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Publication Date: 2011-10-06

Behind the Design

Q&A with Brooke & Steve Giannetti of Giannetti Home

Interior designer Brooke Giannetti and architect Steve Giannetti are the Los Angeles-based husband-and-wife design powerhouse behind Gianetti Home. In 2006 they combined their considerable talents to open Giannetti Home, an architecture and interiors firm specializing in classical residences with a modern sensibility, and a distinctive industrial-meets-vintage Belgian style. Here, Brooke fills us in on her inspirations, love of natural materials, and why we shouldn’t stress over scratched floors.

Q: You and Steve have worked together in one capacity or another for 24 years. What’s the secret to a successful design partnership?

A: I love Belgian, Swedish, and French country style—the clean lines, the natural colors and material palette. Steve prefers a combination of classical, modern, and industrial. When we combine our aesthetics we create a fantastic balance of masculine and feminine design. We also compliment each other on a process level; Steve focuses on the big picture—the blueprints, the furniture layout—and I focus on the details—the furniture selections, the fabrics.

Q: How has your design philosophy and approach evolved over the years?

A: I’ve started to appreciate more masculine and industrial elements, and Steve has started incorporating more modern details into his architecture. We recently updated our own home and made it less of a “chick house” by incorporating industrial pieces and old French leather chairs to bring in masculine energy. A room with a combination feels better—rooms with a lot of feminine energy can feel too fussy.

Q: What looks or trends are you loving right now?

A: Design is becoming cleaner and less cluttered. I think it’s because our lives are getting more hectic and sped-up. People want to calm things down a bit. We’ve been using a lot of natural materials in their simplest state: limestone, white plaster walls, un-lacquered brass, natural linen, white oak floors. When you walk into a space with these colors and materials, you can feel your whole body relax.

Q: Can you point to something in your Dering Hall storefront that illustrates this?

A: All of the upholstered furniture here consists of clean, classic pieces. We prefer to cover them in off-white or natural linen that only gets softer over time.

Q: Please tell me a bit about how you put together a room. What kinds of furniture do you think looks right together?

A: We usually start with one piece that sets the tone for a room. For a house we did in Pacific Palisades, we found an antique Turkish rug with pale camel colors and a hint of celadon green. That rug was the starting point for the entire house. I never buy a piece for its provenance; I go for an emotional connection. When Steve and I decided to open our shop, Giannetti Home, we put objects we love on a table—brass cogs from a factory, old parchment books, a piece of weathered leather, a gilded wooden tassel. That’s how we figured out what we wanted our store to be. We take the same approach to interior design.

Q: Your book, Patina Style, was just published. What is “patina style,” and what makes it so appealing to you and Steve?

A: Our life with our children and our pets has taught us to appreciate the beauty of imperfection. We have soft pine floors in our home that show dings from the ten years we’ve lived there. Each flaw is a memory. Every chip in our carrera marble countertop is part of our family history. We’ve learned that if you use beautiful, natural materials they will only look better as they are used.

Q: What inspires you?

A: I love materials in their natural state, items that feel timeless, and flea-market stalls—you can always find the latest trends and unique pieces there. Q: Is there a particular piece in your collection that you are obsessed with right now?

A: We bought an antique French chaise at the Paris flea market last month and the proportions and details are just perfection. We had it reproduced because we feel its versatility and classical silhouette will inform our new furniture designs for years. It’s called the Coco and you can find it on our Dering Hall storefront. I have one in my bedroom, but I plan to move it to my office when we move to our new home. It would also work wonderfully in a dressing room or a library. It can be paired with any type of furniture—but it would look especially great with a set of our Clive Wing Back Chairs, also on Dering Hall.

-Jennifer Bush

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