At Home with the Gilbert Adrians

Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Adrian in the 1940s

This is for those of you who have been following along with my Adrian posts. Surely I wasn't the only who was tantalized by that monkey house roof and left wanting to see more of the Adrian-Janet Gaynor residence? Well, no more sleepless nights....

The Adrians' Bel Air house was remodeled in 1951 with the help of architect Burton A. Schutt (pronounced Skutt), who is best known for designing the Bel-Air Hotel in 1945. In a town where all the secrets of greasepaint and stagecraft were intimate knowledge, it was very common to give an existing structure a cosmetic face-lift, instead of building from scratch.

Adrian was very involved with the project, and the interior was gutted and reimagined with a more contemporary open floorplan and floods of light.

The living room layers traditional furnishings, paintings of Africa by Adrian himself, and tribal artifacts collected on the couple's extensive travels.

Besides bearing testament to Adrian's penchant for animal skins, the sunroom also features Robsjohn-Gibbings sofa and armchairs, a slamming mirrored cocktail table, and a pair of African drums used as end tables (which would have been very at home at this summer's Hampton Designer Showhouse where all things African seem to be the trend du jour.)

All photos by Fred Lyon, from the April 1992 issue of Architectural Digest