sneak peek: sarah kissell and gregory hubacek

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Sarah Kissell is a graphic designer and art director working under the studio name Pure Magenta. By day, she serves as the art director at Nasty GalGregory Hubacek is an independent designer and art director who works mainly with small businesses, non-profits and publications. They live just south of the Silverlake reservoir in Los Angeles, CA, in a 1930s home designed by William Kesling. The streamlined, modern style provides indoor/outdoor living and features large windows and lots of greenery. The couple strives for functional minimalism and flexibility, only owning items that serve a purpose or provide beauty. After moving almost yearly in the past, they’ve narrowed down their possessions significantly to provide maximum utility and minimum clutter. William Morris said it best: “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” Many thanks to Sarah and Gregory and to Scott Ener Grover for the photos! — Anne

Image above: As the only stand-alone piece of furniture in our bedroom, this dresser was purchased from a second-hand store locally. As with most things in our house, it’s far from perfect but just right for us. Most of the art or objects we tend to keep in our home were made by friends of ours, including this Eric Carlson pencil drawing, which has amazing detail created by the layering of material.


Image above: Gregory’s office is built around this vintage industrial desk purchased from Amsterdam Modern. The flea-market file cabinet keeps all messy essentials out of view, while the bookcase serves both functional and aesthetic purposes. The built-in bookcase is a great way to add a bit of color and personality to an otherwise white room.

See more of Sarah and Gregory’s home after the jump!


Image above: The big floor-to-ceiling windows are one of our favorite features of the building. They keep the living room bright and cheery in the morning and allow us to use minimal lighting. The vintage couch and chair are surprisingly comfortable after being refinished and reupholstered in black leather. Small touches like the custom-made rag rug and Claire Nereim’s “Summer Fruit” print provide subtle color.


Image above: A print in our living room combining two of Greg’s favorite and most disparate cultural icons: Scarface and Yoko Ono.


Image above: Pilastro-style magazine rack and side table


Image above: We keep some of our favorite books (and favorite covers) out for display in the built-in bookshelf.


Image above: The kitchen has these great wrap-around windows that are a common feature of Kesling homes. They make for a great place to have some breakfast or a casual meal. While the kitchen isn’t huge, it’s just big enough to be able to cook in without feeling cramped.


Image above: This James Joyce lips print hangs over our bed; it’s a favorite of Sarah’s (as is anything with lips on it).


Image above: Another Pilastro-style piece, this shelf is one of our favorite finds. It keeps our commonly used items, such as keys and sunglasses (this is California) neatly organized and provides another spot for Sarah to put lips on something.


Image above: A close up of our dresser in the bedroom shows the jar-turned-vase along with a Score and Solder terrarium and some random smelly bits.


Image above: Our bathroom is one of the more unique rooms in the house, mainly because we couldn’t paint it white. The frosted glass windows in what we call the “jungle shower” let a lot of morning light in and really expand the space.


Image above: While we don’t have a yard, we do have some outdoor space. This patio runs the length of the apartment and is half covered by a corrugated roof. This keeps the sun from making the house too hot during the warm afternoons, and provides a nice place to be on the rare occasion when it rains. We couldn’t find any planters we liked, so we made our own using cinder blocks. They block off the edge of the patio from our easily excited dog and give Charlie (our fig tree) a nice, clean home. A small hibachi grill completes the space and is great for parties.


Image above: On the far end of the deck, we created a little succulent and herb garden using cinder blocks and a wood frame. Mixed succulents populate the interior, while herbs we often use in cooking are housed in grout troughs on the top row. Jasmine plants flank the arrangement.


Image above: This is our dog, Mona. She’s a rescue from the North Central shelter, and according to her mother, the “cutest girl in the world.” The sweater is by friend and knitwear extraordinaire Annie Larson of ALL Knitwear.

  1. Wow – loving the clean lines and the mid-century modern vibe, not to mention all the lovely light!

  2. karoline says:

    beauiful home!

  3. Lela says:

    The magazine rack is awesome! Have to find a way to DIY it…

  4. I love your succulent herb garden! I have just the place in my backyard to try a similar style. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Fabiola says:

    Lovely home and I love all the lips :)

  6. Robin says:

    Amazing space! If I could add a touch of color (just a little, I swear!) to the walls, this would be my dream home. Major envy over all those windows.

  7. Diana says:

    This house is so lovely. I love that opening picture of that modern piece of furniture and your house has such a great feel. Comfy and modern. Perfection.

  8. Naomi says:

    This is my dream – to live in a Kesling in Sliverlake – lovely home!!

  9. steen says:

    Absolutely gorgeous. Your home is warm, bright, creative, loving….and design-tastic! I can’t wait to drink wine on your patio sometime.

  10. Kate says:

    There is a cuteness overload in this place! Love it!!!

  11. JB says:

    Lovely house. Is the top of the dresser in the first photo just painted white? I have a mid century sideboard which I love but the top is very water damaged and I’m thinking of painting it white or resurfacing somehow. Thanks

  12. Alex says:

    lovely home and I love her handwriting!

  13. em says:

    love this home!! so simple and beautiful! i love the terrace!

  14. Natsumi says:

    Beautiful. I love the very first poster the most.

  15. This is a great post, what a lovely and creatively designed home!

  16. This is definitely one of my favourite Sneak Peeks! I love the colour of the kitchen cabinets and that dresser in the first pic is fab!

  17. sarah says:

    Loving the kitchen; all that light. Also loving the bathroom, reminds me so much of the interior designs mags and books my dad kept from the 80s/90s which I love.

  18. I always look forward to reading your posts! Those photographs are just breath taking! Thanks for such an enjoyable post :)

  19. Martha Kissell says:

    As always, you all do things with such great style! mak

  20. Allison says:

    Congrats Sarah & Greg! What a beautiful place! And what a beautiful Mona!

  21. You guys are super stylish!!!!!

  22. Jo Kin says:

    Cool Space, very clean!

  23. Tutkin says:

    The interior is altogether very nice, but I must admit that I miss something with strong character…
    Like an M Chair bySvilen Gamolov or – more chic: maybe a Maori Chair by Brabbu?
    http://www.brabbu.com/upholstery/maori.html

  24. Lovely sleek and modern design with great touches of colour here and there. The only room I’m not a fan of is the bathroom, but with the rest of the house looking that good, I’d be very happy to live there anyway!

  25. emr says:

    aaaah where is that scarface/yoko print from? i love it.

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