This Interior Designer’s LA Bungalow Perfectly Embodies Her Maximalist Spirit

Francesca Grace is a city girl, but the kind that owns chickens, rides horses, and spends her free time scouting out the next swimmable lake. “I’m a grandma at heart,” says the interior designer, who also double-hats as a home stager under her eponymous brand Francesca Grace Home. One look inside her 1920s-inspired Silver Lake, Los Angeles, bungalow, and you know she isn’t wrong. “My last home was an actual 1920s build, but I was forced to say goodbye because the floorboards were falling apart,” says Francesca, a Northern California native who moved to LA 11 years ago. What she wasn’t prepared to part with was the magic of the decade it was built in. So what if her next home wasn’t from the 1920s? She could always make it look like it was.

The front door opens into a funky little living room enlivened in Plantasia wallpaper and Myrtle paint, both by House of Hackney. “I wanted it to feel magical,” says Francesca, admitting that it was the hardest part of the design process given the nature of the original layout. The fireplace was nonfunctional, so she filled it with candles to still accomplish the feeling of a real hearth, “and it worked!” The lampshades are handmade by Dede Chiloiro. The sofas are vintage finds, reupholstered in House of Hackney’s ARTEMIS fabric in the color Eucalyptus. The curtains are from Wayfair.

Bringing back the past was one thing, but summoning it from across the pond was quite another. “I wanted something that felt like it could belong in the countryside, maybe on the border of France and Italy, but also something that straddled eras and felt lived-in, cozy, and unpredictable,” says Francesca. As a maximalist with a thing for cottagecore, her sourcing strategy was simple: anything she brought in had to have a past life.

The dining room is the heart of the home, and Francesca’s preferred spot for entertaining. As she tells it, it took six people to haul in the vintage onyx dining table, originally from Italy, “but the effort was well worth it in my eyes.” She offset the peachy orange tones of the table with a hushed vintage Turkish rug, curtains from Wayfair, and One Allium Way’s Chateau Toile wallpaper.

“I would say more than 60% of the furniture I own is vintage, upcycled, or handmade. Everything has a history, which I love,” says the designer. One case in point is the curved sectional in the living room, which, as she puts it, “screams me the loudest,” and which she thrifted and reupholstered in a House of Hackney fabric and embellished with a fringe. “I am obsessed with that fringe. There’s something about the way the light shines through it in the morning and at night,” she adds. Other novelties include decorative table lamps, accent pillows, and chandelier shades handmade by her sister, muralist and textile artist Dede Chiloiro, in the living room and bedroom.

Francesca turned a part of the kitchen into a casual dining nook by way of an antique dining table which she describes as magic: “It’s perfect for a casual meal, or for enjoying a coffee while watching the birds.” She chose a blue Marly wall covering from Scalamandre to set the space apart from the rest of the house. “The blue is so lively and inspiring, and I love waking up and walking in there every morning. It makes me so happy.” The ceiling lights wear Alice Palmer’s Triple Red Ric Rac shade.

The walls weren’t exempt from time travel. “They were too white and too new for my personal style,” says Francesca, who papered them through and through until there was no white left in sight. (Her favorite is the textured grasscloth House of Hackney wallpaper in the living room, which she says inspires the most beautiful warmth.) “What was once so sterile turned into a cozy, moody sanctuary that’s perfect for me and my chickens,” she muses. Some things, such as the natural oak floor, the living room fireplace, and the wainscoting in the dining room, were left the way they were in a deliberate effort to honor the home’s history.

When it came to choosing a primary between the home’s two bedrooms, Francesca followed the light—literally. “Both bedrooms were the same size and equally cozy. But morning light is important to me, which led me to choose the front bedroom,” shares the designer, who animated the walls in a lively poppy print wallpaper by Shaakh. She added personal touches too, in the way of pillow covers and lampshades handmade by her sister, Dede Chiloiro.
The bedding and mirror in the primary bedroom are from Parachute Home and Anthropologie, respectively.

The 1920s were great, but they didn’t really care much for sofas. “The living room layout was tricky to navigate. It peaks right into the dining room, so I wanted to be extremely careful with furniture placement, as I hate feeling cramped,” Francesca notes. A curved sofa, then, felt like the only way to go. And because she didn’t want the TV to be the focus, she chose Samsung’s Frame TV, which masquerades as a piece of art when not in use. As she recalls, another challenge was the primary bedroom, which was much too small for the king-size bed she had designed for her last house. “I had to switch to a lower bed frame, but thanks to lots of wallpaper and textured bedding, it all worked out in the end.”

Francesca decided to turn the rear bedroom into a closet. “I still wanted it to be a functional guest room, so I had to lose a neighbor-facing window. I normally would never cover any natural light, but this was a tricky situation,” she says. The walls wear a coat of Farrow & Ball’s Sulking Room Pink. The Estelle bed frame is from Francesca’s own furniture line.

Francesca admits that she sourced the piano on a whim. “There was something so musical about this house that I decided it absolutely needed one,” she explains. “The best part is that I do not have an ounce of musical talent, and I found the piano for free, but now it has become the life of the party. Luckily, most of my friends are musical geniuses, so now I get in-house concerts whenever I host.”

In the summer, Francesca can usually be found in the garden, tending to her chickens or tidying up her cauliflower patch. “It’s such a great place to work or read or just be,” she enthuses.
In the summer, Francesca can usually be found in the garden, tending to her chickens or tidying up her cauliflower patch. “It’s such a great place to work or read or just be,” she enthuses.

Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest

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