In the secluded enclave of Mar Vista, the fast-cooling late-afternoon air is filled with the heady scent of lemon verbena and eucalyptus, as scatterings of periwinkle petals from overgrown hedges of jacaranda and frothy canary-colored clusters of fallen mimosa blanket the sidewalks of narrow streets dotted with Craftsman cottages, modern bungalows, and Spanish Colonials. Offering vistas overlooking the ocean, the Los Angeles neighborhood enthralled Ariel Kaye, the founder of the popular home furnishings brand Parachute, who had spent the past seven years renting in nearby Venice. It felt like an idyllic setting in which to raise her two young children. Though she expected her house hunt to be endless, she ended up seeing just one property (and three days later, in February 2021, her offer was accepted).
Sited close to her parents and the beach, the newly built house checked many boxes, but the open-plan interiors felt sterile and cold. Still, Kaye possesses imagination and vision—not surprisingly, given that she’s built her home decor empire with its distinct design-driven aesthetic from the ground up.
Tackling the project herself felt too daunting, especially with her then two-year-old daughter, Lou, and newborn son, Van. “I needed to leave my safe beige world behind and get funky by bringing on an expert who’d push me out of my comfort zone,” she says. So she reached out to Sally Breer, whom she first met in 2014, when Breer was designing the Hotel Covell on the edge of Los Feliz and called to ask if the just launched Parachute could supply its bedding. “I knew Sally’s eye for vintage and custom pieces, as well as her off-kilter approach, would inject that edge and patina I so desperately craved.”
Breer admits she was hesitant at first to work with Kaye: “Ariel had established such a strong California-cool identity, and I wasn’t sure how she’d feel about the weirdness I like to play within my spaces,” the designer admits. “Much to my surprise, she was incredibly open-minded, brave, and trusting.” They also both had similarly aged children, and Kaye knew Breer could conjure up an elevated yet not-too-serious space that felt kid-friendly and not overly precious.
To infuse age and character, they sourced vintage pieces, including a 1960s walnut sideboard by Silvio Coppola, 1950s pieces by Guillerme et Chambron, and 1940s Audoux-Minet rope chairs. Lighting was not to be overlooked, either: 1950s fixtures attributed to Jacques Biny embellish the family room; circa 1969 floor lamps braided with smoky amber Murano glass ribbons by Carlo Nason tower above the curved teddy-mohair Pierre Augustin Rose settee in the primary bedroom; and sculptural pearl-like sconces illuminate Armando Mesías’s abstract canvas The Sunk Cost Fallacy in the formal sitting room. Other artworks, including sand paintings by Bertrand Fompeyrine from Mexico City and pieces by Clare Grill and Katherine Bradford, add a sense of personal history.