Pasadena: A Refined Luxury Mediterranean Estate

Hello All!  I know that lately I’ve been spoiling you with snippets from my recent trip to New York City, but today I thought I’d take a quick break from all the NY hoopla and treat you by stopping in on my hometown of Pasadena, CA, where we will be visiting my friend Malin’s expansive Mediterranean home situated in the exclusive Huntington Library estate area, an area known for its architecturally significant homes and large tree lined lots.

When Malin moved into her home three years ago, she enlisted the help of her friend, Amy Sklar of Amy Sklar Design, an accomplished Los Angeles based interior and furniture designer.  Being from Sweden, Malin wanted to incorporate simple, uncluttered, ultra-stylish Swedish style to her home, but it was important that the space was still livable and more importantly, comfortable for a young family.

Well, I think Malin and Sklar’s collaboration achieved just that, as Malin’s home is everything I described above.  Sklar was able to retain the original Mediterranean inspired details of the home while incorporating the simple, modern, streamlined, and stylish.  Take for example, the fireplace in the living room, where the soft lines of the stone carved corbels are contrasted against the sharp, angular lines of the metal fireplace screen that sits in between.  Most would not put the two together, but it works beautifully together.
I love the way Sklar has incorporated blue and burnt orange block print pillows into the decor of the living room – they are simple, yet they add just the perfect touch of color to the room without being too overpowering.
…and the egg chair.  I couldn’t think of a better way to pay homage to Malin’s Scandinavian roots than to bring in a vintage Arne Jacobsen egg chair, which Sklar  had restored and upholstered in a rich, caramel colored leather. The egg chair, conceived by Danish architect Arne Jacobsen and manufactured by Fritz Hansen, is an organic, modern interpretation of the classic wing chair and was originally designed for the lobby of the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, but I think it looks just perfect in Malin’s living room!
Photographer: Lawrence Lim via Amy Sklar Design

On the other side of the front foyer, sits a beautifully appointed library with a wall of custom built ins, also designed by Sklar, which spans the entire length of the room. In one corner is a lovely spot to kick up your feet on an ebony colored Moroccan pouf, and on the other end is a desk, where one can get down to business by watching over the traffic coming in and out of the house through the front foyer.

Photographer: Lawrence Lim via Amy Sklar Design
Photographer: Lawrence Lim via Amy Sklar Design
The dining room is simple and uncluttered, but is packed with punch.  When lit, the hand blown, smoke colored, Italian glass fixture sparkles from above and creates the perfect atmosphere for an intimate gathering with friends and family.

I love how the curvature of the chair back below echoes that of the stair railing above it.  Given Sklar’s impeccable attention to detail, I’m sure that the placement of the chair in that exact spot was no accident.

The master bedroom boasts a pair of Mies van der Rohe’s white Barcelona chairs, which are casually perched in front of a modern fireplace on one end of the room.  Facing out towards the pool, is a desk paired with the ever so stylish Louis ghost chair.  I love how Sklar has placed the iconic chairs of the past throughout the house – she obviously understands the old saying that “what’s old is new again”.
On to the outdoors…

The perfect place for entertaining, the rear garden was completed on October 26, 2012 at EXACTLY 6:15 pm.  How do I know, you ask?  Because Malin hosted a school parent party in this very space for 80 of her closest friends, which I helped coordinate, and the contractors were still finishing up and did not leave until 15 minutes before the party started!  Talk about stress…  By the way, the party was a smashing success!

A solar powered salt water pool and spa with Portuguese travertine deck and pool house with bath sit towards the rear of the yard.  With its folding doors that eliminate the barrier between the indoors and out, the pool house is the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors while escaping the sun’s harsh rays, especially in the hot summer months.

If any of you are interested, Malin’s house is currently on the market, as she is returning to her native Sweden with her husband and three young daughters this summer.  The listing and all the details regarding the home can be viewed HERE.   Nadine Danz of Sotheby’s International Realty can be contacted via the link provided for further information.  Anyone who scores this property is a lucky one, as this home is filled with so many beautiful architectural details and so many modern amenities.  A little slice of paradise here in Pasadena! I hope you enjoyed our field trip to Pasadena.  Next up on the blog – back to NYC for more on the Kips Bay Decorator Show House!
Unless otherwise noted, all images were taken by me, Jeanne Chung

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