Perhaps it’s the 1960s Jansen Louis XVI–style lyre-back chairs admiring their own comely reflections in the louche-glam 1970s mirrored dining table. Or the rare 1985 Philippe Starck chair—a welcome reminder of the designer’s early, mad genius—poised nonchalantly beneath an unimpeachable Noguchi paper lantern in the primary bedroom. Or maybe it’s the antique Louis XV fauteuil upholstered ever so daintily in the same Sister Parish linen that covers the walls and daybed of the sitting room. Connoisseurs of great design will have a difficult time selecting a favorite vignette among the plethora of sensational moments at the Los Angeles home of AD100 designer Oliver M. Furth and brand strategist Sean Yashar. Within a classic 1950s California canyon house perched in the hills above Hollywood, the inveterate collectors have marshaled an astonishing array of objects and materials in ensembles that highlight shared aesthetic genealogies while forging connections among disparate times, places, and styles. In short, there’s an embarrassment of riches.
“This house represents the same design conversation we’ve been having since our very first apartment together. It’s not a preconceived idea about one particular style or aesthetic. We’re trying to stimulate dialogues between the artists, makers, and objects that we love and champion,” says Yashar, founder of the LA-based consultancy The Culture Creative. “The house incorporates things we came to the relationship with, things we’ve acquired together, and things we commissioned specifically for this project. I’ve been buying furniture since I was 16 years old, like a crazy person,” Furth adds. “But we didn’t want a decorative arts museum. The focus is always on livability—creating rooms where we can live comfortably and graciously with great things.”
Consider the kaleidoscopic living room, a perfect encapsulation of the couple’s penchant for mixing high and low, old and new, rugged and refined. The heady brew encompasses a mica-clad table by Jean-Michel Frank, an 18th-century parcel-gilt fauteuil, a 19th-century Japanese lacquered cocktail table, a midcentury Edward Wormley settee, a pair of post-modern end tables by Peter Shire from 1981, and a 1990 Joel Stearns cardboard chair. Works of contemporary design and art by Adam Silverman, Ryan Belli, Kueng Caputo, Justin Beal, Anne Libby, and Mary Weatherford (whose landmark house Furth renovated; AD, December 2020) bring the decorative salmagundi squarely into the present day.
But it’s not simply a matter of acquiring a trove of far-flung design treasures and tossing them into the same room willy-nilly, a feat anyone with a Pinterest account, a curious imagination, and a healthy bank balance could accomplish. “Oliver is like a conductor. He brings together this ensemble cast of important pieces and up-and-coming talents, and he creates a symphony that feels conceptually cogent and visually dazzling,” Yashar says of his estimable partner, whose first monograph is being published in spring 2024. “And we change things up all the time. It’s a game we’re constantly playing, creating new stories and narrative threads. This is how we have fun,” he insists.
The entry and the kitchen are separated by a new floor-to-ceiling storage unit clad in various shades of green laminate, a nod to the verdant canyon surroundings and the house’s midcentury pedigree. In the kitchen, Furth and Yashar experimented with materiality by juxtaposing the laminate patchwork cabinetry with warm walnut paneling and gray terrazzo-like stone counters. “I wanted to recontextualize laminate. There’s so much history embedded in the material. It feels like a throwback to the 1950s, but it also speaks to 1980s postmodern design,” Furth explains. Between the kitchen and living room, a de facto gallery showcases the couple’s extensive LA-centric ceramics collection on a custom Waka Waka display unit, set beside one of Dan Johnson’s signature Gazelle tables with wood-stump mushroom stools by the legendary decorator Michael Taylor. “It’s a real California moment,” Furth opines.