Each month we are highlighting “Our Garden Tour Stars” -- landscape architects, florists and interior designers who have participated in our annual Garden Tour and Showcase Estate at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. We want to let you know about these very talented designers, their inspirations, and their creations.
This month, we are featuring interior designer and Friends of Robinson Gardens member Krista Everage, whose work has been published three times in Architectural Digest, once highlighting the interiors she designed for the actor Dennis Quaid!
We asked her these five questions:
1. How did you decide to become an interior designer?
Interior Design really chose me! I have been a designer since my first memories of growing up on the shores of northern Lake Michigan, in a beautiful hardwood tree-adorned Victorian town, with my artist/homemaker extraordinaire mother, and engineer/architect father. My playing as a young child consisted of gathering treasures from nature (stones, shells, ferns, etc.), scraps of textiles, and building materials from my parents’ projects, and fashioning them into dollhouses, furniture, garden elements, jewelry, and clothes for my dolls. I painted, worked in clay and made drawings constantly. My grandmother collected, displayed, and entertained with exquisite antique glassware. I remember gracious family gatherings at her lakefront home where I was enchanted by sunlight playing through her dining room window’s colored cruet display.
When in high school, I painted murals on any wall offered to me, and designed clothing that my mother and I would make together. When 14, I was commissioned to paint a set of pillows that had the theme “Great Rulers of the Ancient World.” My senior year, I designed and made most of my friends’ prom gowns. Also academically inclined, I was a voracious reader and loved all things English and European, as well as Egyptian and Greek ancient culture (Truth, Beauty and Goodness!) I went directly from high school into a 5 year Architecture/Interior Design degree program at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. It was an immersive academic, artistic, and skill-developing experience that has informed my life and career ever since. I met my now-husband there, and after graduation and an internship in Chicago, we moved to Los Angeles to begin our careers in earnest here.
I had the good fortune in my mid 20’s of being lead interior designer on the ground-up modern residence of William Janss Jr, whose grandfather had developed Westwood and Holmby Hills, as well as Sun Valley, Idaho. We designed the house to visually embody his world class modern art collection, as well as his inherited prehistoric southwest Indian pottery and European antiques. It was quite eclectic, and Architectural Digest published it in 1986. Thus began our firm Everage Design! It was interesting, being focused mostly on modern and postmodern design at the time, that Everage Design’s first design client was a ground-up 14,000 sq. foot residence in Brentwood in the English country style. I went to London and the Cotswolds before groundbreaking to collect antique architectural elements and loose furnishings to incorporate into the design. We shipped two containers of treasures back.
2. Which interior designer(s) (living or not living) have inspired you and why?
John Saladino was the first interior designer to capture my imagination and inspire me. He is both Old World European and modern master, and I love the contrast and richness. His interiors are like walking into a work of art. Moving to Los Angeles, I discovered Michael Taylor, and the rich inspiration he took from nature. Also at that time, I became familiar with Tony Duquette’s delightful work and his rich use of color, exotic culture combinations, re-use of found objects, his indoor/outdoor flow, and use of garden elements in his interiors. Rose Tarlow continues to inspire me as well, with her poetic interiors and sublime furniture and textile design.
3. Which historical interior in the world is your favorite and why?
Just one? I love and am inspired by all styles and periods of design. I was moved to tears by Westminster Abbey, the Duomo in Siena, the Picasso museum in Paris in the Marais, Sainte- Chapelle in Paris and Isabella Stewart Gardner’s Venetian art museum in Boston. When an architecture’s interior expresses both man’s humanity and spiritual aspirations, especially while modulating light, and also displaying art masterpieces, it’s a winner. Bringing these qualities to people’s homes, while making them personal expressions, and encouraging indoor/outdoor flow and visual connection to their gardens/yards, is what I aspire to.
4. Can you please share some photos of your home and/or projects you have worked on?
We are delighted to share images from a few of our projects with you, beginning with a variety of the rooms we have designed for Garden Tour at VRG! Our website EverageDesign.com and our Instagram @EverageDesign features many of our installations.
For Virginia Robinson Gardens, our first room was reimagining the original greenhouse as a musical sanctuary, set for tea, complete with antique instruments, and live songbirds in antique bird cages. An antique, colored glass chandelier hung above our custom Giacometti-inspired tea table, arranged amongst an exotic orchid display. The greenhouse hadn’t been touched in years, so the first step was cleaning out the black widow spiders, and giving a mossy green wash to the deteriorating structure inside and out.
We transformed the front Guest Bedroom a subsequent year into an Italianate boudoir; the Galleria years later as a walk-in jewelry box (featuring our custom gold and gemstone jewelry I make here in DTLA); followed by our homage to Tony Duquette in the Morning Room in 2009.
For the Morning Room, we made draperies from the then-newly introduced Jim Thompson silk line celebrating Tony. This particular colorway was chosen to “erase” the walls, and to therefore join the room to the soaring King Palm Forest beyond, with the silk's warm sky blue tonality and subtle palm frond motif. We found an amazing antique Turkish rug that inspired the color scheme, designed the slipper chair and sofa, and covered those in Jim Thompson silks as well. The coral painted tea table is from my collection -- I found the original Arts and Crafts piece in Paris, and we make this now here in Los Angeles.
Abalone, “turtle” shell, faux ivory, coral, and the blue and white antique “tulipiere” all work with the moss, ferns, branches, and flowers to make one pause --are you outside or inside? Truly the best of both worlds!
The most recent room design we were thrilled to contribute was for the 2016 Frida Kahlo inspired Garden Tour, “De Colores.” We imagined a magical realism feast on the Loggia, adjacent to the exotic King Palm Forest. With color and nature being two of Frida’s favorites, we incorporated the four elements to create a painterly effect.
