Minding The Gap
A Rolling Hills Estates–based interior designer and vintage art dealer designs the perfect home spanning three generations for her children and widowed father.
- Written byJennie Nunn
Nearly three years ago, a divorce and the loss of her mother led Palos Verdes native Anna Hackathorn—along with her two children—to join households with Anna’s father, Tom Hackathorn, a retired veterinarian.
“My dad was retiring and was moving from our childhood home. We started talking about it, and it seemed like a really good solution and just made sense,” says Anna, a Palos Verdes High School graduate.
Anna worked for lauded designer Michael S. Smith for several years before founding a company with interior designer Schuyler Samperton. She operated that business for four years before launching her own firm and vintage art company a few years ago.
“We had really specific needs and wanted lots of space with parking and a yard. I love all of the trees, and I just love that it feels like you’re in the country here. I lived all over the place—like New Orleans, Telluride, Paris and New York—and it’s not like I always planned on coming back here. But then when I had kids, I thought, ‘This is perfect, and it’s such a nice place to raise them.’”
After settling on a 2,600-square-foot, 1950s ranch-style house situated along a bridle path in Rolling Hills Estates, Anna came up with the design ideas and enlisted builder/contractor Jeffrey W. Lewis as well as Keith Johnson of Pritzkat & Johnson Architects to help with the structural details. To make the four-bedroom house their own, Anna revamped the kitchen with a light, sage-green hue—Mizzle by Farrow & Ball—and a large, butcher-block island.
They revamped the outdoor deck and converted the garage into her art studio and warehouse, where she keeps more than 500 pieces (some framed and some unframed)—spanning 1800s traditional art to 20th-century contemporary modern paintings. “I buy stuff that catches my eye,” says Anna, who is now focusing more on one-hour design consultations and has done several Tastemaker Tag Sales for One Kings Lane.
“I don’t think that that many people know that it’s an option to have a one-hour consultation, and it’s so beneficial and people get so much good information. It’s such a great way to get jumpstarted,” she says. “I want my art and design process to feel approachable for people who are either scared of making design mistakes or spending too much money and end up doing nothing because they are paralyzed. I try to do blog tutorials about how to hang all different kinds of art in all different kinds of rooms.”
For the large, cozy living room, Anna selected a large coffee table from Restoration Hardware, two dark blue sofas ideal for the family’s two black Labrador retrievers, Archie and Wiki, and family heirlooms. “We really mixed stuff from my house in Redondo Beach and antiques from my parents’ house that my parents had been collecting for years. We just kind of blended stuff that I have collected over time from flea markets and their European antiques with my beach, bamboo, tropical kind of stuff,” says Anna.
Now the house has her personal stamp with sentimental pieces from her late mother, family photos and a chalkboard wall for doodling and drawing in the hallway between her son’s and daughter’s rooms.
In her daughter’s room, cheerful orange, blush pink and hot pink paper lanterns and bunting are festooned from the ceiling, while two twin beds with hot pink upholstered headboards reside alongside a bamboo side table and a large, handmade painting with pink and blue paint made with friends on her 7th birthday. “She always wanted a pink bedroom, and she’s an owl fan,” adds Anna of the original owl painting found at a flea market.
Down the hall in her son’s room is a framed three hockey jerseys worn by Anna’s great-grandfather Norman Alexander Dutton. She used an old, industrial-style desk culled from the Chelsea Flea Market and that was once in her apartment in New York.
In her own bedroom, Anna incorporated her favorite colors: blue and green with orange accents. “I usually lean toward blues and greens, and I like patterns and have always been drawn to beachy, islandy seascapes,” she says. She points to 12 of her favorite flea market finds: framed watercolors by artist Lisbeth “Bet” Reed.
Her bed is upholstered in a global-inspired, deep blue and emerald Blue 4 fabric by Muriel Brandolini and topped with Kantha quilts from India. A built-in desk is paired with a bamboo chair. “I’ve always like bamboo and the California, beachy vibe mixed with antiques,” she adds.
It’s evident after almost three years that Anna, along with her father and children, have all settled right in. “My dad loves cooking for the kids , and as a working mom, it’s so nice to have extra helping hands. We’re really a team with the kids,” she says. “I think it’s a good influence on the kids to be around their grandfather—to have an older generation and to have that layered experience. I kind of feel like the multigenerational thing is how it should be, and it’s nice. It made a lot of sense, and for now it works.”
Culinary concepts can be as viral as those annoying pet videos on YouTube; menus today from Hong Kong to Hoboken all seem to feature ubiquitous items like foamy sauces, pork belly and cod cheeks.