artwork of Jack Nicholson

Lyndall's notes

Top photo: The new breakfast nook. "I don't know why, but I always have wanted a red ceiling."

Right photo: Balinese umbrellas from Koan Collection on Melrose Avenue lend color to the deck. "I wanted these black river pebbles to ring the pool but realized only later how difficult it is to keep them clean. The water leaves marks on them, but you live and you learn."

Above: "When Jack [Nicholson] saw the painting, he just kind of grumbled."

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The Los Angeles Times

Lyndall Hobbs calls the shots on her own L.A. remodel

By Jake Townsend, special to the Times

"I did not have a contractor," L.A. interior designer Lyndall Hobbs says, cruising through a front succulent garden that reminds her of her native Australia.

"I did it all myself because I figured I knew better -- even though I had never done anything of this scale before."

The result? Workers toiling for months while Hobbs and her 12-year-old son retreated to various parts of the house as renovations moved from one space to the next.

"By deciding to stay on in the house, I had a five-month intensive, up-close course in renovation -- how to keep things moving, cut costs and what really needed to be done in what order," Hobbs says of the renovations to her L.A. house, which sits off Mulholland Drive near Laurel Canyon.

When the work was complete, she had added a breakfast banquette and TV nook off the kitchen at one end of the house, opened the living room in the middle, and perhaps most important, expanded her pool deck in back. Now guests of her frequent summer parties have more room to take in the panoramic Valley view.

In a fairly short span, a quaint Spanish-style home was transformed into an industrial-tinged, midcentury-flavored retreat that is a portrait of its owner.

View the Los Angeles Times article

Photography by Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times

(Reprinted with permission. Story date May 1, 2008.)