Designer Betsy Burnham Updates a 1930s Tudor

by hookedonhouses on January 11, 2013

Last year House Beautiful featured this 1930s Beverly Hills Tudor updated and decorated by interior designer Betsy Burnham. We didn’t get to see the exterior of the house in the article, though, so I was interested to see it in her portfolio, along with other rooms they hadn’t included. Take a look!

Here’s how the staircase looked in the article, which writer David A. Keeps opened by asking, “How do you get away with a lavender foyer in a 1930s Beverly Hills Tudor?”

Burnham responded: “Sometimes you have to push people out of their comfort zone. A Tudor can be so dark, it’ll bring you down. It’s blasphemy to paint the wood white, but it changes everything, makes it so much friendlier, approachable, and Californian.”

I was surprised by how much lighter the foyer looked in the photos on her website:

I prefer the lighter walls that are closer to gray. Wonder if they were repainted before/after the photo shoot or were darkened digitally to look more dramatic?

Here’s how the living room looked in HB:

On her website this photo more clearly shows the two separate seating areas and the way she divided them with that console table and tall lamps:

This bedroom designed for a teenage girl popped up all over Pinterest and the blogosphere after the article came out. Everyone wanted the Katie Ridder Leaf wallpaper:

I searched for the article on the House Beautiful website to no avail. I would have loved to have linked directly to it so you could read more. Why are so many magazine websites difficult to find stuff on?

It would be such a luxury to have a closet and dressing room like this…although my jeans, t-shirts, and Skechers wouldn’t look quite as glamorous through the glass as the homeowner’s designer wardrobe. Ha.

Built-in display cabinets and shelves in the house were painted dark blue:

I like the tall windows, the vaulted and beamed ceilings, and the built-in shelves in the eating area and hearth room off the kitchen.

Looks like a sunny spot to eat and hang out with the family in.

So much of the house is gray, blue, and lavender, that I was surprised by this shade of green in the butler’s pantry:

Like it? More photos and information at Burnham Design. Betsy also created Instant/Space, one of the first online design services, in 2005. 

I love that she has a chihuahua named Nina Garcia! Thanks to Enjoli for directing me to Burnham’s website. Photos by Amy Neunsinger.

P.S. If You’re Hooked on Updated Tudors:

A Light & Bright 1920s Tudor

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65andcounting January 11, 2013 at 8:55 am

Call me crazy, but I find this house cold, almost sterile. I prefer the warm and fuzzy look, the softer colors, less stark. I’ll pass.

Cristina January 11, 2013 at 9:03 am

Beautiful job! I love it ! It looks so clean!

Ricki Jill Treleaven January 11, 2013 at 9:11 am

LOVE the bath and closet. My only criticism is the puke green in the butler’s pantry…..maybe it’s a diet strategy. :/

Sheena January 11, 2013 at 9:25 am

So cool. Love Betsy. I work for a high-end furniture showroom that is open to interior designers and Burnham design is one our top design firms we work with. Was very cool to see her on here since I actually know her and her associates at her design firm.

Go Betsy!!!!!!!!

MissCaron January 11, 2013 at 10:24 am

Very interesting. The interior is much to “museum” for my taste though. I agree with your point about magazine websites. They’re awful! Have a wonderful weekend, Julia!

Nadege January 11, 2013 at 10:57 am

Although this house is magazine ready, I find it too cold and staged.

Christina from Dallas January 11, 2013 at 11:16 am

I actually like the house. It looks clean an calming. I don’t however like that wallpaper. Too busy!

anne January 11, 2013 at 11:54 am

I love the pendant lights in the kitchen. where did they come from?

House Crazy Sarah January 11, 2013 at 6:16 pm

I noticed those too…. they seem a little boob-like. I dunno, maybe because there are 2 of themside by side….

Shelley January 12, 2013 at 9:48 pm

I believe the pendant lights in the kitchen are from Rejuvination. They come with that industrial “netting” over the globes. They are stunning and give off great light. I have been crushing on them for my own home for quite awhile.

hookedonhouses January 12, 2013 at 9:58 pm

Thanks, Shelley! I just checked their website and here are the pendants they offer if anyone’s interested:

Monica February 20, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Hi, actually I think these lights are the Sorenson pendants from Remains lighting:

I too have been crushing on these lights for a while, but at their greater than $1,000 price tag (each), I will never own these in my home.

I do love the light over the table, though. Any thoughts on where that is from?!!

hookedonhouses February 20, 2013 at 4:18 pm

That does look like them–thanks, Monica! Anyone know about the light over the table?

Jen January 11, 2013 at 12:38 pm

it nice and bright just needs to be a bit cozier for me

Menahil January 11, 2013 at 12:52 pm

love it!

Linne January 11, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Oh My gosh…I just love this site…it’s the first thing I click on each morning. Thank you for showing us these lovely homes!

Empress January 11, 2013 at 1:49 pm

This design is not my style especially the living room. One side appears to be in conflict with the other, like a couple at odds with one another facing different directions.

Jennah January 11, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Does anyone live there? It’s……..very cold and uninviting, in my opinion.

Maddie January 11, 2013 at 4:14 pm

In that picture of her, she sure dresses like her design style. I like it!

Laura January 11, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Wow. I just don’t like this at all. It seems like a house designed for the purpose of being photographed, for entertaining people you want to impress, and for having your maid(s) keep clean – as opposed to a home that feels comfortable, personal, cozy and friendly.

