It underwent a renovation that pays homage to its past.

Angelino Heights Living Room
Lance Gerber

People who inhabit historic homes have a responsibility of sorts to preserve its past—and for good reason; these types of houses and buildings can be so rich in history and can have a distinct character that sets them apart from many of the cookie-cutter designs these days. And why wouldn’t you want to keep some of that? That’s the responsibility a Canadian TV writer and actress took on when they bought their 1913 Craftsman-style home in the historically protected zone of the Angelino Heights neighborhood in Los Angeles to settle down with their young children. “The home is under the Mills Act which incentivizes historic restorations of homes in Los Angeles,” explains Leah Ring, who oversaw the project through her multidisciplinary design firm, Another Human, along with Nieva Construction. “There are two houses on the property—the main house has three bedrooms, two bathrooms. The guest house has one bedroom and one bathroom.”

Overall the house was in good shape, but there were a few layout issues that needed to addressed, Leah says. Surfaces also needed to be updated (paint, wallpaper, custom millwork), as well as furnishings and lighting. “Our very first discussion with the client was around how we needed to respect the architectural history of the house and work with it, rather than against it,” Leah explains. “We wanted to make it comfortable and family-friendly, but also elegant in a way that felt relatable to the Craftsman style.”

Angelino Heights Dining Room
The Another Human team paired a vintage table from Elsie Green with vintage dining chairs. A lighting fixture by Australian designer Ben Tovim adds a contemporary flair. Burgundy custom curtains complement the blue tone in the wallpaper.

Lance Gerber

And because the home was in a protected zone, that meant that some design decisions needed to be approved. Historical approval was needed for any changes that were visible from the outside, like the windows and doors that were added. But inside, the preservation mindset was also as important to the clients. “On the lower level, we selected colors, finishes, and fixtures that felt relevant to the period in which the house was built,” Leah says. “For example, we selected an Adelphi wallpaper for the dining room that was originally printed starting in the 1830s, which felt like it could have always been in the house, but it also felt fresh and fun because of the bright cobalt blue flower in the small block print pattern.” Each design decision was made to ensure that the house could have always existed that way—everything seems timeless.

Angelino Heights Kitchen
The kitchen now has a breakfast nook for casual dining.

Lance Gerber

To address the layout issues, Leah and her team relocated the existing laundry room from the first floor to the second floor, which allowed them to expand the kitchen. “With the additional space in the kitchen we added a breakfast nook and more windows to bring in light, which makes the kitchen much more inviting and usable for the young family,” Leah explains. “Also, the laundry room being upstairs makes a lot more sense because all of the bedrooms are upstairs so that’s a much more convenient location for laundry.” New green linoleum floors were added, IKEA cabinets were upgraded with pulls from Etsy, and deep green floating shelves were installed. To fit in a breakfast table in the narrow kitchen, the design team had one custom-made by Arbor Exchange; they paired it with a custom-made banquette with storage drawers underneath.

Angelino Heights TV Room
The sunroom is washed in warm colors. The sofa is paired with a vintage rug and coffee table from CB2.

Lance Gerber

Angelino Heights Sunroom
The sunroom’s play area is filled with books and toys.

Lance Gerber

The living room’s walls were painted a light buttery yellow to balance out the dark wood and olive green custom-made curtains. The room also features a custom sofa and armchairs, a Josh Greene table, a vintage art deco rug, and a pendant lamp from Rejuvenation. And the sunroom at the back of the house has an L-shaped sectional for movie nights with the family. It’s paired with a vintage rug and coffee table from CB2. And there’s a spot for playtime, too—there’s a play area for the kids with an Etsy bookshelf and a vintage French mattress for sitting on the floor.

Angelino Heights Library
The team at Another Human custom-designed the desk and storage in the library which sits opposite a custom daybed, and they had a custom Pojagi curtain made for the window.

Lance Gerber

Upstairs, the bedrooms and library got updates, too. “We added a wall of custom millwork in the library which provides a place for both girls to do schoolwork in a location where their parents can be nearby (there is a daybed in the library for someone to read or rest on),” Leah says. 

Angelino Heights Primary Bedroom
The bed has a chartreuse green custom headboard with vintage nightstands with vintage table lamps on each side. A vintage bench reupholstered in green leather lives at the foot of the bed.

Lance Gerber

Angelino Heights Primary Bedroom Sitting Area by Another Human
The seating area in the primary bedroom overlooks the yard.

Lance Gerber

Originally, the primary bedroom had millwork and trim that were painted dark brown and walls painted dark gray. Leah and her teamed lightened the space up by painting the walls a dusty blue and giving the trim a creamy color. New lighting, furniture, and a custom built-in closet were added. “We painted or wallpapered every wall in the house and changed out the lighting to bring more warmth into the space that previously felt a bit cold and dark,” Leah says.

Angelino Heights Kids Bedroom
Leah paired Cowtan & Tout wallpaper with a floral design with a Liberty London print Roman shade. The room is tied together with a bunk bed with traditional wood details, a vintage rug and dresser, and Stray Dog design light fixtures.

Lance Gerber

Designing the children’s room was actually Leah’s favorite—the oldest daughter had a lot of say as to the design process of her space (and you might be able to tell that her favorite colors are pink and purple!). “She was involved in selecting some of the colors and patterns she wanted and was a total joy to see when we visited the house,” Leah explains. “Overall I would say that this design process actually went faster than a lot of projects because of the strong character of the house.”

Both Leah and her clients are so pleased with the finished design. It’s not hard to see why as the home is a beautiful space that is traditional, yet perfect for the present. “The clients are such lovely people and we so enjoyed working with them,” she says. “I think it’s so important to work with clients that you get along well with because it motivates you to really keep the needs and feelings of the clients in mind throughout the process. If we’ve done our job well, every project will feel different because every project should reflect the taste and functional needs of each client we work with.”

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