Hollywood ‘fixer’ seeks design help to downsize


In advance of covid strike, Howard Bragman experienced two houses and a husband or wife. Now the superstar crisis manager, recognised for cleaning up some of Hollywood’s most significant messes, is single and dwelling big in half the house he the moment experienced. For a feeling of what he has dealt with, earlier customers incorporate Sharon Osbourne, Nick Cannon, Wendy Williams, Chris Brown and Monica Lewinsky, which just helps make me sense grateful I’m not calling him for illustration.

Heading into the pandemic, Bragman occupied a 1,000 sq.-foot apartment in New York and a 4,200 sq.-foot, five-bed room, five-bath modern farmhouse in Valley Village, a Los Angeles suburb. At the time covid took hold, providing up the condominium produced sense due to the fact any Tv operate he did there he could now do remotely.

As for the California house, the moment he and his spouse parted techniques, “the put appeared as well large,” stated Bragman, 66. “I didn’t want the maintenance. I desired to dwell otherwise and vacation additional.”

He located a two-tale, 2700-sq.-foot townhouse in nearby Toluca Lake. Apart from needing a overall makeover, it had what he wished. The bones were being very good, but the area hadn’t been up to date considering the fact that it was crafted in 1977.

“That was a moreover,” he added. “I despise shelling out for a poor renovation. I’d rather fork out for no renovation.” The place also didn’t have space for his substantial artwork and photography selection and his combined 5,200-square-toes really worth of furniture.

Simply because a accurate experienced is aware of when to call for support, the Hollywood fixer termed on his longtime good friend Beverly Hills interior designer Christopher Grubb to help him fix the fixer.

“We’ve been on pretty a design and style journey,” Grubb claimed. “This household is 180-degrees various from his last a person.”

“When you are heading as a result of a disaster, you locate out who your good friends are,” Bragman joked.

Bragman bought the townhouse in May perhaps 2020. He sold his farmhouse that summer months, and moved into an condominium although he, Grubb, and architect Kenneth David Lee of KDL Architects went to operate on the remodel.

Working with a palette of blues, grays, creams and taupes, they mounted new cabinetry, flooring, fixtures and designed-ins, which include a ladder-clad library wall in the major bedroom.

Then they grappled with the artwork and home furnishings. “What do you appreciate and what will in good shape?” Grubb claimed were being the defining thoughts. They started out by deciding on which huge art parts would continue to be and decorated all around them.

“Art has a humorous way of talking to you and telling you where it belongs,” claimed Bragman, who estimates he sold or gave absent about 35 pieces of substantial art. “After I picked out what I needed to retain, Christopher designed a spectacular gallery wall.”

  photo  In the kitchen area and breakfast place, loaded blue cabinets (Dunn Edwards Luna Pier) blend with heat gray countertops, as satin brass components and a split-finish chandelier insert sheen. (Courtesy of Arch-Interiors Design and style Group, Inc.)
Due to the fact likely from 5,200 sq.-toes to 2,700 can really feel like an amputation, I requested Bragman and Grubb if they could translate their approach into encouraging ideas for other individuals experiencing identical daily life and housing transitions:

◼️ Get out your pleasure meter. “When consumers are downsizing, and we are doing work alongside one another to edit what goes and what stays, I start out by asking what will make them happiest. Then we appear at what matches,” Grubb mentioned.

◼️ Look at your artwork on financial loan. “I glance at it this way,” Bragman stated, “I may perhaps have paid for the artwork, but I never very own it. I am only the caretaker so prolonged as I have it. I value that now a person else will take pleasure in it.”

◼️ Plan to subtract then increase. Even though additional than 50 percent of Bragman’s aged home furnishings designed the minimize, several of the premier pieces did not. “When shifting to a scaled-down room, you really will need to get rid of far more furnishings than you believe,” Grubb mentioned, “to make area for some new products you will want to pull the put alongside one another.”

◼️ Enlist a professional. A qualified designer will assist you determine out what will operate exactly where and what will not. Grubb understood correct away that certain parts wouldn’t work, but he allow Bragman consider them in any case. “He would say, ‘We’ll see,’” mentioned Bragman, “when he actually meant, ‘It won’t function.’”

◼️ Be reasonable about price. “I experienced a good deal of customized home furnishings built,” Bragman explained, “pieces that I definitely cherished but that did not transfer properly to the new house. I realized they were not well worth considerably.” He sold some for small amounts and gave a ton absent. “New home furniture is like a new auto, it depreciates the minute you drive it off the whole lot,” Grubb extra. Moreover, today’s employed furnishings current market is flooded.

◼️ Discover the upside of downsizing. “I loved my farmhouse, but this is extra my style,” Bragman said. “It feels fantastic. I really feel like I missing bodyweight. I have all the things I need and nothing I really don’t. When I take a look at somebody who lives in a substantially more substantial, extravagant residence, I enjoy it, but I thank God I do not have it. I want much more persons realized that if they scaled back, they could be so considerably happier.”

Marni Jameson is the author of six home and life style textbooks, which includes “What to Do With Anything You Personal to Leave the Legacy You Want.”


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