art aerie in mt. washington

An aerie is described as “a house, fortress or the like, located high on a hill or mountain.” An art aerie would have to be a house high on a hill filled with art. That’s exactly what the house on Glenalbyn Drive in L.A.’s trendy Mt. Washington area became once we staged it. Working with amazing canvases from local Eastside artists Carlos Nieto and Michael Rascon, we brought a Mid Century modern vibe and jolts of fresh color into this stunning architectural home with high vaulted ceilings and white gallery-ready walls.

Perched on the edge of a hill on the more rural side of Mt. Washington, the house on Glenalbyn proved the ideal venue for evocative art and modern furnishings.


We love Carlos Nieto’s paintings of succulents and lined them up in the entry.

The living room features two modern lounge chairs and a matching sofa with tufting, a faux-guchi (faux Noguchi) coffee table and an arc lamp. Half of Michael Rascon’s X-ray Horse is seen on the left of the sofa…

… and the other half on the right. We used dark upholstered furniture and deeply stained wood to contrast with the light bamboo flooring and white walls.

We added pops of color to tie-in visually with the art, like pillows and throws with vivid shades of orange and brown.

A curvy modern vase, a few books and a wire magazine holder with Nat Geos are all that’s needed to accent the scene.

Over the mantel, another piece by Michael Rascon, depicting a woman with her hand over her face, bringing in more rich and bright colors.

An IKEA SANDSKAR table holds an aged-finish vintage brass tray.

The dining area, to the left of the fireplace. A large chandelier defines the space. We brought in a transitional dark wood table and acrylic TOBIAS chairs from IKEA because they virtually disappear. More original art on the walls, earthy stoneware and a trio of simple vases.

A view into the kitchen from the open concept dining area reveals massive butcher block counter tops and crisp white cabinets.

A view from the dining area into the living room.

We lined up four acrylic bar stools along the bar to match the dining chairs.

New stainless steel appliances and high contrast white and wood combine in this large “cook’s kitchen.” We had a lot of fun styling the space both over and under the upper cabinets.

Rattan-wrapped glassware, artisanal plates and more art in the kitchen. Views out the kitchen window — and from all over the house — stretch across the L.A. river basin.

A vintage wicker-wrapped wine bottle with cookbooks in the background.

A trip down the stairs to the bedroom level treats the eye with another Carlos Nieto original painting. This one depicts an Aztec goddess with a python.

The master bedroom with modern style bed and paperclip leg side tables from Modernica. Glass lamps, a jute rug, a Mexican blanket and a Navajo inspired pillow add a visual jolt in B&W but don’t distract.

A Carlos Nieto painting of a woman with paper cranes in the master bedroom. A Mid Century modern style dresser provides an anchor point below the painting.

Simple original B&W photographs of nature scenes fill out the opposite wall.

An African figurine stands guard on a bedside table.

A few blue and violet accents on the dresser top, with the flesh tones of the painting in the background.

A view into the master bedroom from the hallway leading to the master bath.

We love small global accents for bedside tables, like these boxes.

The home office is modern, clean and spare, with IKEA’s VITTSJO laptop desk and NANDOR chair. A green 1950s meets 1980s retro style chair with a B&W throw and a framed photo of a ship’s bow.

We put a LACK storage unit on its side and accented it with a handmade vintage pottery lamp and some sweet details.

We found a 1970s Italian ski poster and a random drawing of a book author to frame.

The guest room with a dark headboard flanked by a pair of Mid Century modern style nightstands.

We bought the Art Nouveau poster for $4.99 at a thrift shop and framed it in IKEA’s largest RIBBA frame at $24.99. Instant art credibility.

The master bathroom is a symphony in blue and green glass mosaic tile. A serene and peaceful retreat from the stresses of modern life. We brought in the only thing that was missing — earthiness and comfort in the form of global, ethnic wooden accents and fluffy towels.

A yoga/meditation room off the master hallway is treated to a cozy tribal pattern rug and large B&W nature photography.

A couple of free weights and yoga mats and a few pillows on the floor are all that’s needed to identify this as a space solely for the refreshment of body and mind.

An original oil painting of a nude in the master hallway.

We love styling bathrooms with original and quirky global accents.

We found the vaguely Thai looking female figure at a vintage shop, and have given her the job of guarding the sponge and soap.