Interiorssneak peeks

Eclectic Glamour In Laurel Canyon

by Maxwell Tielman

The Los Angeles apartment that designer Sabin Ousey rents with his two roommates is, not surprisingly, very much in-line with the aesthetic of his own furniture — a mixture of new and old, romantic and bold, the familiar and the exotic. A resident of this particular apartment for four years (and the building itself for eight), Sabin has had ample time to cull a highly personal aesthetic, one that both complements and playfully contradicts the formal qualities of the space. Overall, the three-bedroom’s decorative scheme reads as an exercise in studied maximalism: a combination of luxe appointments, rich materials, and contrasting sizes, shapes, and textures. Sabin has drawn from numerous geographic and historical sources and dotted the space with various curiosities and objects of naturalia — a modern-day Kunstkammer of sorts.

In addition to the apartment’s beautifully eclectic aesthetic (one that Sabin’s friends joke has become almost like a “showroom” for his designs), the space came fortuitously outfitted with amenities most renters would be jealous of: two working bars (one in the living room and one in the TV room), a large open-air deck, and tall windows with views of the Hollywood Hills. “I probably can’t ever move,” Sabin jokes, “seeing how rents are only getting crazier in Los Angeles!” Not that he would ever need to — the spacious home seems the perfect space for relaxing, entertaining, and gatherings of good friends. —Max

Photos by Sharlene Durfey.

The living room. Most objects are vintage or part of Sabin's own line of furniture designs.
The sofa pictured here was designed for Sabin's line and based on a turn-of-the-century design that he found at a restaurant. The pillows were custom-made with fabric from Zak & Fox.
Close-up of the living room coffee table. Pot is by local ceramist ER Studio.
"The only thing from IKEA I own (I think) is this dining room table," Sabin notes. "The dining chairs are mid-century Paul McCobb and the Nelson bubble lamp is a classic—its style lends itself naturally to the apartment."
"Ive always had a love for nature and tend to collect natural objects that inspire me," Sabin says. "I'm sure each of the pieces of wood has a story."
"A leaning bookshelf I designed to hold my many coffee table books," Sabin notes. "It's ridiculous how many coffee table books are out there! The plates are by an artist I discovered in Palm Springs. They're of Joshua Trees."
"I found this giant solid brass eagle claw leg [left] at a junk store in North Hollywood," Sabin says. "Obviously it begged to made into a lamp."
One of the bars in Sabin's apartment, designed by Timothy Oulton. "The Asian artwork is a raised carved wood piece from the 50s," Sabin notes, "I inherited from my grandparents."
Sabin's breakfast room features a table that he had custom-made for the room, Paul Mccobb chairs, and a green paint color inspired by the green tiles in the kitchen.
One of Sabin's cabinets sits in the breakfast area and acts as a landing strip for mail, keys, and more.
Sabin's bedroom. The headboard and pillows were custom-made by Sabin. The pillows feature fabric by Zak & Fox. "The giant 'S' I've had for over a decade," Sabin says. "I used to live in the Mission district of San Francisco. During the first wave of gentrification, the neon-shop across the street was one of the first to go. I guess this has sentimental value more than anything."
"One of the walls in my bedroom," Sabin says. "I designed both the bookcase and chair and the rest of the items I've slowly collected over time."
The right side of Sabin's bedroom features a small seating area.
The gallery wall in Sabin's bedroom.
A Bertoia-inspired sculpture that Sabin created.
The apartment's deck, perfect for outdoor entertaining!

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  • Dear GOD do I want to live here. Like Kelsey, I also like the masculine take on trendier pieces – it gives it a sort of rich look, you know? And just knowing that this place is in Laurel Canyon…so dreamy.

  • I love the lamp base in the breakfast area (#10). Would it be possible to provide the source for it? The house is definitely not my style but I still love it!

  • Hi there

    what a totally interesting interior space this is. It is not my style in terms of the elements, but what does appeal to me whole-heartedly is the fact that it clearly is his ‘heart space’. Just viewing the space, with all its elements and its layers – one is able to see that he lives a life connected to his heart space – it shows. Well done.

  • really cool space. love all the furniture he has designed. and, that outdoor patio is stunning…i just want to soak up all that sunshine and color and pattern!