Los Angeles spec houses are blank slates—or “super [widely] open and full of possibilities,” as Jeremiah Brent phrases it. The AD100 talent’s clients, with whom he recently completed just such a house in Brentwood, were analogously open-minded. Brent had previously designed the couple’s primary residence outside LA, and as the parents began picturing life with an empty nest, they asked Brent to help them envision their next act, in which the 4,500-square-foot Brentwood purchase would serve as a weekend place.
“They’re two of my favorite people, and this new house represents a way they had never lived before,” Brent reflects. “They had centered their lives around taking care of [their] two daughters, and this project allowed them to design something for themselves. There was a lot of freedom in that exploration.”
Brent’s exploratory method should be familiar to fans of his work on camera. (He stars in shows such as The Nate & Jeremiah Home Project with his husband Nate Berkus.) “I’m exactly who I am on television: Much of my process is talking about the most important moments in a person’s day and the things they need to do to feel anchored to the rhythm of life,” says the designer. He adds that, earlier in his 11-year tenure running Jeremiah Brent Design, “I was surprised that [private clients] were surprised to be getting the same experience.”
For the Brentwood project, Brent and the clients first had to imagine a weekend in which parenting was no longer a priority. The couple wanted to enjoy one another’s company and to reconnect with friends and family. Brent adds that the husband is an avid wine collector. In response, the designer made a defining social (and oenophilic) statement at the house’s entry, installing a custom bar in mahogany, bronze, and marble at the foot of the staircase.
“You would never think to put this big architectural moment, a mini kitchen, right where you walk in the door,” Brent says of the opening gambit, which he faced with a furniture vignette to accommodate drinks for two. The pairing of bar and seating also draws a threshold between the entry and a dining area for 10 farther within the house, about which Brent explains, “We were challenged to create a space that unfolds even though it’s [an] open-plan.”
The entertaining-friendly vision is manifested repeatedly thereafter, from the sprawling living room to an equally generously scaled guest room that shows off the golden daylight streaming through the house. “I’ve always had a deep appreciation for the moments in your home that you can tether to a memory,” Brent says of the multiple spaces for fun and togetherness. Asked to choose a space that most vividly represents this framing of deeply personal experience, he opts for a more intimate example, in the corner of the primary bedroom, which nestles a Soriana chaise by Afra and Tobai Scarpa: “They both like to be in the bedroom, to read a book, sit by the moonlight, and talk. So I found this great 17th-century alabaster light that I hung at a funny height, because it reminded me of the moon. It was a really sweet moment that they use constantly.”