When hotel heir Omar Mangalji lucked into finding a Los Angeles home on the market in the Trousdale Estates neighborhood, he felt that there was something special about the house. “I don’t think I was born with the gene for design aesthetics or space curation,” he says, “but this time, I could see it.”
Before he purchased the four-bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom residence, Mangalji brought along his close friend and interior designer Elizabeth Law to view the property. She agreed it had immense potential, especially given its sweeping views of the city. They had worked together on his previous house in the Hollywood Hills after first meeting through mutual friends in London in 2012. “She knows how to challenge me with things that would potentially be out of my comfort zone,” Mangalji says, “which she does in a very nice way.”
Law effectively got carte blanche when it came to this project, ultimately bringing in architect Jim Schmidt, who decided to take the building down to the studs. “It was all about the view for all of us,” Law says. Though cues were taken from the original structure, much of its orientation was changed to focus the main rooms out over the hills. “We spent a lot of time on windows and doors,” the designer recalls.
The result—which took four years to complete—is a house with cozy interiors that, while personal, maximizes its breathtaking vistas. “I wanted the house to have a handsome aesthetic,” Law says. “I really wanted to steer away from shiny and slick.” Mangalji notes how a lot of houses in Los Angeles feel like unlived-in spec houses, where footsteps echo from every area. (Oak flooring was installed for its sturdiness and lack of clip-clop sound.)
Brown Serbian marble, which wraps around the wall that divides the living room and primary bedroom, was one of Law’s first major design choices. It anchors the “earthy and textural” palette she had in mind. The same can be said of the leathered stone, which adds further warmth to the house. Throughout the home, a relaxing sensibility persists—and not just in the gym, which Law says possesses “wellness spa vibes.”
Though the furnishings were spearheaded by Law, Mangalji incorporated his own art finds: two charcoal drawings by a friend he’d lost contact with (and whose art he found by chance on a website, not knowing it was by her), a tapestry reminiscent of one he admired in a London club, and a sculpture by another friend for the entrance.
Overall, Law and Mangalji have built a home not just for Mangalji’s current life, but also with an eye toward the one he might one day have. Despite the fact that Mangalji is single, the house’s primary bathroom and closet have been designed with two people in mind. (Mangalji’s mother jokes, however, that there’s not much room left in the other half of that closet). The intention behind the large kitchen island—which is almost 20 feet long—was to facilitate dinner parties. In Mangalji’s vision, the island would serve as a point around which guests could gather. A welcoming anchor for the Los Angeles home, and one which speaks to the overall spirit of the house. Clearly, its future is just as bright as its present.