We used moss and a custom moss-toned oversized silk tablecloth, with deep pink flowers sprouting upwards, and little birds alighting on the moss. A vintage Murano sun-drenched ball chandelier, glimmering brass dining chairs, and our collection of richly hued, Asian themed antique flow blue china and our antique cranberry glassware all conspired to create a seductive experience. The custom designed (made to order in our LA workshops) oversized brass bar cart added to the exuberance.
This is one of our residences we designed in 2011 located in the Riviera area of Pacific Palisades. It is notable for the mix of traditional and light, fresh elements, reflecting its locale in the interiors. Complete project photos appear on our website, and this residence was published in California Homes magazine.
Our workshop designed and made much of the furniture, such as this grand iron bed, inspired by 17th century pieces we have seen, but scaled to modern requirements. We sculpted the finials in clay and cast them in bronze, did a hand applied patina and crowned them with natural rock crystal balls. We resourced the balance of the furnishings from vintage and antique dealers.
Other items we designed and made were the brass bedside mirrors, all upholstery goods (covered in white outdoor quality chenille and linen textures to make maintenance easy), many of the solid walnut tables throughout the house, and the beautifully tailored draperies of natural and hand screened linen throughout. We curated a modern art selection from local Los Angeles painters, and collected oversized fine wool rugs for each grand room, as well as vintage pillows for each room. Special attention was devoted to the lighting to create a warm glow with handmade fixtures that add a sculptural, human touch.
Last but not least, we designed an interior plantscape which we extended into the garden to create visual indoor/outdoor flow and bring that wonderful, restful humanizing element indoors that only plants can do!
We completed this residence in 2002 in La Canada. It was a 1920’s residence, once beautiful, but very deteriorated inside and out, and lacking many modern luxury amenities. We tripled the square footage, adding a new gourmet kitchen and luxury bathrooms, a spa, a luxurious movie theater, a pool, a koi pond (inspired by the Malibu Adamson House), and a complete new landscape. We collected important Art Deco furniture, lighting, and artworks. I spent two weeks in Paris and travelled throughout France resourcing all things vintage deco. What we couldn’t find, we designed and made in our Los Angeles workshops, including high craft Art Deco inspired tables, upholstery pieces, cabinetry, and fireplaces.
The front concrete facade was crumbled, so we made a mold of it and recast it. We created hand painted floor tiles for the interior foyer, and restored the murals throughout, and recreated stained glass windows for the bar to match the foyer’s. Ironwork was designed and created to look original throughout the property. Truly all of our design, drawing, detailing, craft, and resourcing skills were fully engaged to realize this unique residence.
This project, a historic South Beach loft, is a second home/city play-house in San Francisco for our Bay Area clients. (We had previously restored and furnished the architect AF Leicht's 1920's Hillsborough masterpiece as their main residence).
For the loft, we added an all new gourmet kitchen, made in walnut with natural stone splash and counters, and we curated the owners’ Hush art collection and resourced antique, vintage and artist-made furniture and antique rugs. We created many original wood and upholstered pieces, including the leather and mohair sofa, four swivel club chairs, a pair of mohair wing chairs, tufted sofa, boucle mohair hand dyed drapery, and the live edge Claro walnut dining table with extensions that sits 16. The sculpted metal detail shown is a close up of one of the extension legs for the table. John sculpted those legs himself, and they have a hand patinated silver leaf finish.
The large scale painting in the living room area was commissioned from our daughter, Erica Everage, who created this piece to be lifted by pulleys to reveal a large scale television. Erica is part of our artistic team, and creates many custom pieces for our clients. The other fun thing about our resourcing for this loft is that we went to salvage yards to find pieces and then refashioned and restored them, such as the jewelry case that is now a bar.
This ongoing restoration of AF Leicht’s 1920’s masterpiece in Hillsborough for a young vibrant family has been a thrilling opportunity for Everage Design to use our full skill set of historical architectural knowledge and detailing/furniture making abilities. It is a four story hillside home that has a central open staircase, ornamented by amber toned stained glass and fanciful ironwork. We have not yet formally photographed the property, but are including some sneak peek snapshots of a few rooms.
While responding to the 1920’s architecture, we also expressed the youthfulness and exuberance of the clients with a rich color palette, mid-century Murano light fixtures, and our playful original furniture designs that complement this “House of Curves.” There are no right-angled corners in the entire home!
A few of the highlights include an oversized “amber” topped coffee table for the grand living room that was a challenge to create. It is made of poured resin with a catalyst added to add cracks and fissures, like you would see in the natural inclusions of amber. We designed all the upholstery goods for the home, with many pieces inspired by the 1920's early deco design. We rescaled the proportions to fit modern lounging and our client's tall stature.
Other highlights we created for them include the blue agate backlit bar, which curves in every direction to fit the round room, the curvaceous, large antiqued mirror behind the custom carved bed, with faux ivory oval nightstands. We gutted the original series of kitchen/pantry/service areas and re-designed an all new kitchen/butler's pantry (with cabinetry details inspired by the nearby Fioli Estate). Luscious natural quartzite counter and splashes were combined with old world dusty blue lacquered wood.
5. What is the book that inspires you the most?
Again just one? I love a good Jane Austen novel that celebrates women’s aspirations and influence while conjuring up gorgeous English gardens and estates. I also love the historical novel Cold Mountain, as its writing is on the level of poetry, and explores so many aspects of the human condition. We have a vast library of art, interiors, architecture, garden, furniture, and jewelry masterpieces. I go to these as reference daily.
Krista Everage, ASID, CID
(310) 200-7334 direct
Instagram: @EverageDesign and @EveBespokeJewels
Facebook: Krista Everage