L.A. at Home

Design, Architecture, Gardens,
Southern California Living

« Previous Post | L.A. at Home Home | Next Post »

Genesee: Neoclassical home as modernist design salon

September 23, 2009 | 12:00 am

Genesee-55.jpg home

When is a house not a home, you might ask? Possibly when everything in it is for sale. The project is the brainchild of the Artigas family--originally from Mexico City--who recently transformed a neoclassical home they own in West Hollywood's historic Spaulding Square into a unique showroom for design, fashion and art. 

Architect Alex Artigas took a modernist approach to the redesign of the interior of the 1920s residence now named Genesee for its location at the corner of Genesee and Fountain avenues. The grandson of well-known midcentury Mexican architect Francisco Artiqas says the unique showroom setting " is a contemporary investigation of the 18th century salon." 

The architect showcases his line of modern furnishings, sister Gabriela displays her cutting-edge jewelry (also sold at Moss). Another sister Teresita supervises the hand tailored couture line of Carla Fernandez from Mexico City, as well as all things tabletop, while mom, Teresita Tinajero, specializes in making her gourmet killer chipotle sauces that the kids have dubbed "My Mother's Salsa."  In addition to their own work, they also showcase an array of local and international designers and artists whose work they admire. Offerings include photography, ceramics, handmade shoes, eyewear and terrariums, priced from $9 for salt and pepper shakers to $9,000 for a suite of six drawings by artist Yuval Pudik.

Genesee is open Wednesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday through Tuesday by appointment, (323) 845-9821. For a peek at the home and stylish things inside--as well as last week's opening party, click here.  

Genessee 331

The 1920s remodeled living room features Alex Artigas' button-tufted 8-foot-long sofa, $2,600, and a solid walnut coffee table with a 2-inch thick top, $1,400. Accessories include vintage bronze deer, $900 for the pair, metal-glazed ceramic logs, $165, an oil painting (over the fireplace) by Lyn Winter, $1,075, and a long white ceramic leaf dish, $80. 

Genessee 302

Above: A jewelry designer, 26-year-old Gabriela Artigas stands in the small bedroom where a line of hand-tailored clothing designed by Carla Fernandez and made with indigenous communities in Mexico is displayed. Gaby wears her aluminum-and-sterling, double-braided Hannibal bracelet, $480 on one arm, and on the other, her 14K gold-filled chains and copper Bow bracelet, $120. 

Genessee 352

Guests hang out in the tiny bedroom, next to a case filled with handmade eyewear from England, against a black-and-white peacock-eye wallpaper custom designed by artist Nora Shields, $13 a square- foot.  Below: Guests, right, chat with jewelry designer Gaby Artigas.

Genessee 354

Genessee 323

An array of Gabriela "Gaby" Artigas' jewelry is on display next to the fireplace in the living room. Pieces range from $70 for a pair of copper earrings to $1,380 for a limited edition Hannibal necklace, shown below. "It's what I wear and what I want," says the designer of her jewelry creations that all feature her small trademark tusk. 

Genessee 324

Genessee 316

The dining room features a 2-inch solid walnut topped table by Alex Artigas, $5,500, vintage Mies van der Rohe chairs, $600 each, and a grouping of tabletop wares that range from a pair of $9 ceramic salt-and-pepper shakers to $14 ceramic coffee containers. The ceramic philodendron leaf dish is $69.

Genessee 314

Terrariums of handblown glass filled with succulents and grasses, $270, are designed for the Genesee salon by Pollen Botanical Design.

Genessee 336

Above: Walnut queen size platform bed by Alex Artigas, $6,400; diptych oil paintings by Lyn Winter, $1,675.  Below: A guest shops the bedroom closet filled with Odyn Vovk's custom leather jackets and Esquivel hand made shoes ($650 to $900); blue diptych paintings are by Lyn Winter, $875. 

Genessee 342

Genessee 340

A hip fashionista crowd fills the house on opening night, tequila-sangrias in hand.

Genessee 327

A budding designer tests the button-tufted couch by Alex Artigas in the living room. Mark Licari framed prints of a bat and a moth, above, are $900 each. "Everything in the house is for sale," says the architect.

--Barbara Thornburg

Photographs by Barbara Thornburg/L.A. Times