Elegance & Family-Friendly Design CAN Coexist!
When a top-tier Hollywood Movie Executive needed someone to design his new home, he turned to the one person he trusts most: his wife.
photography by Amelia Borella
text by Anna Lane
text by Anna Lane
When Greg Silverman, President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production for Warner Bros., and his wife, Amanda, bought their home in the San Fernando Valley, they expected to do some renovations, but they wound up taking on a two-and-a-half year project that included adding a basement and redesigning the entire house. Amanda’s love of design, combined with her commitment to creating a home that was elegant enough to entertain movie stars, but comfortable and homey enough for the couple’s four sons, resulted in a spectacular family compound.
What was one of the biggest challenges when decorating a home this size?
The openness - which we love – made dividing up the space challenging. It was difficult to pick out paint or wallpapers for different rooms because everything flows into each other. For instance, I wasn’t sure where exactly to end the sea grass wallpaper in the playroom, but it now defines the space really well, and it’s so much warmer than if it was just painted white.
What’s the key to making a big house feel homey and lived in?
All of the common areas – the kitchen, playroom and family room – are really designed for communal living. The original bedrooms were small and quirky, and we opted to keep those mostly intact instead of turning them into large rooms with en suite bathrooms, which I thought would make the house feel more like a hotel, and would discourage the kids from spending time in the common areas. I think it’s possible for a family home to be beautiful, but also warm and inviting. To that end, no surface is too precious or stiff.
What are some of your favorite pieces in the house?
I love our furry dining room chairs, because they marry a playful attitude with coziness. My brother-in-law owns Bespoke Furniture, a custom furniture company here in LA, and he made the chairs for me based on an idea I had. I’m amazingly lucky to be able to collaborate with him on these projects, because it makes almost anything possible!
I also really love our Slim Aarons photograph of the Hotel Du Cap. Greg and I love to go to that hotel during the Cannes Film Festival, which he attends annually, and it’s the epitome of glamour and beauty!
Your closet is a fashionista’s dream, and the wallpaper is gorgeous! Tell me about that.
I love my closet and I feel like a kid in a candy store when I step in there. Initially, the closet was white and simple, but after living in the house for a few months it started to feel too antiseptic, so I added the wallpaper on the ceiling. The wallpaper really made it feel glamorous.
Your Mom used to be an antique dealer. How has that influenced your decorating style?
Growing up, I spent every weekend going to antique shows, and we always spent vacations in London. I learned from a young age the thrill of finding unexpected treasures, and I love going to flea markets here in LA; you never know what stand out pieces you’ll find that will add something unique to your home (often at a reasonable price).
What’s your advice for someone ready to tackle a massive design project?
Mix things up! Nothing should look too precious or designer-y but rather should reflect how your family lives.