Back to Nature: Green ideas and fashion forward style revive a West Coast Condo
July-August, 2008 | Written by Norman Koplas | Photographed by Grey Crawford | Produced by Char Hatch Langos
FOR LOS ANGELES RESIDENT ADAM COULTER being green is not merely a question of following the current fashion. It’s a direct response to his own life’s trials and triumphs. The 27-year-old screenwriter and actor successfully battled cancer in his early teens and has been in remission for 13 years. “From then on,” he says, “I wanted to live as healthfully as possible, from what I cat to the environment that surrounds me.” So, with the help of Beverly Hills—based designer Lori Dennis, ASID, Coulter has created the ideal green environment in a third-floor Century City condo. les filled with finishes and furnishings bath eco-friendly and health conscious—for example, flooring of sustainably grown bamboo, draperies made predominantly of organic linen, tiles of recycled glass, and wall paint free of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). “Green living is about doing things that improve our lives, the environment, and our economy,” says Dennis, an Accredited Professional in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design initiative of the U.S. Green Building Council. “And our homes can play a crucial role in that equation.” Coulter bought the 2,000-square-foot home two years ago after selling his holistic nutritional supplement business so he could dedicate himself full-time to his film career. What drew him was the inspirational view of the writers’ bungalows on the adjacent 20th Century Fox lot. “It’s my dream,” Coulter says, “to get over to the other side of that fence.” Vantage point aside, however, his new place needed work. Every detail glaringly betrayed its mid-1970s origins, including the white faux-velvet carpeting, diagonal wood-and-minor paneling, a two-story lava-rock fireplace surround, and a spray-on acoustic popcorn ceiling. “Step one,” Coulter says. “was pretty much to gut it from the floor up.” Before the demolition phase, Dennis and her team told Coulter “Collect magazine pictures of interiors you like, so we know the look you want.”
SOFA TABLE Reusing an old leather sofa as seating along a custom table stained with a nonpolluting AFM Safecoat helped the narrow dining area feel spacious and comfortable. So did removing the old kitchen’s pass-through. below. and propping a 9×4-foot mirror against the far wall.
SLEEK OFFICE Whether writing screenplays or paying bills, the homeowner works at a vintage metal desk refinished in orange at an auto-body shop. Replacing dated wood-and-mirror paneling inset below clean white VOC-free paint now covers the walls.
WALKING ON AIR The old staircase, above, was a space-wasting eyesore. Securely bolted into structural beams new steps right topped with travertine seconds seem to float in space and visually open up the foyer. ‘met Adam Coulter surveys the scene.
Minimal structural changes maximized the desired spacious effect in the redo of the 2.000-square-foot condo-for example, eliminating the wet bar in the dining room and connecting that area directly to the kitchen: replacing a boxed-in staircase with a floating design; and streamlining the master bedroom and its ad-joining bath. “Our goal:’ says designer Lori Dennis. “was to open up the whole space, giving it a loft-like feeling:
WATER CURE Wall and floor tiles of blue-green recycled glass bestow a seaside serenity on the master bath, top, which was previously awash in builders-grade white ceramic tile, above. The cast-concrete sink gains durability from the inclusion of fly ash, a recycled residue of coal combustion. In the dressing room. right, Ikea cabinets and baroque wallpaper create the ambiance of a stylish retail boutique.