Franck Nataf creates a warm gathering place for family and friends
Having already purchased, renovated and lived in three homes throughout Los Angeles, Franck Nataf “was very particular” as he set about searching for his next abode, which he would share with his 8-year-old twin daughters, Mia and Inez. Two non-negotiables at the top of his list: It must be Spanish-style, and it must be in Hancock Park.
“The house had perfect bones,” he says of the period revival-style structure he eventually settled on, which was built in 1925. Since buying the property in 2009, Nataf has reimagined the space to showcase materials from Exquisite Surfaces, the renowned company he runs with his brother, Alexis, which they founded with their mother, Paula. Collaborating with landscape designer Scott Shrader, and most recently David John Dick and Krista Schrock of DISC Interiors, the home has become the warm, elegant gathering place for family and friends Nataf always envisioned.
First came the gut remodel, which Nataf designed and oversaw himself from start to finish, incorporating reclaimed roof tiles from Bordeaux, French terra cotta for the kitchen floor and Spanish marble installed in the entryway. “Those are very special,” Nataf says, pointing to the antique French oak boards that comprise most of the flooring, laid in a herringbone pattern.
To enhance the connection between the house and the pool, as well as to realize the 20,000-square-foot lot’s potential, Nataf brought Shrader on board. (Shrader’s lush, much-admired patio at West Hollywood’s Gracias Madre restaurant is an Instagram celebrity in its own right.) “It changed our life,” Nataf says emphatically of the end result. “He created a home outside,” with extraordinary elements such as a water feature anchored by a well that dates from the 19th century.
“The floors were stunning, the yard was amazing, but something was missing,” Nataf recalls. The challenge was “how do you take something and make it better?” Understanding the limitations of his own not insignificant skill set, when it came time to upgrade the inside of the house he hired DISC Interiors last year, with whom all decisions “clicked fast,” Nataf says.
“Our goal is to make spaces feel like they have always been there, and we wanted to match the quality of Franck’s finishes,” Dick says. Thanks to the high bar their client already had in place, they could “bring in eclectic pieces and have them blend in and not be showstoppers.” He and Schrock worked with Nataf to arrange his art collection—Vik Muniz’s Zebra, after George Stubbs (Pictures of Magazines 2) is a highlight—and sourced wide-ranging statements including a Brazilian Caviuna armchair by Sergio Rodrigues, a 1970s Italian stone coffee table with copper insert, a ceramic lamp by local artist Meredith Metcalf, and a vintage Spanish bench upholstered with Zak+Fox fabric, from such local resources as Lawson Fenning, Blackman Cruz, Noir and Lucca Antiques, coining a broad, Mediterranean-meets-local feel, and merging influences that are “Spanish, French, Italian and Californian,” Schrock explains. “The house is serious, but there are a lot of playful moments that feel slightly fantastical.” Nataf may have finally struck the perfect balance.
Photography by SAM FROST.
Written by JESSICA RITZ.