Mario Casillas had been given the rarest of opportunities. A home that was built during the Original Hollywood era is now his personal canvas.
The entrance coyly hints that this is not your typical home. With a teardrop doorway framed by playful tiles, the structure is more castle tower than classic abode. Stepping inside, one look reveals whimsy blended with an unmistakable Hispanic flair. Vivid primary colors contrast on the walls, muted by vintage furniture and photos. The tone is immediately apparent.
This house is one of a kind.
In the early 1900’s, the most well-known residents were the Keystone Kops, the original Three Stooges of the silent film era. Residing on a nearby street was the Walt Disney studio, infusing the area with the franchise’s hallmark fanciful vibe.
From the start, Mario’s work on the house was a perfect contrast to the original structure. Arched windows and chandeliers were married with the feel of a mesa. Indian drums were converted into side tables, offset by a Filipino settee. White walls were transformed with burnt oranges that crashed against kelly greens and vibrant yellows.
The final flourishes came from Mario’s artist friend. The artist’s inspiration is a fitting image of the home’s overall feel. At a rose garden exhibition in Los Angeles, he saw men purchasing colorful bouquets that he imagined as gifts for women to liven up white walls.
“Why not always have a bouquet?” the artist mused to himself, conjuring mental images of paintings alive with color.
That mantra must empower the home’s magic. What would translate into a color explosion in a typical house is artfully conveyed in this place. The vibrancy somehow carries a sense of comfort and calm.
While pulling his design together, entertaining friends and family was forefront in Mario’s mind. The large living room was converted into dining space with a grand, rustic table. The original dining room was transformed into a cozy living room peppered with artifacts from their travels.
The hallway leading to the bedroom is flanked by old photos, along with a letter that Mario’s brother wrote to his mother during World War II. Ancestral mementos blend with the home’s history, whispering of the past behind a bold ambiance.
It is clear that every detail tying the space together respects and amplifies the structure’s original intent: A dwelling fit for the engineers behind fairy tales.
Photos by Erika Paget
Written by Beth Caster