Prentice Penny’s Maximalist Los Angeles Home Is All About Dreaming Big


If there’s one thing Prentice Penny knows for sure, it’s that it’s better to go all out rather than to play it safe. “We didn’t want people walking in and saying, ‘This is designed within an inch of its life, but it could be anybody’s,’” says the producer, writer, and director of his family’s Los Angeles home. In a city overflowing with lifeless renos, you’d be hard-pressed to ignore the pattern-filled storylines draping every square inch of the Penny family residence, each one just as intriguing as the last.

Having moved into their home in 2020, Prentice—the producer and showrunner of Insecure, whose other credits include Uncorked and Girlfriends—and his wife, Tasha, were struck by the previous owner’s aesthetic vision. “It was his style; that’s why it was cool,” Prentice recalls, “[But] most importantly, it didn’t feel like us…. So we finally asked, ‘What do we want?’ That’s a question that you’re not always privileged to ask yourself.”

That concept became a guiding force within the redesign process. “We wanted this to feel like our home,” stressed the producer. Carmen René Smith, founder and principal designer at Aquilo Interiors, was entrusted with the makeover. Marrying intention, art, and function, Smith—alongside Prentice and Tasha—set out to craft a space that embodied the couple’s values.

“I like asking my clients what their wildest dream is for their home,” Smith says. “Prentice was clear that he wanted his space to reflect pure creativity.” And it appears that wish was fulfilled. Building off of the home’s traditional midcentury architecture, Smith began layering patterns and colors that warrant an admiring eye’s double take—like the set of Simone Micheli Gulp armchairs with geometric Kelly Wearstler pillows that nest atop a Rug Society hand-tufted wool and botanical silk rug.

“He was so open to all of it,” says Smith of Prentince’s approach to the redesign project. He adds: “Carmen kept reminding us of that concept, and I think that mentality made the experience much more freeing.”

But Prentice and Tasha weren’t the only ones that got to participate in all of the fun. (“Watching my kids push me out of the room because they wanted to talk to Carmen on their own was great,” Prentice reflects.) Tributes to family favorites such as Star Wars, ’90s hip-hop, Rat Pack Palm Spring style, and Harry Potter can be found scattered about.

With all the attention to meaningful detail, remembering that this space was to be inhabited by a family of five also remained top of mind. Function was the project’s through line. “What’s the point if it’s really pretty but you can’t use it?” remarks Smith. The generous amount of seating options were just one of the many solutions that Smith came up with to accommodate the family’s lifestyle. “The house follows the flow of our day-to-day lives,” Prentice says. “There’s a lot of traffic moving through here Monday through Friday, and there needs to be space for us to grow.” It’s that family-first attitude that lends itself to the obvious heart and soul that’s been injected into the home.



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