Whenever I used to think about Hollywood, it conjured up images of seedy lingerie shops, tourists and street performers in dodgy superhero costumes. It may come from my first Hollywood experience in 2004, when my friend Maurice first showed me around Los Angeles… I remember walking down Hollywood Boulevard staring at those stars on the floor only to look up and see trashy lingerie store after trashy lingerie store. We met Heidi Fleiss that day, which is an encounter that has yet to be topped. Fast forward over a decade, and the face of Hollywood is changing almost as fast as mine.
Hollywood Proper Residences sits on Columbia Square, which was originally designed by William Lescaze in a Modernist style in 1938 to house CBS recording studios as well as an array of movie theatres. The area thrived for a long time, but around a decade ago the studios started moving to the valley, leaving the historic site abandoned… With the arrival of workspaces (NeueHouse), new eateries (Paley) and other companies and shops, there is hope to revitalize this little parcel of land and to restore it to its former glory.
In the middle of it you will find Hollywood Proper Residences, with 200 suites for long term rental, all designed by iconic California designer Kelly Wearstler. Picking Wearstler to design a property located on such an iconic plot of land in Hollywood makes complete sense: she is renowned as the voice of West coast design, with her often emulated Hollywood Regency, maximalist aesthetic. Inside Hollywood Proper Residences, every design feature has been carefully planned and thought out, from the use of textures echoed from bedrooms to bathrooms, to the artwork adorning the walls of the property which comes courtesy of emerging local artists and artisans including ceramicist Stan Bitter, craftswoman Tanya Aguiniga, and modern artists Morgan Peck, Laura Brandenburg, and Chris DiVincente who were all hand-selected by Wearstler herself.
Wearstler had already showcased her understanding of hotel living in her work at the Avalon and the Viceroy, but this is on another level altogether. This time it is about designing long-term living spaces for people she hasn’t met (and probably never will). I visited a few different units when I was there and while they all feature the same pieces of furniture, they still managed to all look different. You can definitely see Wearstler’s maximalist touch everywhere, but the place is still neutral enough to please everyone.