Interiorssneak peeks

A Childhood Home Transformed

by Amy Azzarito

Chris and Amber Earl have only lived in their home for two years, but Chris’ history with the house goes back all the way to his childhood. In the 1940s Chris’ grandparents built this North Hollywood tract home and he spent many a summer playing in the back yard. Now he shares it with his wife Amber, a fashion rep, and together they’ve found a way to transform the space into their own- including a hidden speakeasy that once served as his grandmother’s art studio! Chris works as a wildnerness chef but also loves woodworking and is launching a new furniture line soon. His design and carpentry skills have come in handy at home, where he’s built not only a custom dining table but a bookshelf that doubles as a hidden door to the art-studio-turned-speakeasy the couple uses when friends join them for a meal. Their entire home is full of family details, beautiful travel souvenirs and hand-crafted furniture, all of which seems right in line with the tradition started by Chris’ family. Thanks so much to Chris and Amber for welcoming us into their home and to Denise Bovee and Michelle Mosqueda for the lovely photos! –Amy

Image above: Our bed is the sexiest thing in our house. This king size monstrosity is elegant, yet still masculine. The tapestry and pillow sham were found in Istanbul on our honeymoon.

Image above: This is us sitting on our porch! My sweater is Townsen, my skirt is Parker, and my shoes are LD Tuttle, I work in contemporary fashion in sales and I actually rep Parker and Townsen. Chris’ shirt is Shades of Grey, and his boots are J Shoes.


Image above, bottom: This is our “fancy room” for cocktails and heart-to-hearts in front of the fire. The wooden wall in our front room is original and the scallops at the top were actually hand cut by Chris’ grandpa. We felt we could modernize the space by adding white and pops of brass as well as Chris’ modern furniture. The white basket end table is from fab and the one closest to the wooden wall is by our good friend Eric Trine. We got our Arne Norell couch at Mid Century LA and we love how it compliments Chris’ coffee table and T-lamp from his most recent collection. They’re the perfect combo. We scored the swivel chairs at St. Vincent de Paul and I reupholstered them with some beautiful fabric I found. One of our latest, most favorite additions is our painting from our friend, Joel Gasparotto. We felt that it added a unique touch and some personality to the room.

Image above: This is the first thing guests see when they come in the door. The cabinet is another thrift find that we painted with a pop of color to add charm. I change up the way I style it with candles, vases, coffee table books and little trinkets I’ve found on our travels or around town. I think that keeps things looking fresh and new.

Image above: This is the Tea Table from Chris’ new furniture collection, currently featured in our front room. It’s the perfect conversational piece that doesn’t take up too much space.

Image above: My best friend had all my best girlfriends get me different spices at my bachelorette party. She had them all put them in these adorable glass containers and labeled each one, such a creative idea! Our kitchen has pops of copper throughout that help bring the room together. The cheese boards are my personal favorite and were also made by Chris.

Image above: This dining area has so much character, I love the original built-in made by Chris’ grandpa. The chandelier was actually used at our wedding over the table we ate at. Chris put a light bulb through it and turned it into a light fixture for our home! The luxe dining table is, yes, you guessed it, also a piece from Chris’ Framework Collection. This six-foot table is the perfect mix of walnut and maple, and the white, simple chairs make a perfect match.

Image above: We use this space as our office. It is part of the main thoroughfare of our house, so we wanted it to feel special and be cohesive with the other rooms. This is our “ancestry wall” filled with old photos of our families. It’s really fun for people to look at them and see photos of where we came from. The console is another Framework Collection item, that has the perfect blend of wood, brass and glass. This console is also fun to change around and style differently as often as I can. Currently it’s styled with a Wolfum tray, Jonathan Adler bird vase, a hat and sword from Papua New Guinea and a few coffee table books among a few other trinkets and finds.

Image above: This is our den in which we spend most of our time. It was added on by Chris’ grandpa decades ago, and was originally part of the backyard. Our big 12-foot couch we had made allows for some fun gatherings where a lot of us can kick our feet up and relax. We love the obvious influence of Papua New Guinea this room has. The bow and arrows on the wall, the greenery and the rattan throughout the room really brings it together. I collected the vintage chairs and pillows, and I love Chris’ little x table that adds a meaningful element. Last but not least, that little shelving unit is actually a secret door that leads to our speakeasy that Chris designed and built.

Image above: We love to greet our guests with some sort of cheese board spread and fresh flowers. Luckily Chris is also a chef and food stylist so the cheese boards are usually a little over-the-top and kind of amazing.

Image above: Chris laid the terra cotta saltillo tile himself when we came home from our honeymoon. The best part is that they look original and match the flow of the house perfectly. I love the hanging planters on the wall we found at West Elm. Any way to add more plants, we’re in!

Image above: We completely demolished the bathroom and remodeled nearly everything except for the extra-large, walnut framed medicine cabinet. Chris also re-covered the counter with that beautiful walnut slab. The hand towel was found in Turkey on our honeymoon. My favorite part is the two vintage mirrors found from Playclothes Vintage.

