Nestled discreetly on a hillside in Los Angeles’s historic Beachwood Canyon, just below the iconic Hollywood sign, sits a sleek postmodern lair. The out-of-this-world house—the former home of the Grammy Award–nominated singer-songwriter Halsey—consists of two separate volumes united by a bilevel bridge. As if to remind you that this is the City of Angels, after all, an infinity pool glistens in the sun.
For design enthusiasts and British expats James Williams and Jonno Burden, it was a dream home too good to pass up, and so they purchased the pad from Halsey in 2020. “We have a passion for people—living, hosting, music, and design,” Williams says. “This home really is the ultimate celebration of all that.”
To make it theirs, however, was decidedly more complex. The faceted volumes comprising the 2,500-square-foot, V-shaped house (a not-so-subtle nod, perhaps, to its architect, Jay Vanos, who completed the house in 1990) feature seven distinct sides. “[It’s as if] a postmodern spaceship of a villa landed in the heart of the canyon,” says Williams, who is the CEO of ATRA, the San Francisco– and Mexico City–based contemporary furniture and interiors studio.
Rather than fight the tricky layout, the couple maintained a neutral, airy palette with white walls and polished concrete floors throughout. To soften the look, the couple furnished the house primarily with contemporary furnishings from ATRA (no surprise), and they worked with the brand’s internal design firm on several original elements, including a dramatic new “club” room. “Ultimately this is our personal home,” Williams says. “[And] we wanted to create a personal interpretation of [the] ATRA design style that integrated our passion for international design and Mexican artisans.”
With its Hollywood pedigree, a 16-person outdoor dining table, an omakase-style dine-in kitchen, and a poolside cabana that also serves as the main media room, it’s little wonder that the pair—or their lucky houseguests—never go very far. “Our home is quite hard to leave,” says Burden, a technology executive. “We are surrounded by art and design that inspires us, and the immersive nature of the canyon.”