August 12, 2019

Brooklyn-Based Home Studios Reinterprets Five Leaves in an Art Deco Setting in L.A.

Banquettes in orange fabric and tan leather line two walls of a dining room. Photography courtesy of Home Studios.

Five Leaves Los Angeles, the recently-opened West Coast branch of the well-known Brooklyn restaurant, is housed in the elegant, circa-1930 Art Deco Merrick Building in East Hollywood and features serene interiors by Home Studios. The Brooklyn-based firm is known for designing more than a dozen New York City eateries, but this wasn’t its first foray west. Home Studios also did the interiors of Gwen, the well-regarded Hollywood restaurant and butcher shop, and Bibo Ergo Sum, a West Hollywood cocktail bar.

What the studio didn’t design was the original Five Leaves. Oliver Haslegrave, Home Studios’ founder and creative director, noted that while he loves that space in the Greenpoint neighborhood, “we liked bringing a diverse set of influences to the project.”

Five Leaves’ walls were done by decorative painter Kevin McCormick. Photography courtesy of Home Studios.

The new 2,430-square-foot restaurant’s abundantly daylit corner space is divided into dining and bar areas, each partly visible from the other. In the dining area, banquettes covered in orange fabric or tan leather line the north and west walls, while tables with wooden benches and chairs fill the rest of the space. The curved bar itself, painted a bright blue, has an arched back bar that is open to the dining area, while on the north wall another arch frames wine storage shelves backed by mirrored glass to reflect the space. The arched forms were inspired by the back bar of the original Five Leaves.

The bar’s metalwork is by Gabrielle Shelton of Brooklyn’s Shelton Studios, Photography courtesy of Home Studios.

Throughout the interior, with its subtly-colored plaster walls by the decorative painter Kevin McCormick, the long drops of Home Studios-designed pendant lights emphasize the rooms’ lofty proportions. All the metalwork (except on the building’s façade) was done by Gabrielle Shelton, the founder of Shelton Studios in Brooklyn, and a partner and investor in the Five Leaves restaurants. Her work is found in New York spaces such as Balthazar restaurant and the David Zwirner gallery, as well as in numerous high-end residences.

Five Leaves Los Angeles occupies the first floor of Hollywood’s Merrick Building. Photography courtesy of Home Studios.

Shelton did the metalwork for the light fixtures, the back bar (with its blackened steel structure and patinated steel-mesh inserts), the wine shelves, the plant shelves that run along the upper walls, and an arched mirror near the restrooms—for which she even made bronze toilet-paper holders. “I wanted to match the feel of the Art Deco building,” Shelton says. The result of this cross-country collaboration deftly blends sophisticated design elements and fine craftsmanship with an ease that looks right at home in its Los Angeles setting.

Designers opted for a curved, marble-topped blue bar at Five Leaves Los Angeles. Photography courtesy of Home Studios.
Metal shelving is by Gabrielle Shelton of Brooklyn’s Shelton Studios. Photography courtesy of Home Studios.
The Art Deco Merrick Building, which houses Five Leaves, dates to 1930. Photography courtesy of Home Studios.

Read more: 10 Questions With… Oliver Haslegrave

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