It’s Only 1,400 Square Feet, But Every Bowl, Basket, and Spoon Has a Spot in This L.A. Stylist’s Home
An epic wall of windows sets it all aglow.
Published Nov 17, 2022 1:00 AM
We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.
If you spend your days styling rooms with trendy colorful cushions and lacquered high-gloss furniture, you might be tempted to fill your house with more of the same. But for Los Angeles prop and interiors stylist Scott Horne, it’s just the opposite. His 1941 Streamline Moderne home in the city’s Silver Lake neighborhood is a study in timeless, subdued, soulful design. “When I come home, I like to have a respite from the visual world I live in,” he explains.
Think: stone, ceramic, rattan, wood, and metal mixed with a deft hand—call it a high-style cocoon. “I am by nature a nester,” says Horne. “I want to create an environment where I feel the most at peace. I’ve found that neutrals and natural textures do that for me.”
While he often works in grand houses and on elaborate sets for brands like Parachute Home and Target, his own place has a footprint of under 1,400 square feet. A draw for him, in fact—fewer rooms equals less maintenance, crucial for someone who’s not home much.
Then there is the sunken living room. This main space is blessed with great light and verdant views thanks to a wall of casement windows. “When I sit on the sofa, I don’t see anything but sky and treetops,” says Horne. “I do everything here…entertain, watch television, nap.” There are several seating areas to do so, a result of little wall space and an off-center fireplace. A cushy sofa and vintage armchairs serve as a lounge; a modernist French bistro table and carved wood chair offer a spot for tea or tackling his favorite Piecework puzzle; and the cozy nook to the left of the fireplace is where he catches up with friends on the phone.
Filling the house with his covetable furniture collection was not a problem, but peppering in all of his interesting objects—decorative boxes and bowls, art, even spoons—did present a challenge: Save for the mantel and a couple windowsills, there was a distinct lack of ledges in the living room. A cleverly placed wall-to-wall shelf up above the windows (accessed via a vintage ladder) holds his art and photography books, while tables are tucked into multiple corners to display vignettes of ceramics, baskets, and sculptures.
“I am drawn to things that have wear and patina,” he says. “Things that have a story versus just manufactured items on a store shelf. I feel they have lived a life.” A prime example: A vintage trunk that serves as a side table next to the sofa. Horne fell for the distressed leather and overworn brass details. “I like to think about what treasures were safely stowed in it over time,” he says. For his part, he keeps his favorite photos, old mixtapes, and keepsake albums inside.
Horne painted every inch of the home in his favorite “not too white white” paint, Benjamin Moore’s White Dove, which he also uses on shoots. It has the added bonus of highlighting the original wide wall paneling and providing a gallery-like backdrop for Horne’s eclectic art collection, admittedly one of his cheap thrills. “Art is very important to me, and I gain a lot of inspiration going to galleries, museums, and studios, but I rarely spend money on it,” he explains. Instead he searches flea markets, estate sales, and old art books for hidden gems. (Plus a good frame can transform the everyday into the extraordinary.) Scouting for clients is another path to new discoveries, like the paper work mounted on muslin by Portland, Oregon–based artist Nicole Neu that hangs above the sofa.
Though the pieces follow no formal style or school, they have similarities: abstract, high contrast, and tactile. Always the curious hunter, Horne rotates them on a regular basis. “I would not say I’m fickle; it’s just a very fast refresh for me,” he says. When they aren’t on display, the stylist tucks them in his prop closet or under the bed until their next debut.
Where he does splurge is on lighting, and it’s apparent when taking in the sheer number of lamps in each room (there’s six in the living space alone). “Lighting is everything to me,” says Horne. “It sets the mood. I like really low ambient light, so I need lots of it.” With a few exceptions, like a floating lantern, his finds are almost exclusively vintage.
Often tasked with creating multifunctional spaces for magazines and catalogs, Horne didn’t think twice about turning the second bedroom into a hybrid study–guest space. A vintage daybed acts as sleeping quarters and sofa, while the game table can also be a desk. To compensate for the older home’s dearth of closets, he put a shelving unit to work, cleverly hiding office supplies, his magazine archive, and other household necessities in as few containers as possible—his key to visual calm. Although, they don’t need to be standard boxes; Horne will also sprinkle in unexpected vessels like a vintage jewelry chest or picnic basket.
For his own bedroom, Horne pared it all back for a luxury hotel vibe. “I want it to feel as if I am always on a really great vacation,” he says. After styling hundreds of beds, his feathered nest is like no other, with an upholstered headboard, three sets of pillows, and layers and layers of percale and linen bedding. A handsome bureau and wardrobe make up for a second limited-storage situation.
Another passion of Horne’s? Plants. The stylist gives ferns pride of place in the kitchen; when he couldn’t fit a café table and chairs in the breakfast nook, he swapped them for a massive zinc planter filled with them. Just outside, the new hardscaped, multi-level patio is more Mediterranean than SoCal. Containers are overflowing with drought-tolerant olive trees; succulents; and Westringia fruticosa, a rosemary shrub. “I like that when you step out, it feels like a little escape,” he says.
There are more potential projects on the horizon: Maybe Horne will open up a kitchen wall to take advantage of that living room view. Perhaps he’ll add a powder room. But for now, the home is an honest reflection of where and who Horne is today. “I feel truly myself here,” he says. “There is a reason and purpose for each thing. Walking around my house is like looking in a mirror.”