With a shared love for fashion, photography, and architecture, Los Angeles interior designers Sarah Chavez and Marina Mizruh have transformed their passion for good design into beautiful homes. As partners at Chimera Interiors, Sarah and Marina strive to balance a client’s individuality with architectural harmony. With Sarah’s fashion background, Marina’s old world flair, and inspiration derived from print graphics and photographs, the partners design stylish spaces for clients from West Hollywood to Hermosa Beach.
We were delighted to interview Chimera Interiors about their modern condominium project in Southern California. Read on to discover the inspirations behind this fabulous Century City Residence!
1. Sarah and Marina, can you tell us a little about how you met and what influenced you to create Chimera Interiors?
We met at UCLA studying Interior and Environmental Design. Marina liked my socks and I liked her drawings. We decided to collaborate on a project on Wilshire Corridor in Los Angeles… The rest is history.
2. What a wonderful beginning! Since you’ve been working together for some time, you must be very familiar with each other’s style. How do your design tastes differ and how does that help in your design creations?
Marina’s background is rooted in Russian Avant-garde Art and Architecture, European history, and early 20th century design. My background is deeply rooted in Fashion, Film, and Classic Modernism. Between our two backgrounds, the end results tend to be unfussy elegant spaces that our clients love living in.
3. Speaking of elegant spaces, what was the client looking for when you were asked to design the Century City Residence?
Our client’s request for the interior was for us to create an oasis of serenity for them to escape to from increasingly hectic pace of New York. This project was a result of rare collaboration with clients whose trust, enthusiasm, taste and love of art encouraged us to work on the very highest level.
Our concept for the residence was to provide rooms that effortlessly float into each other, to create a dynamic background for the client’s modern art and photography collection, and to make the rooms crisp, modern and classical.
4. As we tour the home, we can’t help, but wonder: what particularly inspired the use of abstract wall art in the living room?
We were inspired by the work of Herve Van Der Straeten, a Paris-based designer whose award-winning work is coveted by major collectors worldwide. Our client loved the abstract form of one of Herve’s mirrors. It is so perfect for California: it’s about sun, warmth and movement.
5. The color contrast in the dining room is excellent. What kind of look were you trying to convey with this design?
In the public areas of the residence (dining, living rooms, and kitchen), we used light materials and color palettes. The walls are finished in white iridescent Venetian plaster that reflects ever-changing light streaming in through hand-loomed linen drapery. The light is the most powerful element in all of the rooms. It makes the interiors change dynamically throughout the day and throughout the seasons.
6. Simply beautiful. As art plays a significant role in your designs, what was the intention behind the placement of the horse image?
We liked the strong graphic impact of the photograph and how the image of the horse’s head appeared to peer around the corner into the next room somehow connecting the two spaces.
7. I love the effect of the leaning mirrors against the wall. What inspired you to choose this particular color scheme for the bedroom design?
We wanted to add a mystery to the room and enlarge it at the same time. There is something interesting in seeing elements of the room reflected back in the mirrors. The palette of this room was influenced by our client’s sophisticated personal style that conveys a sense of elegant simplicity.
8. The simple splash of color from the flowers is striking. Can you tell us more about your unique headboard selection?
The atmosphere of the master bedroom is soft and warm with organic dark neutrals that exude feelings of peace and serenity. To emphasize these qualities, we used highly textured materials and finishes: grass wallpapers and cashmere drapery of the master bedroom, random plank dark walnut floors, soft silk and wool rugs. The ebony screen behind the headboard is by Promemoria. This is a beautiful piece we selected to emphasize the feeling of enclosure and quiet comfort. The screen allowed us to anchor the bed and two large night stands.
9. Walking into the bathroom, we find a stunning design. How did you decide to use a free standing tub?
Bathrooms and kitchens are often designed as utilitarian spaces, we wanted to change this approach, to make the bathroom take on a more spa like experience, so instead of installing a standard built-in tub we opted for free-standing seductive organic shaped sculptural tub.
10. What a tranquil space! Let’s wrap up our house tour with the kitchen, where you’ve made beautiful use of lighting. Can you describe the color scheme and the furnishings you chose to use?
The choices made here were to impose a sense of natural light and organic shapes to be juxtaposed with the clean lines of the bronze and glass kitchen cabinetry. We had a luxury of not having to use every square inch of the space for storage and cabinetry. This resulted in very spacious and airy kitchen.
Thank you to Chimera Interiors for taking us behind the scenes of one of their beautiful modern designs!
Learn about the current projects of Chimera Interiors through their portfolio and get inspired with more images of their gorgeous interiors!