Good American’s CEO Swapped London Fog for an English Estate in the California Hills
An outdoor office makes the most of the weather.
Updated Nov 2, 2021 11:23 AM
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Designer Jenni Kayne calls her latest book, Pacific Natural at Home (Rizzoli), “a love letter to California,” but really it’s four of them. The coffee-table tome delves into a quartet of different worlds within the state—the canyon, ocean, valley, and city—and the spaces that embody each landscape, from actor Courteney Cox’s oceanfront oasis to fellow designer Brigette Romanek’s Laurel Canyon estate. “There’s a calming, freeing feeling evoked by the homes within this book,” Kayne writes. “It’s the California way. Cool, easygoing, and comfortable.” In an excerpt, the author takes us on a tour of Good American CEO Emma Grede’s house in the hills.
When Emma Grede relocated from London to California with her husband, Jens, and two young children, the Good American CEO was focused on finding a welcoming space to create new family roots. The stars aligned, and they found a piece of the English countryside tucked away in the winding hills of Bel Air.
Originally built by Paul Williams, Emma’s space took on new life with help from architect Scott Mitchell and interior designer Sandy Gallin. Emma and Jens consciously decided not to rush to furnish the house. Instead they chose to take their time collecting meaningful pieces that would make their home feel like their own.
“This beautiful house is made for enjoying life to the fullest with the people we care about the most: our friends and family. We’re making memories here that will last a lifetime,” says Emma.
While every room comes with its own compelling point of view, the living room is the space that captivates. From the shearling-upholstered chairs to the marble tables, the medley of texture, tone, and shape is suited for a family of California creatives. Bright white walls sit in stunning contrast to the dark floors; wide windows effortlessly bring greenery in; and the doors are constantly open on the weekends.
Trading London for Los Angeles brought Emma’s family a very welcome change: the weather. The kids play in the pool, while the ivy-wrapped pergola offers an easy retreat for onlooking adults and the outdoor nook with William Haines sofas serves as Jens’s open-air office. From the yard to the kitchen, every space in their Bel Air hideaway is designed for time together—it’s the perfect slice of the English countryside under the California sun.