May 28, 2022

The Fourthny

Art is beauty

At Home: Hollywood ‘fixer’ seeks design help to downsize and fix up a fixer | Lifestyle

5 min read


Ahead of COVID hit, Howard Bragman experienced two properties and a wife or husband. Right now, the celebrity disaster manager, acknowledged for cleansing up some of Hollywood’s biggest messes, is single and residing large in fifty percent the room he as soon as had.

For a feeling of what he’s dealt with, past shoppers include Sharon Osbourne, Nick Cannon, Wendy Williams, Chris Brown and Monica Lewinsky, which just helps make me come to feel grateful I’m not contacting him for illustration.

“After I bought divorced, I did not have to downsize. I selected to,” Bragman told me, when I known as him to talk about his downsizing approach and how he arrived at his gorgeous end result.

Going into the pandemic, Bragman occupied a 1,000-sq.-foot condominium in New York Town and a 4,200-sq.-foot, 5-bed room, 5-bath fashionable farmhouse in Valley Village, a Los Angeles suburb. At the time COVID took maintain, supplying up the apartment manufactured perception, due to the fact Tv function he did there he could now do remotely.

As for the California dwelling, at the time he and his husband parted strategies, “the position appeared as well large,” mentioned Bragman, 66. “I did not want the maintenance. I wished to live in a different way and travel much more.”

He uncovered a two-story, 2,700-sq.-foot townhome in nearby Toluca Lake. Moreover needing a makeover, it experienced what he wanted: two bedrooms, a put for an business office, room for a gym, a generous good home, a spacious outside terrace for entertaining, and access to a pool and jacuzzi. The bones ended up excellent, but the spot hadn’t been up-to-date due to the fact it was constructed in 1977.

“That was a furthermore,” he included. “I detest shelling out for a undesirable renovation. I’d rather pay out for no renovation.” The place also did not have place for his extensive artwork and images assortment and his put together 5,200-sq.-toes well worth of household furniture.

Simply because a accurate expert is familiar with when to simply call for assist, the Hollywood fixer named on longtime close friend Beverly Hills inside designer Christopher Grubb to assistance him take care of the fixer.

Grubb, who joined our get in touch with, satisfied Bragman in the late 1990s, and has labored on a number of of the PR maven’s houses. “We’ve been on really a style and design journey,” Grubb explained. “This residence is 180 degrees distinctive from his last one particular.”

“When you’re going by a crisis, you find out who your mates are,” Bragman joked.

Bragman acquired the townhome in May perhaps 2020. He marketed his farmhouse that summer, and moved into an condominium although he, Grubb and architect Kenneth David Lee of KDL Architects went to perform on the rework. Apart from the structure’s cleanse traces and substantial ceilings, all that remained ended up a handful of walls, the stair railing, a created-in bookcase, an business office cabinet, which they repainted, and the garage doorway.

Applying a palette of blues (Dunn Edwards Luna Pier), grays, creams and taupes, they mounted new cabinetry, flooring, fixtures and constructed-ins, including a ladder-clad library wall in the key bedroom.

Then they grappled with the art and home furniture. “What do you appreciate and what will in shape?” Grubb claimed had been the defining concerns. They begun by deciding on which massive artwork pieces would stay and embellished around them. Among the keepers were being an oil pastel by American artist Rockwell Kent, and an legendary color photograph Annie Leibovitz took of the late film director Billy Wilder on Sunset Boulevard. Wilder and Bragman were being pals.

“Art has a humorous way of talking to you and telling you where by it belongs,” said Bragman, who estimates he marketed or gifted about 35 pieces of substantial art. Some he offered at auction or as a result of non-public income some went to museums, and many parts he gave to mates and kin. “After I picked out what I required to hold, Christopher made a breathtaking gallery wall.”

For the reason that likely from 5,200 square feet to 2,700 can feel like an amputation, I requested Bragman and Grubb if they could translate their procedure into encouraging pointers for other folks facing identical existence and housing transitions:

• Get out your pleasure meter. “When shoppers are downsizing, and we are performing with each other to edit what goes and what stays, I start by inquiring what helps make them happiest. Then we glimpse at what suits,” Grubb explained.

• Take into consideration your art on personal loan. “I look at it this way,” Bragman said, “I might have paid for the artwork, but I really don’t personal it. I am only the caretaker so long as I have it. I recognize that now anyone else will get pleasure from it.”

• Strategy to subtract, then include. Nevertheless far more than half of Bragman’s old home furniture designed the minimize, lots of of the greatest items did not. “When relocating to a more compact room, you truly have to have to get rid of additional furnishings than you consider,” Grubb said, “to make space for some new items you’ll need to pull the spot together.”

• Enlist a pro. A specialist designer will assist you figure out what will work in which and what won’t. Grubb realized right absent that selected items would not operate, but he allow Bragman test them in any case. “He would say, ‘We’ll see,’” claimed Bragman, “when he really meant, “It won’t function.’”

• Be sensible about value. “I experienced a lot of personalized home furniture made,” Bragman explained, “pieces that I seriously cherished but that didn’t transfer properly to the new household. I realized they were being not truly worth significantly.” He sold some for smaller amounts and gave a lot away. “New home furnishings is like a new car or truck, it depreciates the minute you drive it off the ton,” Grubb included. As well as, today’s utilised-furnishings sector is flooded.

• Explore the upside of downsizing. “I beloved my farmhouse, but this is much more my type,” Bragman reported. “It feels terrific. I come to feel like I dropped bodyweight. I have every little thing I need to have and very little I really do not. When I check out someone who life in a much larger sized, extravagant house, I value it, but I thank God I really don’t have it. I wish far more men and women knew that if they scaled back again, they could be so substantially happier. I do not regret allowing go of anything at all. They’re matters.”

Marni Jameson has written 6 residence and way of life books, together with “What to Do With Anything You Very own to Leave the Legacy You Want.” Get to her at marnijameson.com.



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