The Archers: Inside a Quintessential LA Compound Floating Above the City Streets

Before work began on the renovation of Fisher’s Jorgensen house (now a guesthouse and hangout spot), Petit and Disend visited the LA architect in his landmark office to align their approach with Fisher’s original vision of a home built on a ruin, buffeted by the forces of fire and earthquakes, a meditation on the ephemeral nature of life in the hills. “We ran the whole program by Fred, who was incredibly supportive,” Disend says of his and Petit’s plans for a painstakingly faithful restoration that nevertheless allowed room for subtle updates (notably a new powder room and kitchen) as well as a decorative layer uniquely attuned to the homeowner’s quietly kooky spirit.

That polyglot finishing gloss includes a whimsical Elizabeth Garouste swing hanging from the rafters, a claw-foot table by T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, a Biedermeier commode, a Marco Zanini throne chair of sparkly fiberglass, a custom broken-column bed, and a massive kilim depicting a kind of queer fantasia in Elysium by artist Silvi Naçi. Set against the backdrop of Fisher’s rugged masonry blocks and corrugated metal columns, Disend’s feast of decorative delights will surely quicken the hearts of design junkies addicted to the weird and wonderful.“Our idea was ‘gay Pompeii,’” the producer notes wryly. “You can feel the vision when you’re in the space so there’s no need to explain it.”

The Jorgensen House bedroom is centered on a custom bed by The Archers that nods to Fisher’s conceit of a house set on a ruin.

Matt Murphy. © Karel Funk/303 Gallery, New York.

As one might expect, Disend’s art collection—which includes works by Stan Douglas, Al Taylor, Lisa Yuskavage, Brian Calvin, Cary Kwok, and Jules de Balincourt—is as meticulously considered and personal as the furnishings. “I’m not a collector in a traditional way. I tend to be interested in the artist first, their own story and motivation, and then the artwork,” the homeowner states.

Both Disend and Petit credit landscape designer Eric Nagelmann, renowned for his work at Montecito’s Lotusland and other high-profile projects, for the botanical connective tissue that unites the home’s disparate structures, terraces, and pool into a proper compound. “Eric played a huge part in shaping my life here. I have an excuse to use every part of the property, and it’s the same for my friends—the smokers find their spot, the drinkers find their spot, everything is open for exploration,” Disend says. “There’s a mix of things that don’t necessarily make sense, but it all works. This place is nobody’s taste, yet everyone loves it.”

This LA home by The Archers appears in AD’s December issue. Never miss an issue when you subscribe to AD.

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