Inside Casey Wilson’s Charming Farmhouse-Inspired L.A. Home
When Casey Wilson and her husband, David Caspe, started their search for a family home, she knew exactly what her dream house was: The problem was that she didn’t know if it actually existed in Los Angeles. “Maybe this is kind of cheesy, but I’ve always loved the movie Father of the Bride, and I had this idea in my head of the white house with the dark trim,” the Black Monday actress says. The couple’s favorite neighborhood, Los Feliz, however, was filled with a preponderance of Mediterranean and modern homes, and not many in that traditional East Coast vein. Luckily, their friend Doug Levine, an interior designer and architect, had been keeping a close eye on the real estate market in the area and alerted the couple as soon as a listing for a private almost farmhouse-like home became available.
Although they lost out with their first bid, the approximately 4,000-square-foot house hit the market again a few months later, and the couple quickly snatched it up. But as picture-perfect as its exterior was, they knew a major renovation of the 1938 home was in order. Its current state was dark and claustrophobic: exactly what Wilson, a lover of warm and comfortable spaces, didn’t want. To realize her and Caspe’s vision for a welcoming home that was perfect for entertaining—“Our favorite thing in life is sharing a meal or drink with friends,” she says—they enlisted not only Levine to work on the interior architecture but also firm Nickey Kehoe to create the interior design. It was an unusual arrangement for Levine, who normally focuses on interior design himself, but working with Nickey proved the men were perfect foils. “At the beginning, we didn’t want to step on each other’s toes,” Levine says. “But it was actually so easy. It’s really fun watching someone else with talent take what you’ve done and add their layer on to it.”
Levine’s goal was to open up each floor’s layout: On the first floor, which is where the family does their entertaining, he added in a proper foyer by expanding out into the house’s substantial front veranda. When it was completed, “it looked like it was always there,” Levine says. Upstairs, in the more private areas, he blew out the ceilings in the bedrooms to cathedral-like proportions and added in larger windows to take advantage of the property’s lush green landscape. The basement, which was the former owner’s secondary closet, is now a sleek dark bar space with room for up to 100 people. “We’ve done Thanksgiving and Christmas parties there; everybody’s loving it,” Wilson says.
For the interior design, Wilson relayed to Nickey that she loved pattern and color. “We wanted the whole house to feel warm when you came in,” she says. “Like it was a hug and welcoming to everyone.” Caspe found he did have to be the voice of reason when it came to some of Wilson’s design wishes, though. “He said, ‘If you had your ideal way, we would just strap two mattresses to you and you would just lie down wherever you were,” she laughs. “’At a certain point, we have to have a chair; it can’t also be a couch and a bed.’ ” Nickey toed the line by imbuing the home with bright color, multiple patterns, and prints, all of which read as inviting. “We wanted to create a space they are super-comfortable in and that feels casual enough in the less formal areas of the house but then formal enough that entertaining still feels like it’s an elevated experience,” says Nickey.
The family also embraced wallpaper, which can be found everywhere from the powder room (a floral Sandberg) to the guest bedroom (a subtle salmon-colored print by Lee Jofa). The most arresting, however, is the outdoor-scene Iksel wallpaper in the forest-green dining room, which lends a refined, traditional air to the room. “It’s unbelievable,” Wilson says of the print. Although Wilson initially protested Nickey’s use of green in the home, he was finally able to convince her of the color’s utility in everywhere from the striking dining room to the cheery mint-green in the kitchen. “There are so many beautiful vistas in the exterior; everywhere you look outside, it’s green. So we incorporated the outdoors inside. It just felt like such a natural thing,” Nickey says. “Todd got me good with green and now I love it,” Wilson says. “I always said, ‘You know, I hated it, and now I hate it so much, I love it.’ ”