LA Arts and Crafts: Luxe Handmade Detailing in a Topanga Canyon Update
“They sold their big, modern house and bought a camper van that they traveled around in until they decided where they wanted to end up.” LA designer Gabrielle Aker of Aker Interiors is explaining how her clients—an engineer and a business consultant with a young daughter—took an unexpected journey in the early days of the pandemic. The adventure led them to Topanga Canyon, the artsy enclave in the Santa Monica Mountains, which, courtesy of twisty roads and lack of cell service, manages to hold onto some of its celebrated hippie vibe.
Nestled amid giant California oaks, the family’s new place, a 1992 stone house, was literally rock solid, if decidedly lacking in soul.”The finishes throughout were cheap and lacked intentionality and depth,” says Gabrielle whose mandate, in her words, was “to create an elevated, contemporary version of the classic Topanga Canyon hideaway using quality, sustainable materials.” Along the way, a new kitchen was hand built; windows and sliding doors were upgraded; the vast, single-bedroom upstairs got divided into parents’ and kid quarters; and lots of local artisans contributed. Join us for a look at the arts and crafts movement, LA 2023-style.