The house in the Hollywood Hills was the very definition of mid-century modern - built in 1950 as a "gold medallion" home certifying that it had the most up-to-date conveniences available. How appropriate, then, that interior designer Linda Allen drew inspiration from that era while updating the home and infusing it with hints of the owners' Japanese heritage. "I researched vintage 'Better Homes and Gardens' magazines from the late 1950s and early '60s and found the perfect combination of Hawaiian-Polynesian decor," Allen says. "I also pulled colors and design references from the Broadway musical 'Flower Drum Song,' which gave an uplifting, fun and fresh approach to defining the spirit of Polynesian cultures.


Allen used a different cultural reference in the master bedroom, transitioning to a "Chinese moderne" theme that she based on the image of a 1930s Shanghai cigarette girl poster. Golden cherry blossoms float across the wallpaper and highlight the white lacquered dresser. Peacock blue drapes complement red, Chinese-patterned Roman shades, and carved wooden screens create a sanctuary around the cozy fireplace.

Because the kitchen can be viewed from the entryway, Allen took particular care in its aesthetics as she gutted and updated its cabinets and appliances. She created back-lit art niches, and took advantage of angles and materials that allow the kitchen to be viewed as "art" from every angle. "I love the natural light, the uplifting, fresh and spirited approach to design." Allen says. "You smile when you enter the space."

Linda Allen, ASID
Linda Allen Designs Inc.