In a lofty and legendary Los Angeles district favored by such residents as Dean Martin and Ringo Starr, Redd Kaihoi orchestrated a fairy-tale ending for a client who was on the brink of his next chapter.
Step Into This Glam Los Angeles Home Designed By Redd Kaihoi
Once upon a time there was a Houston-based client who had his heart set on moving into—in the words of his interior designers—”a magnificent Beaux Arts pile.” He liked beautiful things, classic things, and his designers scoured the land for the finest they could find, assembling furniture and fixtures, plotting sumptuous color stores, dreaming up schemes. But we all know what happens to best-laid plans, and how life has a way of leading you through the woods down unanticipated paths… Luckily for the client, Phillip Sarofim, his designers were none other than Miles Redd and David Kaihoi, who last year formalized their partnership under the firm name Redd Kaihoi. Blend Kaihoi’s hepcat, downtown-artist energy with Redd’s supreme sophistication and killer taste, add in liberal lashings of warmth and wit from them both, and the results are the decorating dynamic-duo of your dreams.So when Sarofim suddenly pivoted and turned his sights to the sunny climes of Los Angeles, Redd Kaihoi were, as ever, up for whatever fantastical adventure came their way. Together the three of them considered dozens and dozens of houses, many of them lovely, but most of them in the traditional mode, and none of them quite the right fit. “He was a single guy,” says Miles Redd, “and the traditional houses felt so big and lonely.” One day they stumbled upon an abode in Trousdale Estates, the fabled midcentury enclave carved out of the old Doheny Estate in Beverly Hills, and a neighborhood that had sheltered design-obsessed celebrities since it was developed in the 1950s. Circular, striking and mod, with original terrazzo floors and walls of retractable glass, the house had a nucleus of living spaces with two wings radiating out from it “like a two-armed octopus, or a hug,” says David Kaihoi. Sarofim was smitten. The structure was a dynamic departure from the types of places he’d been considering, and purchasing it was a major statement that he was ready to slip out of one way of life and embrace a new one. “This house was a grand gesture,” Kaihoi says. “It was the perspective he’d been looking for.”
Redd Kaihoi already had their visual vocabulary in place. The setting may have radically changed, but the main character remained the same. Their new challenge was to express the story in a different voice.
The two of them dove in, drafting floorplans and revisiting the fabulous stuff they’d accrued to reimagine their previous ideas. A grey living room at first destined for Houston became the luxe, sexy master in L.A. Giant matching antique mirrors intended for a Texas-size entrance hall were instead surprisingly perfect in the airy midcentury sunroom. The whole endeavor was a big lesson in adaptability. As Kaihoi says, “Buy what you love. No matter what happens, it will all work together.”
At their best, decorators are wizards, and Redd Kaihoi perform their magic at the highest level. They are devoted to beauty and craftsmanship, and to keeping it alive, and have a roster of virtuosic workrooms and artisans on speed dial. The painter with whom they regularly collaborate vanquished the home’s tricky dull-veneer walls by coating them in luminous lacquer. “Previously, it sort of felt like a cement garden,” says Redd, “and we turned it into this Austin Powers-meets-Charles de Beistegui lair.” A master metalsmith helped them execute an extraordinary custom bed inspired by the one John Fowler made for Pauline de Rothschild’s Albany set, complete with Giacometti-esque hammered-brass posts. Six furious months later, the dust settled. And presto change-o: The pedigreed house had been transformed into a dazzling and glamorous home, dripping with high style but above all meant to be used. The client moved in. And they all lived happily ever after. This story originally ran in the Spring 2020 issue of The Bulletin. Click here to subscribe!