Design Deep Dive: Bobby Berk HQ
Celebrity designer Bobby Berk had his work cut out for him when he saw the backyard of his new Los Angeles headquarters. “Sad and boring” were two words that came to mind. Knowing he needed to modernize the outdoor spaces, he reached out to landscape company Orca to rework the hillside and yours truly at Perennials and Sutherland to incorporate sleek beautiful furnishings. Keep reading to discover how Berk completely transformed this outdoor oasis.
How did you segment out the different areas of this outdoor space? How did you allocate Sutherland furniture pieces according to space?
When I first started designing the backyard, I knew I wanted to create a number of different spaces – including areas that could be used for dining, entertaining, having meetings, and (most importantly) relaxing. While it is our office space I wanted it to feel like a home to everyone that is working there which is why creating different areas was so important to me. Using large concrete pavers and gravel, I divided the lower portion of the backyard into the dining/kitchen area and an informal lounge area. I knew we needed a big table to accommodate my entire team, and the Plateau Rectangular Dining Table was the perfect fit. In the lounge area, there also needed to be quite a bit of seating, so I added a built-in banquette with Perennials fabrics and a pair of Cat’s Cradle Lounge Chairs (in Wild & Wooly cushions) for a cozy conversation spot.
The upper sloped portion of the backyard was also not being used at all, so I definitely wanted to make use of that space. To do so, I added a staircase to access it and had two additional seating areas built. I envisioned the pergola area as a quiet spot for unwinding, and a pair of Great Camp Teak Chairs (adorned in In the Loop cushions) were ideal for just that. At the very top of the backyard, I paired Sag Harbor Lounge Chairs and the Franck Three- Seat Sofa (in Very Terry Noir cushions) to create another intimate seating area.
Tell us about the neutral color palette. That’s a lot of white Perennials fabric!
Well, I’m obviously a big fan of neutrals, and I loved the way the white fabric looked with all the Sutherland Furniture. It’s a very classic and chic look, mixing teak with white. I also thought the white and lighter tone Perennials fabrics had a great contrast with the landscaping and all the lush shades of green. And since all the seating is performance fabric and it has covers, we also didn’t have to worry about the fabric getting stained or damaged!
Does the interior design of the office speak to the exterior design at all?
Definitely! I considered the exterior to be an extension of the interior design, with one cohesive look and feel. I would describe the design as “Modern Organic Spanish”, and we made sure to include similar colors, textures, and materials in the backyard that spoke directly to the interior. The outdoor furniture, the fabrics, and even the plants we chose are all part of the overall design vision for the office.
Did the fact that this is an office (not a home) impact the design?
I certainly took that into consideration. An office is not going to receive the same amount of use as a residence, but I did want the backyard to feel really inviting, and be fully equipped for hosting events. I did make sure to add lots of different seating areas to give my team options for having lunch, taking meetings or calls and just taking a moment to unwind and enjoy.
What is your favorite exterior area? Why?
I really love the dining area. It’s such a beautiful and functional space, and also the area that gets the most use. That table is one of my favorite pieces in the backyard with the mix of marble and teak and we’ve had lots of team lunches out there, I’ve thrown a couple of parties, and it’s a real standout for me with the mix of materials. At dusk, with the soft light and the fountain going, it really feels like you’re in the Mediterranean.
Are there any open positions at Bobby Berk Design, because we would LOVE to take a couple Zoom calls from this beauty of an office. Which space is your favorite?
Ed Note: All photos in this post by Tessa Neustadt