Inside a Home That Blurs the Lines Between Indoors and Outdoors

At her newly-renovated Los Angeles home, photographer Annabel Mehran shows us how to use lush color and patterns to blur the lines between outside and in.

Blue and Green and White and Yellow Living room
Fools Gold by Hanna Liden, Artsy Photography by LAURE JOLIET

Marriage and a permanent move to the West Coast prompted bicoastal photographer Annabel Mehran to renovate her Los Feliz hideaway of four years, which she now shares with her husband, Josh, and their baby daughter. Mehran left behind every piece of furniture from her small New York City apartment, ready to embrace the sunshine-filled LA lifestyle. 

Blue and Pink and White Kid's room
Black Trellis Sky Blue Pom-Pom Fabric and Bumblebee Fabric Pillow, Francois Gilles; Zebras Fabric Pillow and Dot Weave Fabric Pillow, Scalamandre; Foldable Fabric Basket Bin by EzoWare, six for $19, Amazon 
Photography by LAURE JOLIET

“What I wanted the most was to feel like I’m in California—so really colorful, bright, and happy,” she explains. It’s no surprise that the portrait and fashion photographer creates a similar aesthetic in her work, including collaborations with musician Joanna Newsom and a recent shoot with the band Haim.

Her philosophy, whether it be decorative or artistic: “There will be flowers.” Botanical wallpapers, vintage finds, and just the right mix of uplifting colors make up the perfectly pattern-filled oasis she calls home.

Blue and Green and White and Yellow Living room
The Discharge of Duty by Jack McConville, Artsy; Pillow, $110, Csao Photography by LAURE JOLIET
Brown and Pink and White and Yellow Dining room
M by Sue Tompkins, The Modern Institute; Alexandrie Wallpaper, Pierre FreyBagels by Hanna Liden, ArtsyUntitled Watercolor by Amelie Von Wulffen, Artsy Photography by LAURE JOLIET

Find Your Base

Before bringing in lots of patterns, Mehran focused on a color scheme. The Frida Kahlo–esque cobalt exterior inspired the overall blue and white palette that carries through the interior. Following the classic combo created a self-imposed blueprint for Mehran, allowing her to unify the space—and sneak in a few more essentials.

“Pink is my favorite color,” she says, so it’s only natural that the shade pops up in a dusty rose marble dining room table, striped shower curtain, and graphic print rug. From there, new hardwood floors, a completely gutted kitchen, additional windows, and a skylight immediately brightened up the home and set the sunny mood.

Brown and Taupe and White Living room
Photography by LAURE JOLIET

Yellow Portrait
Photography by LAURE JOLIET

Layer in Accents 

With ceramic tile imported from Mexico (Mehran’s favorite destination, where she and Josh honeymooned), furniture scored on a trip turned flea market haul in Paris, and Moroccan fabrics sent by a friend to upholster the nursery walls, it’s easy to see why the home exudes an eclectic energy. Many items featured in Mehran’s vignettes—brought to life thanks to her constant photo shoot ideation—are floral forward. In the living room, the wrought-iron coffee table sprouting leafy stems and vine-like brass sconces give new dimension to the outside-in aesthetic. Not to be overlooked are the fresh arrangements scattered throughout—the flower lover’s own designs, of course.

Green and Pink and White Bedroom
Lyford Key Wallpaper and Santorini Fabric on Pillows, Clarence House  Photography by LAURE JOLIET
Green and Yellow Vignette
Photography by LAURE JOLIET

Play With Scale

No doubt a result of her years behind the lens, Mehran is an expert at framing. The mix of big and small prints—splashy tropical wallpapers in the dining room and bathroom, a delicate leafy mural climbing up the staircase wall, intricate floral motifs in the bedroom, and drapes and upholstery decked out in botanicals—is artfully balanced.

While the photographer calls the process of picking paint colors “painstaking,” it’s the exact opposite for wallpapers. She simply falls “madly in love” with a print and figures out where to put it—like the retro-chic one in the dining room, which Mehran refers to as “a fabulous neutral.”

Bronze and Green and Yellow Staircase
 Ju-Ku Ceiling Lamp by Ingo Maurer, 1stdibs  Photography by LAURE JOLIET

As if fated, the painted garden scene in the stairwell was already there when Mehran purchased the house, setting the tone for the rest of the space. “It’s what sealed the deal!” she says. 

Pink and Taupe Bedroom
Photography by LAURE JOLIET
Pink and White Vignette
Photography by LAURE JOLIET
Published on April 18, 2018 - 5:00am EDT

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