I have three homes, which symbolize Body, Mind and Spirit...The Cedars, a palatial historical estate which once encompassed terraced gardens lakes and fountains on 15 acres, was commissioned by French director and screen writer Maurice Tourneur (A Doll's House, Last of the Mohicans, Lorna Doone) in 1921 based on the Venetian styled palazzo of the Duke of Alba in Spain. Tourneur's masterpiece contains a multiplicity of magnificent details and reflects his creative vision. While Tourneur, in the midst of a divorce, decided to return to France before its construction was complete, the home subsequently served as host for a constellation of legendary Hollywood stars and musical royalty including Madge Bellamy, Norma Talmadge, Béla Lugosi, Errol Flynn, Howard Hughes, Marilyn Monroe, Jimi Hendrix, Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground, Dennis Hopper, Arthur Lee and the band Love, Bob Dylan, van Morrison, and Johnny Depp. It has also been featured in a number of Hollywood classics, including Sunset Boulevard (1949) and Easy Rider (1969).
In 2004, The Cedars attracted my attention and I immediately fell in love with the faded glamour and opulent details of the estate. I am known for my glamorous vintage inspired gowns featuring elaborately detailed couture elements, such as beadwork, appliqué, embroidery and hand painting. I had an immediate and natural affinity for the soaring bas relief ceilings, gilded columns, period ironwork, and frescoed archways of The Cedars, whose ornate details, grand style, and vintage provenance reflected my own romantic design sensibilities.
I would spend the next three years meticulously restoring the estate to its former grandeur and glory, while maintaining its patina of antiquity. I began the process by commissioning a team of European artisans lead by Zoltan Papp to restore each of the ceilings, archways, fireplaces, sculptural elements and columns in an intensive two year process that removed over 80 years of grime and dirt that had obscured much of the artwork. Next, I scoured the globe for antiques, from France, Spain, Italy, Morocco and England to create a unique environment to suit each of the estate's 16 rooms and 8 bathrooms. I also commissioned custom artwork and designed one of a kind upholstery patterns, pillows, and drapery to further enhance the rich detail oft he home. The result is one of the most dramatic and extraordinary estates in Los Angeles and a stunning homage to the iconic glamour of early Twentieth Century Hollywood.