FORM on Design: Greystone Mansion Goes Pop and Over-the-Top

This year’s show house at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills goes for straight-up glamour with rooms that pay tribute to titans of business, including an homage to William Randolph Hearst by L’Esperance Design, Inc. Photograph by David Lena/courtesy Show House at Greystone.

By Jack Skelley

The theme of the latest designer makeover of Greystone Mansion is “Titans of Business.” But the results are anything but business-like. Color and imagination runneth-over in the more than two dozen installations in the already extravagant Doheny residence overlooking Beverly Hills. Curator Design House International had designers pay tribute to business leaders who inspired them. Even when that titan is the designer’s own patron, the results are elegantly fun—as when Lisa Turner, of Interior Obsession, salutes her client Stevie Wonder: It’s a music room of sculptures and artifacts from Wonder’s own collection, including a pop-art “Wonder wall” of album covers and a tangled, brass-instrument sculpture above the piano.

The Alissa Sutton Interiors tribute to Valentino drapes facsimiles of the fashion giant’s red gowns on mannequins. These headless figures stalk the mansion’s basement bowling alley. It’s a dreamlike but friendly encounter. As much a tribute to surrealist painter Rene Magritte as Valentino.

The highest square-footage in the show likely goes to L’Esperance Design, Inc., turning the Grand Entry and Gentleman’s Study into uber-Baroque salutes to William Randolph Hearst. There is chrome-plated furniture galore —gleamingly monochromatic—as well a set of absolutely bizarre, black armchairs in the form of oversized animals. Care to lean back into a giant octopus?

Other highlights: In the Children’s Playhouse Bedroom, inspired by Jim Henson, Eric Brand turns The Muppets into high art. The Gun Room, by Nicholas Lawrence Interior Design, a tribute to NBC Entertainment Chair Robert Greenblatt, is the ultimate TV lounge, streaming Fred Astaire musicals. Mrs. Doheny’s Suite, in the hands of Kara Smith and SFA Design, becomes celebrity stylist Petra Flannery’s studio, with a closet that is a gallery of Hollywood glamour, including portraits of Natalie Wood and Elizabeth Taylor.

 “Titans of Business and the Best of Design” is open Thursday November 21 through Sunday, November 24, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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