Tamara Kaye-Honey’s Inventive Pasadena Digs
Tamara Kaye-Honey never dreamed her hunt for a midcentury home with a view would lead her to the doorstep of a new build in the Glendale hills. At first glance, the home’s open spaces, gorgeous modern glass and steel framing had the interior designer and owner of the South Pasadena- and Montecito-based design and decor studio House of Honey convinced that it was the work of modernist architecture firm Buff & Hensman. “The snob in me was shocked that it was a new home,” she says, laughing. “It took me a minute to look past the fact that this would not be a major construction project, which is what I do.”
Kaye-Honey is known for whimsical and modern residential and commercial projects that are infused with her singular glamour, such as Otium restaurant in Los Angeles, Redd in Napa Valley and stylish boutique hotels in Palm Springs and Santa Barbara. She’s also a serial home renovator, having lived through three different projects in Los Angeles with her husband, Ryan, co-founder of Buck design and animation studio, and children Phia, 16, and Streak, 13.
But the clean-lined, four-bedroom, 6,000-square-foot home offered a unique challenge that the family’s previous Tudor-style residence did not: a blank canvas. “It comes down to restraint,” says Kaye-Honey. “Here it’s about holding back and making it a livable, cozy space for our family, balancing a sense of style with something that is practical and durable.”
In the open-plan great room which includes the kitchen and dining areas, Kaye-Honey created a series of relaxed and intimate living vignettes, using vintage pieces and streamlined accents, and layering organic patterns, shapes and textiles for a playfully modern aesthetic. Favorite artists from her commercial projects have pride of place, such as exquisite hand-painted leather tiles on the kitchen island from Brit Kleinman of AVO, a one-of-a-kind tapestry from Lauren Williams hanging above a sofa, and an abstract painting in the dining area by Los Angeles artist Gabriel Rivera. In addition to these shared public spaces there are more private moments throughout the house, such as an office nook for Ryan, a music room for the children, and Kaye-Honey’s yoga and meditation studio, converted from the former owner’s chapel, which features a stunning faceted stained glass window by Judson Studios.
In addition to frequent entertaining with friends, deer are regular visitors to the family’s 3-acre wooded property, and it’s easy to forget that Downtown L.A. is a mere 20-minute drive away. “We’re spoiled up here,” Kaye-Honey says. “It’s like our own private oasis. It feels almost sacred.”
Photography by SAM FROST.
Written by HEATHER JOHN FOGARTY.