Published : Monday, April 2, 2018 | 5:32 AM
Making films is one thing but putting down roots was always at the forefront of one Pasadena couple.
Filmmakers Sarah Wetherbee and Emre Sahin produce documentaries for Netflix, (“Shot in the Dark”), the History Channel (“Cities of the Underworld,” “The Hunt for the Zodiac Killer”) and National Geographic but making a home for their family has always been a dream.
“So much of our life was spent traveling and not putting down roots,” Wetherbee told the LA Times. “We were on the road half the year.”
But when daughters Leni, 6, and Ruby, 2, came along, they began to seriously look for a home in Los Angeles.
“We’ve always felt like we were temporarily staying somewhere,” said Wetherbee, who is a native of New Hampshire and met husband Sahin, who was born in Istanbul, at Emerson College in Boston.
The couple started house hunting and envisioned themselves in a sun-filled mid-century modern home in SoCal. They were attracted to Pasadena and the city’s tree-lined streets that would be a great place for their daughters to be raised.
Enter the stately 1930 Georgian-style home they purchased in 2015. The home was quite opposite of what they had envisioned “It felt old-fashioned and dark,” Wetherbee said.
But, the Pasadena home’s unique history resonated with two filmmakers whose careers are mostly based on documenting the past.
“This home was for all of us and could evolve with us,” Wetherbee said. “We immediately felt like it would be a place we’d want to come back to.”
Hiring interior designer Deborah Rhein-Gleiberman, the couple turned the dark and dated home into a warm and contemporary one mixing old and new: antiques and heirlooms with modern furnishings, art and many accessories.
For the filmmakers, renovation was more about creating a timeless, family-friendly space.
“We didn’t want it to be precious,” Wetherbee said.
Architect Kevin Oreck gave the home a workable layout and was able to maintain its history and Rhein-Gleiberman helped create interiors that are reflective of the couple.
Also, the couple, whose Karga 7 production company has an office in Istanbul, has added many references to Turkey in the home’s decor such as an 1883 oil painting of a Turkish businessman, military caricature paintings and a ceramic Ottoman wrestler.
Other fun details include white walls, graphic wallpaper in the powder and laundry rooms, and pink tile in the girls’ bathroom. There are also steel industrial doors that reflect a London brownstone and a second-floor skylight that brings in light.
A former sun room became a bedroom for the kids and a breezeway was added. Before the renovation, the kitchen was dark and had cherry cabinets. Today it the kitchen is black and white and opens to a sunny breakfast room overlooking an outdoor patio, garden and pool.
The interiors feature a blue peacock wall mount, industrial trough sinks and a Jonathan Adler Lucite hippo sculpture. Artworks, include antique paintings by unknown artists, a photograph by Slim Aarons and unique bird paintings by writer Dave Eggers.
Outside, the home’s brick exterior boasts a new door painted Benjamin Moore Seaweed green and black molding. New shutters on 10 windows, also painted black, give the stately home a modern twist.
The project took two years and is now everything the couple envisioned: a new appearance with a nod to the past, present and future.
“This house is 15 years’ worth of ideas,” Wetherbee said. “It was truly a labor of love. It’s the house that I want my kids to grow up in.”