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House Number, NakNak; Sconces by RBW, Lumens; Door Paint, Wethersfield Moss by Benjamin Moore; House Paint, York Gray by Benjamin Moore

Clo Pazera and her husband, Ryan Walsh, didn’t give me a “love at first sight” story when we talked about their Glenoaks Canyon, California, home. They kept it real: On their very first walk-through in spring 2022, the fixer-upper didn’t give them butterflies. “We were actually going to pass on it,” says Walsh. Sure, it was in a lot better shape than some of the teardowns they had viewed, but the home’s turquoise carpeting and dark wood paneling left them feeling overwhelmingly indifferent. 

Cabinets, Reform; Backsplash Tile, Fireclay; Countertop, Dekton, Faucet, Brizo; Sink, Blanco; Pendant Lamp, Muuto; Ceiling Lights by Artemide, Lumens; Sconce (on paneling) by RBW, Lumens; Floor Tile, Zia Tile; Stools, Rad; Art by Katherine Bradford
Sconce by RBW, Lumens; Plumbing Fixtures, Phlyrich; Countertop, Dekton; Tile, Fireclay; Paint, Ivory White by Benjamin Moore

So they sat on it for a few days—a risky move when you’re going up against hundreds of other buyers in a competitive real-estate market. But Rachel Bullock and Molly Purnell, cofounders of architecture and design studio Laun, gave them the extra push they needed. The designers had accompanied the couple on their house-hunt journey and saw potential in the 1930s bungalow. It was a good thing that they felt “blasé” about the interior, they decided: They had been longing to tackle a renovation. 

Once the ink was dry on the mortgage, Bullock and Purnell suggested removing the existing den to make way for a more spacious kitchen, while still leaving some room for an intimate lounge-slash-TV area. “There was also an absurd number of doors in the house,” recalls Bullock. They removed a series of interior hallways and some of those entries (five to be exact) to achieve an airier layout, and new arched thresholds gave room-to-room transitions a sense of cohesion. The fresh interior architecture extends all the way to the new front door, to which they added a curved glass panel. 

Cabinets, Reform; Sofa Fabric, Knoll; Sconce, Mitzi.

The couple’s new home lacked the bonus hiding spots that their previous house in City Terrace offered (before, they had a basement and an attic), so Bullock and Purnell lined the main hallway with built-in closets to win back some storage. The wall of cabinets closest to the kitchen gets used every day: There’s a spot for their dog Ruth’s food, a slim cupboard that perfectly fits the broom and vacuum, and a dedicated cupboard for all of Walsh’s cocktail-making necessities. Negronis are his signature, but he doesn’t shy away from a tiki drink either. “And he makes a good daiquiri,” says Pazera. 

Ottoman, Hem; Rug, ABC Carpet & Home; Art by Richard Lindner.

Knowing how the couple’s weekends usually pan out—Pazera playing video games in the den, Walsh experimenting with drinks at the counter—Bullock added a pass-through window between the two adjacent rooms so they can easily hand off glasses. In order to maximize seating in the nook, the designers custom-built a curvy sofa that stretches all the way to the cabinets that house the pair’s record collection. “We were worried that if we used furniture it would start to feel too cluttered,” says Bullock. 

Sconces, In Common With; Wall Paint, White Dove by Benjamin Moore; Bench (in foyer), Laun; Sofa, Hay; Coffee Table by Resident, 2Modern; Side Table, Laun; Chairs, Knoll; Rug, Armadillo; Art by Joe Goode (on fireplace), Brian Calvin (left), and Ken Price (right).
Table, Hay; Chair by Carl Hansen & Son, DWR; Pendant Lamp by Flos, Lumens; Rug, Armadillo; Art by Erwin Wurm (left) and Ross Caliendo (right). 
Sconce, In Common With; Side Table by Resident, 2Modern; Art by Ed Moses

The designers also made sure to give Pazera and Walsh plenty of breathing room for art. As a fine art specialist at Los Angeles Modern Auctions, Pazera is constantly collecting new pieces from auctions or artists who have ties to Southern California, including favorites Ross Caliendo, Ken Price, and Brian Calvin. With the exception of the couple’s pink bedroom (a paint choice partly inspired by Bullock’s own bedroom), most of the walls in the house are gallery white. Purnell and Bullock even streamlined the fireplace mantel knowing their clients would treat it as a rotating display for leaning works. 

Sconce by RBW, Lumens; Plumbing Fixtures, Phlyrich; Countertop, Dekton; Floor Tile, Zia Tile; Wall Tile, Fireclay

As with any renovation, there are always a few little projects that linger after the (saw)dust has settled. Eventually, Pazera and Walsh want to tack a patio onto the kitchen, so the designers intentionally chose exterior-grade terracotta tile for the space. That way, the couple can simply buy more of them in the future to get that coveted indoor-outdoor flow. They continue to see all the possibilities, even though they didn’t have that fairy-tale love story starting out. 

The Goods