Getting crafty with design

This bathroom was added to an upstairs guest room and it features a walk-in shower and closet space behind a sliding door on the right.

Actress Christina Hendricks (Mad Men, Good Girls) worked with Linda Koopersmith, The Beverly Hills Organizer, on the remodel of a 1908 Craftsman home, which features a gourmet kitchen and hidden storage spaces. While Koopersmith’s organization and design experience, and spatial vision were pivotal with many of the architectural design renovations, it was Hendricks who added her interior design touch throughout the remodeling of this investment home in Los Angeles.

Christina Hendricks has a love of design that is often inspired by her work and travels.

Closets & Organized Storage magazine spoke with the Emmy-nominated star on her design choices, style, and inspiration.

Do you have a design style? Or is it just what feels right for the space?

I think it’s what feels right. And I definitely get an inspiration and kind of use that as my base. But I think I read somewhere, at some point, someone says, ‘If you love it, it will all go together.’ So, I don’t get too hung up on saying, ‘Oh, this isn’t very Craftsman, or this is too Art Nouveau or this is too Art Deco.’ I think there’s a way that they can all kind of complement one another and live harmoniously. If you love them. You can figure out a way, but I do want to make sure that it doesn’t look like a museum or that it’s [so much of] one style that you can’t introduce something, so I love adding modern pieces and rustic pieces. Even if you’ve got something super deco that seems quite formal, I think it’s great to throw something rustic next to it. I like to keep an open mind. If you love it, you can find a way to make it work.

Regarding the original components of the Craftsman, how much did you keep?

If I could keep it or reproduce it, I kept pretty much everything. [In the dining room was a] classic built-in China cabinet. [It] was just so beautiful. We wanted to save that no matter what, but unfortunately, the first person who worked on it really just sort of [botched it]. It was in beautiful condition, so I don’t even know what they were thinking or doing over there, but they just chopped it up. So, there was a lot of replacing doors and sanding things down, and just keeping as much as possible.

Can you talk about the color scheme and natural lighting and how that plays throughout the home?

It’s a smaller home and it’s sort of cottagey; you can see from one room into the next. So, I wanted all the colors to sort of pick up where one left off. You’ll catch the green from the kitchen and the leaves in the wallpaper in the dining room. And then you’ll catch the yellow in the dining room leading you into the living room, and then the colors in the fringe lamp will take you into the little fireplace room that has the burgundies and the pinks and the roses. Which all sort of carries into the dining room again with the table and the birds and the flowers [that appear] in the wallpaper. And I tried to lead that design up the stairs. One really does sort of inform the other. So that was definitely a big inspiration.

What influenced your design choices for the living room?

When I did the living room, I knew that I wanted it to be cozy, and I wanted it to be Craftsman and jewel toned. For some reason, at the front of this house — maybe it’s the shape of the house — it reminded me of an acorn. I call it the Acorn House. I kept having ideas of these rich, earthy colors. I was really drawn to the yellow, but I was terrified of it. I must have tried five different yellows and kept coming back to that one. And then finally decided to pull the trigger and let that sort of be the inspiration for the rest of the room. But I wanted this warm saffron, earthy, homey feel.

I love that each room also retains its unique character, especially the space with the fireplace.

To me, a fireplace is like the heart and soul of the home. If you’ve got a grandfather clause in Los Angeles to keep your fireplace, to me, it’s like an absolute must. But it’s also an opportunity to be like ‘this is a special room that you just go into to relax and use the fireplace.’ So, I wanted to be a little bolder in there and take some risks with the colors, which I think ended up being really unique and special.

So, moving to the rooms upstairs, can you talk about the decision to not only add a bathroom to the guest bedroom but include a small closet in that space?

It was really our only choice. Initially, that whole space was, I guess you almost considered it a walk-in closet. It had a built-in dresser and sloped ceiling because of the shape of the roof. There was just so little we could do with that space. And we definitely needed another bathroom in order to make it a modern living space. We just can’t have one bathroom for three bedrooms. So, it was an absolute necessity and that was where Linda really shined because we were told we couldn’t have a shower in this space, and we couldn’t have a toilet. And we were like, ‘Yes, we can and we will and we’re gonna figure this out.’

Linda has done a lot of work in other cities, especially New York, where it’s all about space management and every inch is important. I’m much better at finding finishes and aesthetics. In between scenes on set [Linda would call and say,] ‘I need a shower in this size.’ And I would spend every moment in between takes when I wasn’t working on my lines, ordering showers and [other needed items]. I knew the look that I wanted for that shower because I’ve seen that beautiful industrial look in so many magazines. I was able to find a less expensive version of it. It’s not the real iron, but in that small room with the lighting as such, it still really looks rich. And it looks like what I’ve been seeing on Pinterest and in Elle Decor. So, it was exactly what I was looking for.

This door, slightly hidden behind the wallpaper, opens into a walk-in closet.

The primary bedroom has a few hidden features. Can you talk about that design choice?

It was truly a solution from Linda as well. I mean, first of all, you would never know that a wall had been moved over in the hallway. There was a linen closet in the exact same spot. But instead of it being inset into the wall, it was jutting out. And by moving all the walls over, we gained, I think she said 16 to 18 inches in the bathroom. We still have the linen closet, but now it’s seamless to the wall. So it doesn’t look like it’s just sort of coming out of nowhere. And then we moved the walls of the bedrooms over. I was afraid it was going to make the guest bedroom tiny, but we actually gained more space in the primary bedroom.

We have one little space in the primary in the corner that has some mechanicals in it that we just couldn’t get rid of. So there’s a little sort of dogleg in there, but we finished it with furniture, so it looks intentional. And I plan to hang art on it so that it’ll all look as if it was it was meant to be. While it was a pretty big deal moving walls around, Linda made it look pretty seamless. And if you walked up there now, you would have no idea that it wasn’t built that way originally.

How did you come up with the design for the hidden primary bedroom closet?

Linda moved the door over so that it was centered in the room. Originally we had planned on making it look like a hidden bookcase which would have been great, but I said, let’s just make this a disappearing wall and bring the wallpaper all the way across. I put a beautiful Art Nouveau press plate on it, so you can’t tell it’s a door. Instead of it taking up more space on the wall and looking like a closet that was sort of shoved in there, it uses that space wisely while still allowing room for a side table and for the bed. I think it’s beautiful because the wallpaper is so gorgeous.


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About the author
Michaelle Bradford | Editor

Michaelle Bradford, CCI Media, is Editor of Closets & Organized Storage magazine and Woodworking Network editor. She has more than 20 years of experience covering the woodworking and design industry, including visits to custom cabinet shops, closet firms and design studios throughout North America. As Editor of Closets & Organized Storage magazine under the Woodworking Network brand, Michaelle’s responsibilities include writing, editing, and coordinating editorial content as well as managing annual design competitions like the Top Shelf Design Awards. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media.