Celebrity hair stylist gives English cottage some Hollywood glam
In the last five months, hair stylist Robert Vetica has traveled to San Francisco, New York, Mexico City, Hong Kong and Rio de Janeiro, working with actresses Cate Blanchett, Jessica Simpson, Naomi Watts and Hilary Swank. Fortunately for Vetica, he doesn’t have to go far Sunday, when he preps Salma Hayek for the Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Because he travels more than half the year for work, Vetica treasures his moments at home in Los Angeles. “My home is a retreat for me,” he says of the house he shares with his husband, Giorgio Vetica. “I love beautiful things: shine, glamour. That’s what I do.”
The devotion to Hollywood glamour makes his choice in houses something of a surprise: a 1928 English cottage.
“We realized that yes, maybe it didn’t have everything we wanted at the time, but with time, we can make it our dream home,” says Vetica, who bought the house with Giorgio 10 years ago. “That’s what has happened.”
Subtle alterations have opened the interiors of the traditional house and bring in light. A few walls were taken down, and the kitchen was doubled in size after an adjacent laundry room was turned into a breakfast nook. The den and kitchen open to a patio that extends the living space into a lush landscape.
The couple wanted to maintain the integrity of the house, so new windows reflected the cottage’s original style. The kitchen was updated with amenities for cooking and entertaining but not made too modern, Vetica says. For help with finishing touches, he turned to interior designer Michelle Workman, whom he met last year while they were working with Jennifer Lopez.
Workman focused on adding some understated glamour through fabrics and color choices, using Vetica’s Steinway piano and artworks by Sophie Campbell, Lillian Bassman and Francesca Tolot as inspiration.
"Glamour is soothing to the eye, it’s smooth,” Workman says. “ I like to introduce a little bit of metallic in the fabrics. I introduced both gold and silver in the metals. That’s one of my little tricks — to mix the two. If you go all silver, people think that’s Hollywood glamour, but it’s not. That’s really cold. The gold gives it some richness and warmth without it being Rococo weird.”
The living room shimmers with silver and gold accents. Silver side tables, lamps and curtain rods, as well as drapes with a metallic herringbone weave add some opulence to the room’s light grays and beige tones. So do bronze and steel benches by designer Sami Hayek, Salma’s brother. These bits of bling are balanced with some natural beauty: An oversized mirror reflects a tree framed by the room’s picture window.
For more texture and sheen, a black velvet wingback chair and the Steinway anchor opposite corners of the room. And on the floor in front of the fireplace: a sleek, polished slab of quartz.
Outside, the couple landscaped with bamboo, lavender and succulents for a sense of peace and calm. Bougainvillea and wisteria frame the outdoor dining room, and for a bit more color, the couple painted the wall behind the saltwater pool a serene blue. The garage was remodeled into a guest house, which Vetica uses as an office and art studio.
The result is a casual English cottage with a distinctly L.A. twist — an unlikely mix of tradition and glam.
“I have lived all over the world in my life: Greece, Italy, France, New York,” Vetica says. “When I came here, it never occurred to me that I would stay.” Fashion and hair styles come and go, but his home? It’s a look he intends to wear for some time.
-- Lisa Boone, email@example.com
Photos, from top: Robert Vetica, left, and Giorgio Vetica in the living room of their Los Angeles home; a part of the yard where a driveway was broken up for a softer, casual look; Giorgio, friend Dayna Zegarelli and Robert in the new kitchen, which has an island on wheels and whose look was intended to be updated but not too modern; and the backyard pool and dining area set under wisteria. Credit: Mel Melcoln / Los Angeles Times