Tour a Los Angeles Home With a Midcentury Soul and a Bohemian Twist

Architect Alexander Liberman crafts a contemporary homage to classic California modernism for a young family in Venice
Tour a Los Angeles Home With a Midcentury Soul and a Bohemian Twist
Rae and Jesse Bochco with daughter Stevie in the living room. Herman Miller Eames chair in Holland & Sherry corduroy, Isamu Noguchi floor lamp, and painting by Eamon Ore-Giron.

In a broad sense, Liberman describes his work as an exercise in plate tectonics, a carefully choreographed dance of materials and planes that slip from room to room, one floor to the next, inside and out. “It’s all about establishing connections and sight lines across the various spaces, creating a natural rhythm that feels easy and instinctive,” the architect muses. That idea takes shape most visibly in the tiered arrangement of the voluminous sunken living room and the open kitchen perched above, a configuration that fosters social interaction while reserving particular delights within the discrete spaces. Delineated by a broad custom banquette, the living room is indeed a great room, but not in the sense of an elephantine developer’s special. Instead, it walks the line between intimacy and grandeur with probity and grace, equally well-suited for individual repose and communal celebration.

The kitchen has Martell Woodworks counter stools, Verner Panton pendants from Matter, a Lacanche range, and Waterstone Faucets fittings.

Verner Panton Flowerpot VP1 Pendant

Ojai Lounge Chair

Ithaca Pillow Cover

The kitchen, much like the finely crafted bar in the media room, reflects Liberman’s expertise in hospitality, a skill he honed working in the restaurant world as both a bartender (during his collegiate years) and a designer, including his four-year stint as the in-house architect for the popular Gjelina Group. “Jesse and Rae gave me the time and budget to make those spaces truly special. They appreciate the power of small details and gestures,” the architect says.

The decorative sensibility throughout the home conforms closely to the midcentury-meets-bohemian directive, encompassing unimpeachable classics by the likes of Bruno Mathsson, Jorge Zalszupin, Afra and Tobia Scarpa, Mario Bellini, and Serge Mouille, set alongside contemporary creations by Stahl + Band, Lawson-Fenning, BZippy, and other makers tied to Los Angeles. “The clients came with great pieces of art and furniture that they’d collected themselves, so we just built on that collection,” Liberman notes. “Nothing is overly fussy or pretentious. We tried to pick things with real character and soul, things that are easy to live with,” Rae adds.

Africa chairs by Afra and Tobia Scarpa surround a table by Christian Troels & Jacob Plejdrup for dk3 beneath an Articolo Studios pendant in the dining room. Rug by Mehraban. Paintings by Henry Taylor (right) and Diego Rivera.

Art: © Henry Taylor. © 2023 Banco De México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Vintage Russell Woodard chairs flank a Harbour table in the courtyard.

Soft Rib Towels

Antique Kilim

XL Hex Planter

Pure Triangle Side Table

Liberman’s wife, art adviser Meredith Darrow, took a similar approach to the artworks within the home, expanding on the clients’ existing collection. “Jesse’s father [television legend Steven Bochco] was a collector, so he grew up around contemporary art, including works by David Hockney, Henry Taylor, and the Lalannes. He and Rae tend to lean more abstract in their taste, so we added pieces specific to the look and feel of this house,” Darrow offers.

“Everything we chose was selected with care—the door handles, the bar fittings, the marble in the kitchen, all of it,” Jesse concludes. “Alex came with great ideas and great craftsmen. Even the little things like the brass inlays in the floor—things that most people don’t even notice—bring us joy. It took time, it took money, but it was one hundred percent worth it.”

This Los Angeles home appears in AD’s January 2024 issue. Never miss an issue when you subscribe to AD.