Designer Betsy Burnham Updates a 1930s Tudor

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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  1. 65andcounting says

    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.

  2. Sheena says

    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!!!!!!!!

  3. says

    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!

  4. Nadege says

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

  5. Christina from Dallas says

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

  6. anne says

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

  7. Linne says

    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!

  8. Empress says

    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.

  9. Jennah says

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

  10. Maddie says

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

  11. Laura says

    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.

  12. Julie B. [Holland] says

    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.

  13. Billy says

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

  14. Nita says

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

  15. Mia says

    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!

  16. says

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

  17. Tracie says

    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.


  18. ShabbyChick says

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

  19. Lisa says

    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.

  20. Kim says

    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.

  21. Donna W. says

    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.

  22. Erin @ The Impatieny Gardener says

    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.

    • says

      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.

  23. Carolyn says

    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.

  24. maryland mom says

    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.

  25. Linda says

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

  26. Miss Em says

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

  27. Jano says

    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.

  28. amanda says

    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?

  29. Maura says

    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!

    • says

      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.