Image above: Love the simplicity of the bathroom being all white with pops of the Black American walnut. We get the most comments on our hexagon tiled floor and the adorably tiny hide.

Image above: Our guest room has so much character with glimpses into all of our travels. The chartreuse walls compliment the large rug found on our honeymoon in Istanbul. The detailed walnut headboard and marble topped cabinets in the room were actually hiding in storage and belonged to Chris’ great-great-grandfather! The images on the wall were all shot on our travels together, and then blown up and framed.

Image above: This is Chris opening the shelving unit/door going into the speakeasy! He designed and built it out after we came up with the idea to put a secret room in what used to be a walk-in closet.

Image above: Inside the speakeasy.

Image above: This outdoor area is so special to us. Not only did Chris spend time playing in this backyard as kid, but we’ve also had so many epic family and friend gatherings here! He and I love to sit out here together while enjoying a weekend breakfast or a date night at home.

Image above: Chris designed and made this 12-foot, metal based table specifically for this space. It is perfect for the large feasts he puts together for our dinner parties. We really enjoy the hanging plants and we feel they add a fun element to the space.

Image above: The fruit trees at our house are a massive plus! We have a grapefruit tree, tangerine tree and orange tree that have all been there maturing and getting more awesome for decades now. To say we’re lucky is an understatement. Also, plenty of jumping competitions have occurred off of that roof and into the pool. Is it summer yet?

Image above: This is our “Dr. Seuss” cactus garden. Chris built this planter with scraps from the house during our remodel. He wanted only quirky, unusual plants to go into this garden area.

Image above: Our house used to look like the roughest on the block, but with with a little paint, some creative landscaping and some TLC, it’s now become a little easier on the eyes. We were very happy with the way the color of the house came out! It’s different enough to offset the stucco, but not too outlandish where it’s off-putting. The fence was built by Chris and his brother. Chris has had a serious love for greenery since growing up as a kid in Papua New Guinea. We did the landscaping ourselves with the help of some good friends. Our favorite detail is the railroad ties that border the lawn! They add a great rustic element and highlight the gravel walkway.

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  • I don’t usually like to comment but I have to say this is one of the best sneak peeks! It’s absolutely beautiful, I just love every part of it!

  • Though are are adorably rustic, railroad ties are soaked with all kinds of chemicals that seep into the ground and pollute the water supply. They should never be used as landscaping.

  • Though adorably rustic, railroad ties should never be used as landscaping. They are soaked with all kinds of chemicals and release them into the ground, polluting the water supply.

  • Thank you for sharing your beautiful and unique home. Amazing work by Chris, and your design aesthetic adds such warmth and charm. Congratulations on your happy home.

  • what a lovely, cozy home. Sweet patio. I could definitely see myself spend the entire day there, start off with a nice breakfast and get some work done. Pretty ideal spot!

  • Gorgeous. Love all the plants (including the “quirkies!), and the turquoise cabinet. The dining area has the most perfect warm glow.

  • Every detail of this home is perfectly placed. I adore the unique touches of personality that still allow the original home to maintain an element of character. Without chaining yourself to the past, you have still encapsulated the memories of childhood with a sophisticated ambiance. That speakeasy is…well…inspirational. I may be getting some design ideas of my own!

  • I love how personal every room in your house is. It made reading about it much more interesting. You both have great taste and I like how it all fits together so well. The exterior of the house looks really great. Modern, but still very quaint. The greenery throughout is gorgeous.

  • as a former MK (missionary kid) who also spent time in PNG, love seeing how you incorporated design elements from there! i have been meaning to hang some bilums (woven purses) on my wall. and the mix of old and new woodwork is awesome. v. well edited.

  • This is so beautiful and thoughtful. It’s personal and meaningful but with splashes of current pieces as well as treasures. I really love the mix that they’ve created, and I also really love the use of beautiful plants throughout as well.

  • wow! talented couple. love all the furniture. And, I think my favorite part is the interesting front yard…such a great mix of grass and plants, and hardscape. the whole home is super inspiring.

  • I love everything about this house: the decor and the SPEAKEASY!!! How awesome is that?! Beautiful and personal blend of old and new–the family history of the home and the couple is charming.

  • I rarely think of glass-top tables as my first choice, but this place really cements the notion that they can lend an elegance to a space, all the while maintaining an organic look. Super light, super pretty. Love the home.

  • This is great design for married/no kids.. I would love to see how you both modify your place with the addition of children. I hope to copy your wood focal point wall in our mid century mod home…. the smooth wood finishes are gorgeous as well…

  • An old room can be transformed into a modern dwelling by adding just the right features and accessories. I love how this living room has been transformed. Adding the white basket and glass table did the trick. If you are looking to modernize your space, take a cue from this; white and glass furniture pieces scream modern and contemporary.

  • Hi!
    I was so excited to see this because you installed the exact terra cotta tile in your kitchen that I am. Do you happen to know what color grout you used? Thanks!

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