This article was originally published in the March 2013 issue of Architectural Digest.
Given musician Sir Elton John and film producer David Furnish’s reputation as savvy collectors of contemporary art, the swing installed on the front lawn of their new Los Angeles home is actually a tribute to an up-and-coming artist. Some may think that it is an installation by — probably discovered during John’s recent concert tour. However, it would be a mistake to assume anything about this pair. This home may display Rock’s signature great features (swanky Beverly Hills address, breathtaking hilltop views), but in both scale and design, this modernist abode stands out from the crowd. They were chosen with two most important goals in mind: It’s about creating a comfortable West Coast base for people. The couple and their growing family, including their 2-year-old son Zachary and newborn son Elijah, arrived just as this issue went to press.
When they began looking for a new home, they envisioned a manageably sized 1960s home that embodied their shared ideals of California indoor-outdoor living. They wanted a place where the kids could move around freely and have access to “front and back gardens and fresh air,” says John. These were qualities that were simply absent from his previous residence in Los Angeles, a sophisticated jewelry box on the 20th floor of a high-rise residence. The search didn’t take long. On the first day of the hunt, Furnish spotted a 5,000-square-foot, one-story building built in 1966 in Trousdale Estates, a neighborhood known for its midcentury architecture. “This is quintessential L.A.,” Furnish says. “I remember walking up to the door and saying, ‘This is perfect.'”
Still, building a child-friendly environment that leverages the visual appeal of their former home required some fancy footwork, and for this they hired renowned designer and long-time friend Martin Lawrence・I relied on Bullard. The Trousdale property had recently undergone a thorough overhaul, so an initial walk-through convinced Bullard that no major structural changes were needed. He says this floor plan features open living and dining areas that flow naturally into a large eat-in kitchen, “giving couples a great opportunity to enjoy the way they want, but also creating a truly intimate family experience.” says. So once a short list of basic improvements is completed (upgrading lighting and hardware, installing a state-of-the-art sound system, replacing windows with UV-resistant glass), work can begin on layering the interior. Masu.
Like all of the couple’s homes, they also own a home in Atlanta. London; Windsor, England. Nice, France. and Venice, Italy—“Everything is centered around art,” John says. First, Furnish and John identified important works to move to Beverly Hills, from paintings by Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, and Philip Taaffe to a series of brightly colored Tupperware photographs by Richard Caldicott. “There was certainly a familial bent to the art we chose,” says Furnish. “We focused on something colorful, positive, and a celebration of life.”