At Home: Hollywood ‘fixer’ seeks design help to downsize and fix up a fixer | Lifestyle

Kennith Bogan

Right before COVID hit, Howard Bragman experienced two properties and a spouse. Right now, the celebrity crisis manager, known for cleaning up some of Hollywood’s biggest messes, is single and residing big in fifty percent the area he the moment had.

For a perception of what he’s dealt with, past clients involve Sharon Osbourne, Nick Cannon, Wendy Williams, Chris Brown and Monica Lewinsky, which just can make me come to feel grateful I’m not contacting him for illustration.

“After I bought divorced, I didn’t have to downsize. I chose to,” Bragman informed me, when I known as him to discuss about his downsizing course of action and how he arrived at his beautiful result.

Heading into the pandemic, Bragman occupied a 1,000-square-foot apartment in New York Metropolis and a 4,200-sq.-foot, five-bedroom, five-bath modern-day farmhouse in Valley Village, a Los Angeles suburb. Once COVID took keep, supplying up the condominium produced perception, considering that Tv perform he did there he could now do remotely.

As for the California home, after he and his husband parted strategies, “the spot appeared as well massive,” stated Bragman, 66. “I didn’t want the upkeep. I required to stay differently and travel extra.”

He discovered a two-tale, 2,700-square-foot townhome in nearby Toluca Lake. Other than needing a makeover, it experienced what he wanted: two bedrooms, a put for an place of work, place for a gym, a generous terrific home, a spacious outside terrace for entertaining, and accessibility to a pool and jacuzzi. The bones were superior, but the area hadn’t been current considering the fact that it was created in 1977.

“That was a moreover,” he additional. “I despise shelling out for a negative renovation. I’d fairly spend for no renovation.” The spot also did not have room for his in depth artwork and images selection and his blended 5,200-square-toes worthy of of home furniture.

Simply because a true qualified is aware when to simply call for support, the Hollywood fixer identified as on longtime friend Beverly Hills inside designer Christopher Grubb to support him resolve the fixer.

Grubb, who joined our simply call, met Bragman in the late 1990s, and has labored on quite a few of the PR maven’s houses. “We’ve been on very a style and design journey,” Grubb reported. “This home is 180 degrees various from his past 1.”

“When you’re going via a disaster, you locate out who your buddies are,” Bragman joked.

Bragman purchased the townhome in Could 2020. He marketed his farmhouse that summer, and moved into an condominium when he, Grubb and architect Kenneth David Lee of KDL Architects went to function on the remodel. Aside from the structure’s clean up traces and significant ceilings, all that remained had been a several walls, the stair railing, a designed-in bookcase, an business office cupboard, which they repainted, and the garage doorway.

Applying a palette of blues (Dunn Edwards Luna Pier), grays, lotions and taupes, they set up new cabinetry, flooring, fixtures and crafted-ins, like a ladder-clad library wall in the key bed room.

Then they grappled with the art and furniture. “What do you appreciate and what will match?” Grubb reported were the defining issues. They began by picking which major art items would continue to be and adorned all over them. Amid the keepers ended up an oil pastel by American artist Rockwell Kent, and an legendary shade photo Annie Leibovitz took of the late film director Billy Wilder on Sunset Boulevard. Wilder and Bragman had been pals.

“Art has a amusing way of talking to you and telling you in which it belongs,” said Bragman, who estimates he sold or gifted about 35 parts of significant artwork. Some he bought at auction or by way of personal profits some went to museums, and a number of parts he gave to mates and relations. “After I picked out what I desired to retain, Christopher designed a breathtaking gallery wall.”

Because likely from 5,200 square toes to 2,700 can feel like an amputation, I requested Bragman and Grubb if they could translate their procedure into encouraging ideas for some others dealing with related life and housing transitions:

• Get out your happiness meter. “When clientele are downsizing, and we are working with each other to edit what goes and what stays, I get started by inquiring what makes them happiest. Then we glimpse at what matches,” Grubb claimed.

• Take into account your art on bank loan. “I glance at it this way,” Bragman said, “I might have compensated for the art, but I really do not possess it. I am only the caretaker so very long as I have it. I appreciate that now a person else will appreciate it.”

• System to subtract, then add. However far more than fifty percent of Bragman’s previous home furnishings designed the minimize, numerous of the premier items did not. “When going to a scaled-down area, you essentially need to get rid of much more household furniture than you feel,” Grubb explained, “to make home for some new goods you are going to need to have to pull the put jointly.”

• Enlist a pro. A professional designer will aid you determine out what will get the job done wherever and what won’t. Grubb realized ideal away that certain parts would not operate, but he permit Bragman try out them anyway. “He would say, ‘We’ll see,’” stated Bragman, “when he truly intended, “It won’t work.’”

• Be practical about worth. “I experienced a ton of custom household furniture designed,” Bragman explained, “pieces that I genuinely beloved but that did not transfer properly to the new residence. I discovered they were not worth much.” He marketed some for little quantities and gave a good deal away. “New home furnishings is like a new car, it depreciates the minute you generate it off the ton,” Grubb extra. As well as, today’s utilized-furnishings sector is flooded.

• Discover the upside of downsizing. “I liked my farmhouse, but this is much more my type,” Bragman stated. “It feels great. I sense like I shed body weight. I have every little thing I need to have and almost nothing I really do not. When I go to anyone who life in a considerably bigger, extravagant residence, I appreciate it, but I thank God I don’t have it. I want a lot more people today understood that if they scaled back again, they could be so a great deal happier. I do not regret letting go of anything. They’re things.”

Marni Jameson has penned 6 house and life style guides, like “What to Do With Every thing You Very own to Depart the Legacy You Want.” Access her at

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