallery-style walls Lizzie turned to vintage art. “I love things that have a historical context—some flags, old posters, things that have a little bit of data on them like years and dates. It feels more artifact than it does random.”

An enviable collection of books is on display in the den. Lizzie favors tomes with a few tears for a sense of history.

An enviable collection of books is on display in the den. Lizzie favors tomes with a few tears for a sense of history.

A step up from the air mattress the couple used to have for visitors, the guest bedroom features a vintage suzani blanket and Atelier de Troupe sconces.

A step up from the air mattress the couple used to have for visitors, the guest bedroom features a vintage suzani blanket and Atelier de Troupe sconces.

Making Room for Guests

In their previous homes, Lizzie and Matthew had no dedicated space for overnight guests. Now that they have the room, Lizzie wants guests to feel they have everything they need. “After a certain point, an air mattress is not comfortable! I want guests to feel like they can spread out and have a home base.”

In addition to blackout shades, cozy linens, and an en-suite bath, the guest room features a desk bedecked with hats, in case guests need shade from the L.A. sun. From the wall hanging Lizzie made to the “badly drawn” folk-art painting of Queen Elizabeth, the desk is full of details that showcase Lizzie’s personality. “It looks old-fashioned, like you’d sit in the Campaign chair and write a letter in the desert or on safari. But you can actually utilize it—plug your phone in, sit down. It’s not just to look at.”

Lizzie suggests keeping a lidded box on the bedside table to store the odds and ends that can make the surface look messy. Here, her husband’s glasses add a lived-in look.

Lizzie suggests keeping a lidded box on the bedside table to store the odds and ends that can make the surface look messy. Here, her husband’s glasses add a lived-in look.

Inspired by the Beatles lyrics “And in the end,” Lizzie made the wall hanging over the desk with the French translation, “et à la fin.”

Inspired by the Beatles lyrics “And in the end,” Lizzie made the wall hanging over the desk with the French translation, “et à la fin.”

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Lizzie’s work space features a green Eames replica from Modernica and a killer inspiration board.

Lizzie’s work space features a green Eames replica from Modernica and a killer inspiration board.

Working from Home

With a book under her belt, a superpopular blog, freelance writing projects, and an ecommerce site on the way, Lizzie needs an inspiring office space. She fills her wall-size inspiration board with what makes her happy: “postcards from friends, funny little things that I don’t really have a place for…” The board has a practical purpose too: “Without it, my desk would look so cluttered. This way I have things I love to look at, but my work space is clean,” Lizzie says.

As Lizzie prepares to launch her ecommerce site, her desk fills with merchandise she’s considering, from vintage souvenir belts to fabric swatches from a small Maine designer.

As Lizzie prepares to launch her ecommerce site, her desk fills with merchandise she’s considering, from vintage souvenir belts to fabric swatches from a small Maine designer.

Out on the patio, the couple’s dog, Harrison, happily sits on Granada tile they had installed to match the feel of the house.

Out on the patio, the couple’s dog, Harrison, happily sits on Granada tile they had installed to match the feel of the house.

Enjoying the California Life

Lizzie and her husband eat outside when it’s warm, which is easily half the year in sunny L.A. The couple entertains outdoors too. “People are more relaxed in the open air,” Lizzie says. “There’s nothing formal about it.” In keeping with her signature style, the outdoor furniture is classic but rugged; it has weathered over years of use. “I’ll be sad if we replace them,” says Lizzie. “I like how crunchy they’ve become. I love that it feels natural.”

 

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Join the Discussion

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2 responses to “Tour a Collected L.A. Home That Nails Gender-Neutral Style”

  1. Kim says:

    Adore her and her blog. This is one of the best homes you’ve featured. Her new book is wonderful too!

  2. mambocat says:

    So glad to have found this. My husband and I had a happy blend of “hippie chic” all though our marriage. Our home was always shades of ocean colors with white tab curtains, no matter what was ‘trendy.” Sometimes recently-met visitors asked why I didn’t “make” him “let” me make our home “more feminine.” My only answer was a Mona Lisa smile and, “you need to get to know me better. I am not very “feminine.” Neither of us wants hunting trophies on the walls, and nether of us wants ruffles. This is US.” Sadly, I lost him to a hospital acquired infection last year, but OUR style won’t be changing much when I move to a new home late this year, in another state, to make a new start.

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