An L.A. designer creates a sleek West Hollywood penthouse

Photography: Stephen Busken

For a well-traveled client, Kara Smith of KES Studio created a soaring, light-filled West Hollywood penthouse she describes as “a space that aesthetically was in line with the Southern California locale while also focusing on the functionality of the spaces. The owner is very sophisticated and has a heightened expectation of living with the best, most luxurious and most comfortable interiors.” One of the challenges, Smith notes, was that she and her team sourced many fabrics and furnishings in Europe, “which was fruitful in that we were able to achieve the level that was expected,” she says. “However, while everything came out as intended, there were a few items that we didn’t get the chance to see before delivery, so we were waiting in anticipation.” All turned out very well, as the finished design “reflects a California vibe with a sophisticated and luxurious take on Hollywood glam,” she says. “All of the furnishings were surprisingly comfortable, on a California scale.”

Main materials include handmade wallcoverings, plaster finishes, and stone imported from Italy that are “unique and have a lot of movement and texture,” Smith says. Custom pieces from Italy blend with oversize stone furniture, a handmade bench in the primary bedroom, and art pieces by James Nares, Kieff, Herve Van Der Straeten and Luca Stefano. These provide a perfect complement to perhaps the most dramatic of all the spaces—the outdoor area, which has 360-degree view of L.A., with a large dining and kitchen area and a sleek poolside lounge. “Early on we spent a lot of time understanding the client’s vibe, favorite vendors, budget, and overall design so I was confident at the onset in terms of what we needed to accomplish.” KES Studio,

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