A few weeks back, costume designer Gordana Golubovic emailed me photos of her Spanish-style remodel in LA’s Los Feliz neighborhood. I immediately envied the outdoor gravel garden and luxe, summer-ready pool and the airy, open interiors, wth neutral textures and and French doors and windows that open to the gardens from nearly every room. But the house was far from luxe when owner Gordana Golubovic first purchased it June of 2015: “Abandoned for seven years, it was boarded up by the city, ravaged by squatters, invaded by vines and branches,” she says. “On the day we came it was gloomy and rainy, and what little light that existed was blocked out by the boards on the window. There were drawings on the wall, stained carpets, the electric and water were disconnected.” But for Golubovic took on the challenge: “It was love at first sight. I could not wait to get started,” she says.
Golubovic started renovating homes with her mother at a young age, experimenting with textures and layouts, before becoming a period costume designer for film. “It was a natural transition, because it was again creating with materials and transforming,” she says. “I really have a love for natural materials, whether plaster, concrete, wood, linen, cashmere, or hemp.” Case in point: the mix of textures and high/low collection of vintage finds and DIY that gives her LA remodel a low-key summer vibe. Join us for a tour.
Photography by Lauren Moore.
Golubovic bleached and soaped the original wood floors with WOCA lye and soap products (see Remodeling 101: Easy Whitewashed Scandi Floors), and removed drywall to expose the ceiling beams. The silk light is by Danish company Ay Illuminate, purchased from Lost & Found. Golubovic’s collection of vintage African wooden vessels and baskets line reclaimed wood shelves.
Originally, the now-kitchen area was comprised of a tight galley kitchen (complete with a washer and dryer) and a small bed and bath. She removed the bedroom and walls to create an open kitchen-dining space with custom cabinets and limestone counters. (“Everyone thinks it’s concrete, but it will never crack,” Golubovic says. “I made the guy go through 25 slabs before i found the perfect one.”) Above the stove is a custom vent, plastered to match the walls.
For the dining area, Golubovic hired a Hungarian craftsman to make a 14-foot built-in bench out of bleached and soaped alder wood. “It’s a place where many people can gather and lounge, and it connects to a big outdoor terrace,” she says. “If you sit right in the middle there is this amazing view through the front door of the city skyline and a cactus.” On the other side of the table: Japanese stools from County Ltd. The windows are fitted with latches from Liz’s Antique Hardware. The brass pendants are vintage Alvar Aalto.
Above L: In an upstairs bath, twin Duravit Vero sinks outfitted with Phylrich brass fixtures and fringed Totokaelo/Scents and Feel towels. Above R: A smaller bath features a Lacava Twin Baby sink with a mirror from Lawson Fenning.
For more summery LA spaces, see our posts: