A Los Angeles Home That Expertly Blends Old and New

It’s hard to tell which is which in this Los Angeles home from HGTV Magazine. See how the totally original, collected-over-time look came together.

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Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein


“Our house sits on a pretty busy corner, so I like that it feels like a retreat with all the greenery surrounding it,” says Shelby Grayeli. The Grayelis kept the tile roof that was added in the ’80s, but they refinished the exterior with a smooth style of stucco often used on historic buildings in Santa Barbara. 

Finding the House

Shelby and Sam Grayeli had just completed renovations on their home in West Los Angeles, CA, when Shelby saw a listing for a 1935 Spanish ranch house five minutes away. Unable to resist its charm, she convinced her husband to check it out. His reaction was less than enthusiastic. “He thought it was terrible — it hadn’t been touched since the ’80s — and that I was insane for falling for it,” says Shelby.

But she was so smitten by the ample size (3,600 square feet) and the location (near the campus of UCLA, Sam’s beloved alma mater) that she talked Sam into making an offer. Less than 48 hours later, it was accepted, and so began a whirlwind few months of selling their old home and renovating the new one more extensively than planned after they discovered it was (brace yourself) infested with rats. The reno included an overhaul of the kitchen and bathrooms, and major construction work to create a master bedroom. When it was done, Shelby, a collector of vintage furniture, rugs, and light fixtures, worked with designer Irene Lovett to pull together a look that mingles Shelby’s old finds with new pieces so it feels like they’ve been together forever. 

Dining Room

The dining room features a delicate antique chandelier, a vintage wool rug and a new table and chairs from Restoration Hardware.

Living Room

An easy-on-the-eyes palette in the living room includes Restoration Hardware sofas covered in soft gray fabric. “These were in our old house,” says Shelby. “The classic shape means they have staying power.” She topped them with a mix of faded and dip-dyed pillows from DwellStudio and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. The weathered double-tier coffee table is also from Restoration Hardware. Although the oak and washed-cotton chairs by the bay window look vintage, they’re actually new ones from Jayson Home. 


“When I get tired of seeing something in the same place, I rearrange,” says Shelby. This cane-back settee, which she bought at the Rose Bowl Flea Market and reupholstered in coral-and-pink fabric from Raoul Textiles, used to live at the foot of daughter Alexis’ bed. The old rug is an eBay find, and the mirror was picked up years ago during Shelby’s self-described “obsession” with mother-of-pearl inlay.  

Breakfast Room

After falling in love with a table she saw in a magazine a decade ago, Shelby had a similar one custom-made. It’s surrounded by bentwood chairs upholstered in gray jute from Jayson Home. The worn rug is another eBay score. “I have vintage-rug shopping down to a science,” she says. “When I find one I like, I tape off the measurements on the floor to see how it’ll fit, then hang a color printout on the wall to make sure I’ll still like it after a few days.” The bronze-and-brass globe pendant is from Circa Lighting. 


Shelby’s inspiration for this space: a kitchen designed by Caitlin Wilson she saw on Pinterest that “looked timeless.” She chose creamy white for the cabinets, gray for the island and brass hardware from House of Antique Hardware “for that old-school feel.” Shelby knew that between juice spills and crayon marks, the island would get a lot of abuse, so she topped it with a beveled 2 ½-inch-thick slab of quartz — “The kids can do anything and it won’t get ruined” — while the perimeter counters and backsplash are Calacatta marble. The French country-style barstools are from Ballard Designs, and the glass globe pendants are from Arteriors. 


Even the half bath got the new-looks-old treatment with cream-and-gray star motif tiles from Cement Tile Shop and a Restoration Hardware sink on an oak base. The walls are covered in textured gray blue wallpaper, and the distressed bamboo mirror is from Serena & Lily. 

Master Bedroom

The Grayelis’ bedroom is filled with things the couple has held onto for years, including a mother-of-pearl-inlay dresser that Shelby found in Santa Monica,
an upholstered Crate & Barrel bed that she and Sam bought when they moved in together, and a set of chairs from a friend’s estate sale. “When I got them, the wood was turquoise, and the fabric was gold,” she says. “Now that I’ve redone them, my friend wants them back!” The wool rug is from Restoration Hardware, and the pendant is an antique.

Sophie's Room

Sophie, 3, recently graduated to a big-girl Jenny Lind bed from The Land of Nod. Shelby set it against the wall, daybed-style. The vintage frosted-glass-and-brass light fixture was in Alexis’ room, but “Alexis didn’t like it — she thought it looked like spiders were crawling on it,” Shelby says. The block-print pillows are from Unison, and the others are from one of Shelby’s favorite Etsy shops: Tshaj, a maker based in Thailand. The pouf is from Target.


The sisters’ shared bathroom is a combo of sweet and sassy. The wallpaper is Nina Campbell with a birds-and-butterflies motif. The art is a Castle and Things find that Shelby tracked down via Instagram. The stool that Alexis is perched on is a piece Shelby has had “since forever.” It’s topped with a cushion covered in leftover Schumacher fabric from a
long-ago project. 

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