Julie B. [Holland] January 11, 2013 at 5:17 pm

I like the outside of the house , but I’m not crazy about the inside at all. I agree with other posters, its leaves me totally cold.

Billy January 11, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Although better than 90%,it isn’t her best: uninspired, safe, RomCom with Katherine Heigl.

Nita January 11, 2013 at 7:19 pm

If the websites put up everything, no one would buy the magazines.

Mia January 11, 2013 at 7:26 pm

I agree with most of these comments that the home feels cold and staged. The wall paint throughout looks like a light bluish-gray and is completely without texture, so there’s no other way it could feel, except cold!

Heather January 11, 2013 at 7:44 pm

It looks like an albino. Tudors are dark, heavy homes. They aren’t supposed to be sterile.

Tracie January 11, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Love the exterior! I like it and would LOVE to live in Hancock Park….please share more homes from that area if you can. I love just driving through those streets.

The inside looks great in places. I love the master bath. In the heat of summer, this home would be very tranquil….but in the winter, it does “look” cold. That big, huge room seems impractical for anything except a humongous part.

LOVE the navy cupboards.


ShabbyChick January 11, 2013 at 9:07 pm

I don’t care for the decor in this house at all. I adore Tudor’s overall, though. 😉

Lisa January 11, 2013 at 9:10 pm

I agree with several of the others here – too cold. I used to love the clean white look, but now it seems everyone is doing it. I can’t stand to look at house magazines because they all seem to have the cold staged look even when they are full of color and pattern. It’s like models – no one really looks like that! We are soft around the edges and our houses are, too! I know that doesn’t sell though….sigh.

Kim January 12, 2013 at 2:50 am

I love the exterior, but I’m not a fan of the interior. Like others said, it’s too sterile. Plus there’s no woodwork and that’s what I love about Tudors the most. Overall, this just a big disappointment, but it was still fun to look at.

Donna W. January 12, 2013 at 7:38 am

While the interior is not to my taste in that it is too white and cold, I do think the design would look stunning in a more contemporary home. You don’t necessarily have to stay true to the exterior style of the house when designing the interior; however, this is just too much of a contrast. I don’t understand why the owners chose to buy a quaint Tudor house when there must be many modern homes available in Los Angeles.

Erin @ The Impatieny Gardener January 12, 2013 at 8:53 am

To answer your question about why most magazines don’t put complete articles online, it’s because it’s very hard to get people to buy something they can see for free. Why subscribe if you can read it online? Of course some of us still would because the experience of holding a magazine is so much better than reading it online but there are plenty if people who don’t care. Usually whether a magazine publishes all or most of its content online for free hints to the publishers long-term intentions for that title. If they intend to keep it primarily as a print product they usually don’t give it away. If its meant to go all digital in the future it’s often a different story.

hookedonhouses January 12, 2013 at 9:09 am

I don’t expect them to put everything online, although some of them do with past issues. I just want their websites to be easier to search and find stuff on in general. They’re like these giant mazes. I search for something specific and they throw all kinds of weird results at me that have nothing to do with what I was looking for.

I like to link to them and give them credit when I mention something they’ve written about and it makes it hard when I can’t find any mention of the articles or the people who worked on them on their websites. Architectural Digest does a great job with theirs, though. Easy to search for the houses you saw in their magazine, easy to find who the photographers and writers were for each piece, etc, so I can give everyone credit.

Kelly - Talk of the House January 12, 2013 at 11:09 am

I second that about Architectural Digest. They do a wonderful job! Very smart website.

Carolyn January 12, 2013 at 9:03 am

I’ll admit to being old-fashioned. I love the dark woodwork of Tudors – they feel so warm and romantic old world. The wood can be lightened so it’s not so very dark. I love the contrast and warmth that wood beams and trim add. I just don’t like everything – walls, trim, ceilings – white or light gray. That family room would be fabulous with the natural wood beams on the vaulted ceiling instead of all painted white. What a waste, in my opinion. But then it’s California, and not the east coast.

maryland mom January 12, 2013 at 10:03 am

I love this house (but not the marble floor in the bathroom). I have a feeling that pictures don’t do it justice as the SoCal sun probably fills the house in sunlight, and all the white looks alot warmer in the sunlight.

Linda January 12, 2013 at 11:30 am

I LOVE the exterior and the Hancock Park neighborhood, but like many other posters, the interior is just so-so.

Miss Em January 12, 2013 at 11:58 am

Cute little house. I love the architecture and the dark woods. The decor is too predictable and trendy for me, though.

Jano January 12, 2013 at 7:12 pm

The exterior is stunning – the interior, not so much, with the exception of the choice of art at the end of the hallway. It makes you want to keep walking right into the landscape, and is a very nice example of how to place art in context. By contrast, where the art gives an impression of warmth, the kitchen and bath seem so chilly that you may see your breath when you exhale.

Shirley@Housepitality Designs January 12, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Gorgeous home…so love the closet….one can only dream!!….

amanda January 14, 2013 at 11:37 pm

I do like the lavendar (in the brighter pic) and teenager’s wallpapered room. Why am I always most drawn to the kid’s or teen’s room in these professionlly designed homes?

Maura January 27, 2013 at 10:12 am

Do you klnow what color the dark blue display cabinet is painted? I am looking for a navy to paint my lower kitchen cabinets and I love this color. Thanks!

hookedonhouses January 27, 2013 at 10:51 am

I don’t, sorry! If you can find a copy of the issue it was in, they often have paint colors and other resources in the back, though.

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