This Enchanting Los Angeles Apartment Was the Longtime Home

This Enchanting Los Angeles Apartment Was the Longtime Home

Kimberly found the apartment through some serendipity. A friend told her there was an open house at Mae’s former apartment, so Kimberly went. Although she wasn’t looking to purchase an apartment at that moment, she fell head over heels. “It had high ceilings, amazing views, and most importantly the Mae West connection,” she says. “The arch, the moldings, the tile, the windows—it was all frozen in time. Within 15 minutes I was plotting my move here.”

Mae had made the apartment famous in its own right because she was photographed there often. A feature published in Architectural Digest in 1994 looked back at her 48 years in the home and quoted her as saying, “There’s always been just one way—what’s right for me.” Kimberly has found a challenge in embracing that same edict. How does she make the place that was right for Mae West right for herself, while also paying homage to the star?

In the dining room, the view from the sixth-floor apartment is on display. Here, the red chairs were owned by Mary Pickford. A framed Frolic Room napkin from the ’40s is displayed to the left of the window with framed keys from Perino’s restaurant below it, hanging on an original ironing board from the iconic Hollywood spot Chateau Marmont. The wallpaper in the room is Paradiso in black and multi-color, designed by Nina Campbell for Osborne & Little.

“I’ve tried to find the balance between honoring her memory and having my own design style,” Kimberly says. “Her fabulous place was all white and gold, which is not me.” Instead of making the apartment a museum to how Mae West wanted it, Kimberly has gone full-force into making it how she wants it. She also celebrates the star by holding salons in the space—at which a glass is always raised to her—introducing a younger generation to Mae as often as she can, and displaying some of her “wonderful treasures.”

Kimberly created what she calls the music room for her husband Greg, who moved into the apartment after she had already decorated most of it. “I wanted him to have a space that was just his,” she says. A Les Paul guitar sits in front of the bookshelf, but otherwise, this room has less celebrity wares than others. “Just a lot of Tiki goodness,” Kimberly says.

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