Producer Josh Schwartz: Inside the ‘The O.C.’ Creator’s Inviting 1920s Spanish-Style Home

The Los Angeles home that Josh Schwartz purchased in 2022 represented a new beginning for the veteran screenwriter and television producer. The creator of the early-aughts teen soap sensation The O.C. (his other shows include both iterations of Gossip Girl, The Carrie Diaries, Looking for Alaska, and more) had recently gotten divorced, and he was looking to create a place where his two young daughters would feel at home.

“It was an opportunity to start from scratch in a lot of ways,” Schwartz tells AD, but despite what it represented, the Los Feliz house he fell in love with was anything but a blank slate. The Spanish-style dwelling built in 1927 was teeming with endearing details and an Old Hollywood soul, and he wanted a designer who would help him make it “warm and inviting,” cohesive, and contemporary while still honoring the architectural history.

Schwartz enlisted Krista Schrock and David John Dick of AD PRO Directory firm DISC Interiors, who shared his affinity for Spanish-style architecture and agreed with his vision of a livable, updated dwelling where elements like the ceiling frescoes, wrought-iron railings, and intricate tilework were the focal point. “So many homes like this are being demolished, so I always like when you can really preserve the original details. I get really excited,” Schrock says.

Shop out the look of the house here

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Painting the walls of the entryway in Benjamin Moore’s China White allowed existing details like the arched door, wrought iron railings, tile floor, and ceiling fresco to be the main focus, supplemented by vintage finds including a Baluchi rug.

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“I have a real affinity for old Los Feliz Spanish houses,” says Schwartz. “There’s something about it that feels classic LA to me. This house had great period detail and bones that you can’t manufacture, like all the curved archways and the fresco on the ceiling.”

The finished product proves that you can honor the heritage of a home while still bringing its look into the 21st century. All of the existing light fixtures—which were “a little Gothic,” explains Schwartz—were replaced with more contemporary-looking selections, which made a big impact. Benjamin Moore’s China White paint turned the common living spaces into fresh canvases for art and furniture, and looks much more modern than the yellowish hues sometimes found in similar dwellings or the black walls seen in photos of this home from a few owners prior. (“That house has had many lives,” says Schrock.)

After taking Schwartz on a shopping excursion, the DISC team zeroed in on his furniture and decor preferences. As with the lighting, he gravitated toward pieces that were eclectic and balanced out the home’s original architectural details. Modern Mexican furniture line Casamidy is featured prominently, as are vintage finds from Obsolete and a few custom-made staples.

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