Enter Jessica Hart’s vibrant Los Angeles home
Often, friends make the best people. So for Australian model and Luma Beauty founder Jessica Hart and seasoned editor, stylist and interior designer Carlos Mota, a decorating partnership was long in coming. “I’ve always really admired Carlos’s taste and love for everything colorful and amazing,” says Hart.
The couple rode with the same social circles for years in New York City and even traveled to India. But it wasn’t until Hart prepared for a move across the country that their stars lined up for a project together. When Mota heard that she was abandoning her glamorous Gramercy Park apartment (A D, September 2017) for a Spanish-style house in the Hollywood Hills, he immediately offered his services. “I said, ‘When you move to LA, I would love to help you out,’” Mota recalls.
Things quickly fell into place. Hart left New York to start a home with her fiance James Kirkham, a creative entrepreneur and former race car driver, and young daughter Wren, who lives with the couple part-time. She and Mota held meetings to discuss the vision for the bohemian layered house. The pair looked at tissue samples. Custom tiles have been put into production.
But when COVID hit, around the same time the renovation began, it all stopped. Hart discovered that she was expecting her first child, and Mota was squatted on the opposite coast indefinitely. “I mean, it was a scary time,” says Hart. “I just found out that I was pregnant. And my main priority was to get this house where it needed to be.
As it turned out, Mota had no choice but to design the house entirely remotely. (He didn’t even set foot on the property until a few days before the A D shoot.) Instead of in-person visits, friends exchanged countless photos and videos.
It helped that Hart and Kirkham were more active than average Mota customers. Hart sent Mota pictures of furniture she had found online and he weighed. When it was not yet sure for the contractors to return to work, Kirkham built the closet cabinets, painted parts, and rewired lights. He even learned to weld, using equipment from his body shop and instructional videos on YouTube, by building a seven-foot-high iron gate for their yard. “I felt like he was doing as much as the entrepreneurs eventually did,” says Hart. “Everything is linked one step at a time. “
Slowly the vision began to reveal itself. A combination of Moroccan, Turkish and Italian design influences, the global mix is maintained by stripes and botanical patterns.