Rather than trying to outdo Greystone’s Revival-style architecture with embellishments, Mary McDonald says, “I went with the architecture, because you rarely have the opportunity to work in a historic home like this.” Here, she channeled her inner classicist with a sea of blue-and-white china, French furniture, and a few contemporary paintings for contrast.
“This room is a nod to an era in which leisure had a more civilized tone and to the women who set the standard for the art of living well,” says Michelle Nussbaumer. Channeling style icons such as C.Z. Guest, Babe Paley, and Mrs. Doheny herself, Nussbaumer went for refined glamour with luxurious textiles and accents in a limited palette. “Greystone is celebrated for its grounds, and I wanted to allude to that connection with a symphony of green.”
Mr. Doheny’s Bedroom
Martyn Lawrence Bullard
Where does a globetrotting oil tycoon go to rest his head? In a lair of the finest and most exotic things, of course. Martyn Lawrence Bullard envisioned Mr. Doheny as a “well-traveled connoisseur who has cherry-picked collectibles from all his favorite destinations to display them for his personal enjoyment.” From the view of his exotic canopy bed, he looks out to his velvet tufted chaise longue, gold serpentine mirror, and curio cabinet of treasures... the things a tycoon’s dreams are made of.
Mrs. Doheny’s Bedroom
Ron Woodson and Jaime Rummerfield
Faux fur, gold leaf, and one dramatic mural are the makings of Old Hollywood glamour. “We really wanted to hearken back to that bygone era,” says Ron Woodson, “but also add new pieces so that it didn’t feel like a time warp.” The oversize Lucite bed and fresh pink palette bring it up to date. “The color theory was one of the major tricks for this room,” says Jaime Rummerfield. “It makes for a very dramatic space.”
Even the rich and famous rarely relax in their grand living rooms. Suzanne Rheinstein designed this retreat with plenty of seating and accent tables to be “a lovely spot to enjoy a book, a game of bridge, or cocktails at sundown.” She placed a lavender roundelay (inspired by a chair within the White House’s China Room) to connect all the seating areas for an intimate but social space.
With the original bowling alley, billiards room, and Prohibition-era bar, Nathan Turner says, “this struck me as a very masculine space. I could imagine a bunch of guys smoking and drinking and hanging out there.” Inspired by an image of a sportsman at leisure, he choose a palette of khakis, club-style seating, and a wall of safari photographs by Amber Arbucci. “Her photography is so extreme and intimate”—a perfect fit for this grand yet cozy space.
Kathryn M. Ireland
With a down-to-earth design in a mega-mansion, Kathryn M. Ireland gives a behind-the-scenes look at real life in the Doheny residence. “This is Nanny’s domain,” says Ireland. “It’s a place where children are fed, where sandwiches are prepared for afternoon tea, and where warm cookies are made in the Aga.” Inspired by sculleries in the grand homes of her native England, Kathryn played on the comforts of home: a cozy banquette, cheery fabrics, and the tools of a well-loved kitchen.
Oliver M. Furth
Born a millionaire, the Dohenys' daughter would never be satisfied with plastic dolls and frilly frocks. She’s been exposed to the finer things in life, she’s cultured, and she knows what she wants. “I imagine her as a hip, irreverent 19-year-old, with dreams to work at a fashion magazine,” says Oliver M. Furth. “So I’ve made sure everything in the room is sculptural with an edge.”
Old and new California design blend seamlessly in this inviting space. Traditional materials like chocolate leather and velvet damask are in keeping with the mansion's early-20th-century vintage style, but in cushy oversize forms they're of the moment. Comfortable and casual, Barclay Butera says, “it turned into a fantastic place to gather.”