Los Angeles House
Meghan Eisenberg spent a lot of time at her grandparents’ house in Los Angeles when she was a child. The interior designer has “clear recollections of executing diabolical tightrope acts on the platform’s wooden beams” and describes how his family would congregate there for special events like birthdays and vacations to spend the nights dancing on the elevated shag platform in the living room.
Eisenberg now serves as the CEO of his eponymous LA-based interior design business. The decorator, who is now a married mother of two, felt an extra sense of connection to the house. It was after all a labor of love created by her grandpa (midcentury architect Donald G. Park) in 1950 when he was a student at the USC School of Architecture. My great-grandfather, a skilled carpenter, helped him construct the house so that he could provide a comfortable home for his young family, which included my grandmother, Mary Ann, and their two children, my mother and uncle.
The Los Angeles area
Eisenberg’s grandmother died while she was a college student, but her grandpa remained in the house and practiced architecture until his death in 2020. Before he passed away, she was able to collaborate with him on a book detailing his significant works in the Los Angeles area. Therefore, it was an incredible honor for me to buy the home and turn it into a treasured heritage for my own family.
Yet Eisenberg found the idea of renovating his nostalgic house to be emotionally taxing. My mother and sister are all extremely brilliant interior designers, and I come from a long line of artists, designers, and architects. There was concern that I might make too many alterations to the home, erasing too many happy memories. Everyone did their share to hold me in check, and while it was sometimes difficult, it helped me strike the appropriate balance between making it my own and paying respect to its heritage.
Colors in the interior design
Eisenberg took inspiration from the home’s original structure, which had been built by her grandpa. For instance, the terracotta tiles in the dining room and entryway were brought back to their former grandeur, and the vertical tambour paneling, which had previously only been used in one tiny room, was expanded throughout the kitchen and dining area.
The wood paneling in the family room was also saved; however, a damaged area was patched with new walnut planks and allowed to “age” in the sun for a month. Not everything could be saved, but she made improvements that she knew her grandpa would enjoy, including having Luis Barragán-inspired plain-sawn hardwood flooring trucked in to replace the wall-to-wall carpeting.
Eisenberg went for a midcentury ranch look to amp up the pattern and color in the interior design. My mother was a ’60s flower kid, so I embraced florals and paisleys and gave them a more bohemian spin to reflect her upbringing in the home. I also made an effort to wear more of my favorite fabrics, such as corduroy, velvet, plaid, and gingham.
Smartest move I’ve made so far
Eisenberg spends many hours reliving her youth on the dance floor she and her husband built for their children, Agnes, 4, and Roman, 2. (the raised shag platform installed by her grandfather). There was a time when she “nearly got rid of it,” she says. I didn’t really need extra room, but a lot of people who came to see the renovation early on insisted that I get rid of it. She says, “In retrospect, preserving it only for its emotional worth was the smartest move I’ve made so far,” which is evidence that her grandpa remains her greatest partner and she remains his greatest pupil.
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