Aly Daly Design Max and Lubov Azria house

House_front

“They’re designers, not accountants,” says Daly. “Every Friday night they entertain anywhere from 40 to 100 people. The house really is used for entertaining.”

Max_Azria_House0043

Max_Azria_House0032

Floral metal garland speaks to the Miss Lacy chairs by Philippe Starck for Driade below

Max_Azria_House0103

Max_Azria_House0001

Jonathan Adler pillows complement Lubov’s collection of starburst mirrors in the living room

Max_Azria_House0096

Max_Azria_House0102

Max_Azria_House0048

Aly Daly portrait2 Cameron Glendenning copy

Interior designer Aly Daly

USE_Max and Lubov portrait

Max and Lubov Azria

Inspiring Interiors | Inside Max & Lubov Azria’s Palace

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

By Laura Neilson
Photos courtesy of Aly Daly; portrait by Cameron Glendenning

Haven't picked up your copy of DB's special edition Inspiring Interiors yet? To check out this story and more in glorious print visit our Shop.

After more than a decade working in visual merchandising and interior design with reputable fashion labels such as Perry Ellis, Gianni Versace, and Calvin Klein, Aly Daly had her big break in residential design in 2009 when Max and Lubov Azria, the husband and wife duo behind BCBG and Hervé Léger, enlisted her to help transform their newly purchased Los Angeles home.

And by “big,” we mean big.

The palatial, 60-room mid-century mansion, sprawled out over 35,000 square feet in posh Holmby Hills, is the kind of once-in-a-lifetime project most interior designers dream of. Even better, Daly’s clients were hardly opposed to taking design risks. “Aly and I worked together for years prior to the house project,” says Lubov Azria, with whom Daly collaborated the most closely. “She worked with BCBG doing the interiors for our stores. So I knew she understood my sensibility.” The result? A spectacular collection of eclectic, statement-making rooms, not to mention a fabulous venue for the Azria’s now-famous weekly parties.

Years later, the house still stands out as an exciting example of modern design, its lasting impression achieved by more than just bold looks. “It’s really more about evoking a feeling than anything else,” says Daly of her design process. Here, she tells us about having a vision beyond just the visual.

LN: A notable number of your previous job titles include the word ‘visual.’ Would you say that’s always been the most important sense for you?
Aly Daly: I think always being around people who had an appreciation for beauty that appealed to all the senses was a formative opportunity for me. My mother was a painter and an art teacher. My dad was a musician, and I was always involved in the arts. As long as I can remember my mom had my hands in paint, in clay—there was always something for me to create.

LN: Where did you grow up? What was your own childhood house like?
AD: My house was very untraditional. I grew up way in the northwestern corner of Connecticut. My mom and dad found this really cool house in an architectural magazine in 1967, and my dad recreated the house for himself. It was sort of like a large cube on top of a small cube with decks all over the place, and huge-paned windows and sliding doors all over the place. Very post-modern.

LN: Did that inform your own aesthetic at all?
AD: Not necessarily the house’s design, but I think what it did do, especially compared to my friends who lived in traditional New England houses, was open my eyes to different styles of architecture and design. I’ve always been interested in creating the unexpected, which is exactly what my dad did. 

LN: With regards to ‘the unexpected,’ are there any design trends that you try to avoid?
AD: I guess most people don’t really operate this way, but I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to what other designers are doing. I really try to respect the architecture of a space. For me it’s more about going into a space, whether it’s an empty store or an empty house, and looking for things that should have attention drawn to them. Even if it’s an old abandoned house, there’s something that’s going be interesting in there—either an architectural element or light coming through a window a certain way.

LN: In terms of looking for something preexisting in a space to call out to you, what was it in this particular project?
AD: It’s about 35,000 square feet, and 26 or 27 bathrooms on the property—it’s big [laughing]. One example, in Max’s office, there was a very traditional, massive marble mantelpiece in there. It was such a beautiful mantelpiece that I didn’t want to take it out, despite the fact that his office is very modern. So what we did was inlay the mouth of the fireplace with little 1-by-1 gold tiles, to add a modern treatment around this very traditional fixture.

LN: What was it like working with fashion designers on the level of the Azrias on a home?
AD: The interior design really does reflect their personalities. They’re designers, not accountants. Every Friday night they entertain anywhere from 40 to 100 people. The house really is used for entertaining. They have beautiful, amazing parties there. Also, a lot of the fabrics that we used are more apparel-grade fabrics than necessarily home fabrics, because obviously they’re in the apparel industry and they have an appreciation for finer apparel. A lot of the fabric on the upholstery is leather, wool, cashmere. Again, for me, design is something that appeals to all the senses, and they touch and feel everything they come into contact with.

LN: What has stayed with you the most about this project?
AD: The dining room table, I’m proud of—that’s a cool piece that I designed. It’s made from a 9- or 10-foot door that was salvaged from a building in Belgium, and we recessed it onto mirror inside a glass box. Also the chandelier in the foyer, which is 25 feet long. It’s a cylindrical colander, and before any of the crystals were placed on the concentric links surrounding that cylinder, we were on scaffolding for about a week and a half with tweezers pulling tiny little hairs of fiber optics through every single hole on that colander, so that whole cylinder of crystals lights up with white fiber optics at night. It’s pretty magical.

LN: Was cost a non-issue?
AD: The cool thing about the room with all the sun mirrors is that some of the mirrors on the walls are $5,000 and some are $50 dollars. For Lubov and me both, if we love something and we’re moved by it, cost is not so relevant. For me, what makes me proud about this house, is when we tell people where some of the pieces came from—like the Rose Bowl Flea Market—in a million years they’d never believe it.

Tagged with: