A chic flat in L.A.’s storied El Royale proves apartment living is tops
In early 2010, Chris Miller traded his house in the Hollywood Hills, where he’d lived for 10 years, for an eighth-floor two-bedroom rental in L.A.’s iconic El Royale building, a skyline landmark where an eclectic bunch of celebrities, directors and industry execs have hung their hats since 1929. “That home had 360-degree views and a swimming pool,” he says. “I downsized in a way that makes me much happier.” (Besides, if the Flower Films co-president and Revolver bar co-owner is in the mood for a dip, he can head to his place in Palm Springs.)
Who would decorate his new abode? Ruthie Sommers, designer of East Coast-chic-meets-West Coast boho interiors, of course. The two have been good friends since Miller and Drew Barrymore (his production colleague) stumbled upon her now-shuttered store, Chapman Radcliff, a few years back. Sommers ended up designing their offices as well as Barrymore’s home.
Miller’s apartment was very much a collaboration. “Chris would text me about a chair while he was in a meeting,” she laughs. Before Miller moved in, he and Sommers made some changes, installing pristine marble countertops in the kitchen and painting the walls and cabinets a cool lime green. The floors were finished in black-and-white, peel-and-stick vinyl. In fact, this cheap-and-cheerful, high-low mix is representative of the whole dwelling. Sommers brought in a cozy sofa she already had and reupholstered it in luxe, orange French velvet; underfoot is a rug purchased at Sotheby’s Sunset auction for $250; there’s a Story & Clark baby grand piano—“a splurge after producing Whip It.” Views from the master bedroom, complete with a John Saladino bed, stretch north to the Hollywood sign and south to downtown. The result is swell; the place looks like Miller has lived there forever. Most important, he says, “It’s somewhere I can come home to at night and feel comfortable.” FLORENCE KANE [C Home, May 2012]