In the secluded enclave of Marvista, the rapidly cooling late afternoon air is filled with the intoxicating scent of lemon verbena and eucalyptus, periwinkle petals fall from thick jacaranda hedges, and bubbling canaries of fallen mimosa Colonies of color cover the sidewalk. Narrow streets dotted with artisan huts, modern bungalows and Spanish colonial buildings. Ariel Kay, founder of the popular home furnishings brand Parachute, was so drawn to the Los Angeles area with its ocean views that she spent the past seven years renting in nearby Venice. To her, it seemed like an idyllic environment in which to raise her two young children. She expected the house search to be endless, but in the end she only found one property (and three days later, in February 2021, she offer was accepted).
My parents and a new-build home near the beach ticked many boxes, but the open-plan interior felt stark and cold. Still, Kay has imagination and vision. It’s no surprise, considering she’s built a home decor empire from the ground up with her unique design-driven aesthetic.
Taking on the project herself seemed too daunting, especially for her then-2-year-old daughter Lou and newborn son Van. “I had to leave behind my safe beige world and get funky, hiring professionals who would push me out of my comfort zone,” she says. There, she first met Sally Breer, who was designing the Hotel Cobel on the edge of Los Feliz, in 2014, when she called to ask if she could supply bedding for the parachutes that had just launched. She said, “I knew Sally’s eye for vintage and custom pieces and her unconventional approach would inject the edge and patina I was craving.”
Bria admits that she was hesitant about working with Kay at first. “Ariel had a very strong California cool identity, and I wasn’t sure how she would feel about the weirdness I wanted to play in my space,” the designer admits. . “Surprisingly, she was incredibly open-minded, brave, and trusting.” They also have children of similar ages, and Kay says Brea is kinder to them and more trustworthy. I knew I could conjure up a space that didn’t feel overly precious, elevated but not too serious.
To inject age and personality, we sourced vintage pieces, including a 1960s walnut sideboard by Silvio Coppola, a 1950s piece by Guilherme et Chambron, and a 1940s rope chair by Aude Minet. Don’t overlook the lighting either. His 1950s light fixtures attributed to Jack Binney decorate his family room. Above the curved teddy-mohair Pierre-Augustin Rose settee in the master bedroom is a circa-1969 floor woven with ribbons of smoky amber Murano glass by Carlo Naison. The lamp stands tall. Sculptural pearl-like candlesticks illuminate Armando Mesias’ abstract canvases. sunk cost fallacy In the formal living room. Other artwork adds a sense of personal history, including sand paintings by Mexico City native Bertrand Fonpeirin and works by Claire Grill and Catherine Bradford.