Inside the Bespoke Home of Tyler Ellis - A Personalized Taste of Europe in Brentwood
Written by Jamie Agoglia
Handbag designer Tyler Ellis is known for her classic meets vibrant design style, and her home is an exquisite reflection of that. A collaborative process between her, her husband Benjamin Shriner, and her longtime interior Designers The Archers, the French-inspired architecture by William Hefner combined with their chic yet eccentric interiors creates a harmonious contemporary style that is clear throughout their Brentwood home.
Jamie Agoglia: This home that you and your husband have designed, it really is just so beautiful and it’s such a unique style, so I’m really excited to hear more about it. What initiated this design process and who designed the home?
Tyler Ellis: I worked with The Archers but I’ve always loved interior design. I don’t have the knowledge or skill set to actually do it on my own, but we worked really closely with our interior designer, who I’ve worked with since I was 18. So it was kind of a fun, time consuming labor of love, right? I had worked with him on a beach home and then an apartment in New York. And then this one, he was the lead. But I put a lot of myself into this house, and it really reflects mine and my husband’s personalities, as you can see, with the quirky art and a lot of character in the home.
It seems like such a perfect blend of a beautiful European style, but with this really eclectic vibe thrown into it, too, which I think is really unique. How would you describe what the vibe of the home is, being there and living in it?
We live in Brentwood, and the home's exterior is serious and sophisticated; it feels like a mini French chateau. I don’t think you can see from the photos but it just has a French chateau vibe. And when we first bought the home, it was beautiful, very serious, and it was all one color. The painted the same color, the gray green, and it was very formal. So when we bought it, we wanted to brighten it up. So we painted most everything white, except for what we call the Brandy Library, which is that teal room with multiple colors. It’ s a little eccentric in a way, but we wanted to give it the Parisian apartment vibe. Just different and something unexpected.
Is there a favorite room or space in the home that you find yourself most drawn to?
What we call Brandy library. I think it’s the most visually appealing to me. We don’t spend as much time as I would like to in there because it is one of the more formal rooms. And we have a one year old baby which is not ideal for him, but sometimes I just go sitting there by myself and just look around. What I do also love is our kitchen. Again, that was the same gray green color, so we painted it black, turn the hardware bronze, and then put up the subway tiles. And that’s where we spend a lot of our time. My husband likes to cook, so we’ll hang out there with him. I think that it’s a beautiful kitchen.
One of the other things that I noticed in the house that I was really drawn to, is that huge pink polar bear . There has to be a story behind that one.
Yes. We found, what we’ll call her cousin, at a gallery in Tokyo and they had Paola Pivi as an artist, and we just fell in love immediately. And we reached out to the gallery and we found the one we now have in the home, Bristol Bear, and love the pink, and we just thought, you know what? And my husband, too, he’s like, come on, let’s pink bold. We need a bright pink, pink polar bear. She’s awesome. So at the time, she was in a gallery in Alaska, so she was there for a year, and then they sent her over to us after that.
Paola Pivi is an Italian artist, but she loves polar bears and Alaska, so that so this is a life size version, which is pretty cool.’’
In addition to the many beautiful vintage pieces and art pieces in your home, are there any other highlighted pieces in the house that have a personal meaning?
There is this one that is just a photograph, but it’s of my father. I had it in my New York apartment and it was just up on a wall, and my friend Brian Bowen Smith was like, “Oh wow that's an Avedon” So I pulled it off the wall and then it said “To Perry. Love, Richard”. And so Richard gave this to him as a gift. And it’s awesome. It sits at the base of my staircase again, my Bristol Bear looks at him and he looks like I get to come down and take a morning. I have storage units and I was going through it, and we just found my dad’s Coty Award from 1979. In 1980, which is also so that now sits below his picture, which is so cool.
In the dining room, I’m really drawn to that chandelier above it. Can you tell us more about that?
Yes, that’s Studio Mullen and it was built specifically for this room. So it’s the perfect dimensions and fits perfectly. The underside is made with copper, so when you turn that on and have dinner under it, it’s just so beautifully lit, and everyone looks great.
Are there any other aspects to the home that you want to highlight or that you’re particularly proud of or want to bring some attention?
We also built a backhouse, so there’s a whole other layer of excitement that goes on there. So the main house is our family home, and it’s not huge, it’s not small, but it’s a lovely size. But then we built this back house has a pool table, kitchen, indoor/outdoor living spaces. Then you go downstairs and there’s a Speak Easy and wine cave and theater. And then upstairs, my office. And we built it like this so if we have a party, there’s a pretty side entrance. We can come around and we can keep our family home just private. We were imagining our son having a birthday party and for all these kids that will be the fun zone. And then our private family home. So I really love that. And think of a special design that you don’t see in many homes. It feels much more European than American, because the American style tends to go with big, massive sized homes. So we like the intimate feeling of this, but you still do get the square footage that you want.
We like the intimate feeling of this and it makes me really happy, and it’s just calming and quiet. We have a bocce court. It’s just relaxing, we can hear the fountains, we wanted a place that’s peaceful and very much “us”, and we did that.