Before the Auction: Inside Designer Cliff Fong’s Los Angeles Home

Cliff Fong likes change. In fact, the interior designer and Matt Blacke Inc. founder craves a fresh start every so often. He even admits to having a slight aversion to complacency, which is precisely why he decided to let Bonhams auction off nearly all the furniture and artworks in his 1953 ranch-style Los Angeles house.

“A lot of the material I’ve had for over 20 years and brought to three different homes,” explains Cliff, whose high-profile clients include Ryan Murphy and Ellen DeGeneres. “And I just felt it was time to do something a little different. I will always love these historically important design pieces…but I’m very careful not to become too comfortable with certain kinds of defaults. I would like to explore a different perspective.”

In the past, Cliff would have answered the itch for a scenery shift by moving to a new place, but he couldn’t seem to leave his current mid-century abode behind. Every time he toured another property, he realized it couldn’t live up to the quirky-yet-streamlined interiors and lush surrounds he already had. So he decided to purge the home’s contents instead.

While Cliff has already moved on to the next chapter of his house (the Bonhams auction took place last month), he recently took a trip down memory lane and reviewed its first iteration with us. Let’s take a look.

Photography by William Abranowicz (@wabranowicz) / Art + Commerce.

before cliff purchased his 2,400 square foot la home in 2016, it was owned b 9
Above: Before Cliff purchased his 2,400-square-foot LA home in 2016, it was owned by an architect who made compelling updates like the funky asymmetrical skylight in the entryway. Cliff put his own stamp on the place by replacing the dark mahogany floors with light gray cement and installing contemporary doors and windows. “There was a lot of stripping of finishes to minimize the amount of different materials that were here,” he says. “I basically landed on something that felt concrete and glass dominant, which ended up working out really nicely.”
cliff also added a series of built in shelves to accommodate his collection of  10
Above: Cliff also added a series of built-in shelves to accommodate his collection of design reference books, which he kept out of the auction. The vintage Børge Mogensen black leather Embassy sofa and Jean Royère cream mohair Trèfle armchair, however, were sold.