This week's Cote de Texas Top Ten - #7, goes to the Queen of Clutter, Lynn Von Kersting. I can assure you that Von Kersting, a Los Angeles interior designer will be the only Top Ten pick that is more famous for owning a restaurant than an interior design business. As the proprietress of Los Angeles' most famous star gazing haunt, The Ivy, Von Kersting's interior design profession is not as well known to the public. Adding to her mystique, her interiors are not published often, she has no web site, and her book is sold only at her decor store, Indigo Seas. Located right next door to The Ivy, Indigo Seas looks like a typical Von Kersting interior on steroids. A riot of color, textures, patterns, and Grand Tour accessories, Indigo Seas (pictured to the left) is the most famous example of the Von Kersting style. The style she has made famous is heavy on a layering of reds, toiles, Eastern influences, saffrons, faded Bennisons, and antiques. Her interiors include a treasure trove of riches a tourist would bring back from a visit to countries bordering the Indian Ocean. Von Kersting's own home is the famous former George Cukor estate. She lives there with her partner and her daughter, India. A true Renaissance woman, Von Kersting, has taken her interpretation of the clutter-filled English country home and made it her own. Her interiors are instantly recognizable - warm, inviting, with splashes of color and pattern, and always a touch of whimsy added for fun.
This beautiful room in a home in Bel Air is pure Von Kersting: toile fabric walls, multiple different toiles used on upholstered furniture along with Bennison and indienne fabrics, comfortable, down filled slipcovered seating, masses of accessories and layers piled high, blue and white porcelains, framed prints of European and Asian landscapes, antiques, stripes, and touches of crystal.
Close up view of the left side of the living room.
Close up of the right side of the living room. Note the mother of pearl Moroccan tables Von Kersting likes to use. Pillows piled high are made of paisleys and Indian silks.
Close up view of slipcovered, down filled arm chairs. Note the small tufted chair upholstered with two fabrics.
Back porch which the living room looks out onto. Von Kersting always finishes her porches as outdoor rooms. Here, an iron daybed is piled high with striped red and white fabrics.
The master bedroom is a study in toiles. Five different patterns were used in this room. Yet, somehow, it all works together beautifully.
The master bathroom used two different patterns. Antique French blue apothecary jars are a favorite accessory that Von Kersting likes to use.
This entry hall in a Californian home has all the Von Kersting touches: Victorian styled tufted chairs, Moroccan accent tables, framed prints of landscapes, crystal chandelier, and as always she is true to her motto: the more the better.
Further down the entry hall, Von Kersting's tablescape on an antique painted console table piled high with her favorites: blue and white porcelains, urns, flowers, mirror, platters, prints, and an Indian box. An antique Oushak rug covers the tiled floor.
For this family's dining room, Von Kersting upholstered the chairs in red and white striped fabric, drapes are saffron silk taffetas. An antique Oushak sits under the table. Gold antique mirror and crystal chandelier add to the mix.
In the same dining room, a gold chair is upholstered in a paisley fabric, another Von Kersting favorite. Antique painted panels hang on the walls. A wicker basket holds extra napkins underneath the painted wood buffet table.
The entry hall of the home shown above has a collection of dog oil paintings going up the stairs. An antique french settee piled high with pillows sits underneath the stairs. Note the antique tufted bamboo ottoman, piled high with tole tray, books, and flowers.
For this small California cottage, Von Kersting used red and white ticking (a favorite fabric of Kersting's,) floral slipcovers, antique wicker furniture, bamboo blinds, books, trays, mirrors, and piles of pillows.
For this smaller home, Von Kersting used a blue and white striped fabric on an antique Swedish sofa. Checks go on the french bergere. Pillows piled high as usual and a favorite green color is used on the walls.
For this living room, Von Kersting departs from her usual reds and yellows and instead uses soothing shades of peaches and greens. Everything else remains typical Von Kersting though.
Here, is Von Kersting's own home, the original George Cukor estate, which was designed for him by William Haines. Shown is the magnificent paneled living room, which Lynn painted a deep red, of course! Bennison fabric covered the sofa. In the back is a beautiful chinoiserie chest piled high with blue and white porcelains.
A bigger view of the living room - the ceiling is partly carved in wood paneling. In the foreground a bench is covered in a Fortuny like fabric. To the left, a skirted table sits in front of the bay window. I love the green fabric shade on the blue and white lamp behind the sofa. Antique Oushak rug.
Close up view of the skirted table and french settee inside the bay window. French chairs are covered in a blue and cream Fortuny fabric.
Another view of the same setting - this time the table is left bare, exposing a mother of pearl Indian table.
Another seating area in the living room. Clutter everywhere - the room is warm, inviting and welcoming.
Venetian mirror atop a painted console.
Another vignette in the living room - here a chinoiserie chest and Venetian mirror.
Contrast the Von Kersting living room shown in the above pictures with the Geroge Cukor living room shown here designed by William Haines. The walls are stained paneling here instead of painted red. The wood carved ceiling remains the same today, though painted red. Von Kersting removed the chandelier in favor of a lantern, but myself, I prefer the original light fixture. The Cukor pictures are courtesy of the Mrs. Blandings blog, who wrote a fabulous story about the Cukor home here.
The entry hall in the Von Kersting home. A hall table is piled high with blue and white porcelains, oxblood vase, flowers, candlesticks and books.
Here, is the same entry hall photographed when George Cukor lived here. Note, the same sconces remain today.
The oval room is Von Kersting's private study. The room, a departure for the bright colors of the other rooms, has copper moldings and is painted a soft green. The furniture is slipcovered in white cottons.
Another view of the oval room.
Close up of the oval room decorated for Christmas.
Again, the oval room decorated for the Christmas.
Contrast the green oval room as it was during Cukor's day. Von Kersting changed out the paneling, but kept the copper moldings and the parquet floor. She also changed out the copper fireplace.
The master bedroom: paisley covered sofa and chairs. Oriental coffee table. Wallpaper, and indienne inspired fabric on the four poster bed.
The same room, but this time an antique Oriental silk coverlet hides the paisley upholstery.
One more shot of the bedroom - with views towards the left side of the room.
The library, housed in a building outside the main house, is piled with books and records everywhere. The piles and piles of books are on the shelves and on the floor, on top of tables and underneath tables too. Painted a warm Provencal yellow, a skirted table provides a place to eat away from the main house.
Close up of the library's bookcase. Framed pictures hang from the shelves.
Lynn Von Kersting has long been a favorite of mine. Rarely published, the few interiors that are show Von Kersting to have a unique style that is all her own. Some designers have tried to emulate her look, but find she is hard to copy successfully. I hope you've enjoyed The Top Ten #7 and come back for the remaining choices!!'