Paul Laszlo : Sumptuous Modernity – Designer to the Stars

Hungarian born architect and interior designer Paul Laszlo (1900-1993) learned about the world of architecture and design through his father, a furniture manufacturer. After studying in Vienna and training in Stuttgart, Germany, he founded a studio at the age of 27, which would lead to his international reputation as a designer for the jet set. After fleeing Germany in 1936, Laszlo set out by ocean liner to New York, rented a car and drove directly to Los Angeles, where he quickly set himself up in affluent Beverly Hills on Rodeo Drive designing modern houses and interiors.

His refined yet relaxed cosmopolitan style, made him popular amongst the rich and famous. Among his many clients were Cary Grant, Gloria Vanderbilt, Billy Wilder, Barbara Hutton and Ronald Reagan. Laszlo had his own unique style, with his earliest designs reflecting the more traditional style of the era. As his career progressed, he became known for a more lavish society style, with generous proportions. With a focus on the interior environment, he designed furniture, fabrics, lamps and rugs choosing to craft and choreograph the overall feeling of a space. Laszlo’s warm, organic forms and mastery of color lead to decades of success across a wide range of projects. He was equally famous for rejecting clients when he thought the relationship would be unsatisfactory to him. He is famously known for refusing to work with Elizabeth Taylor in 1960, at the height of her celebrity, due to her demands for input on the design process. He later rejected working with Barbra Streisand for many of the same reasons.

Paul Laszlo served in both World Wars. In WWII, he served domestically, even designing a bomb shelter for the US Air Force. Additionally, Laszlo designed for department stores, Saks, Hudson’s Bay, Robinson’s as well as casinos. Paul Laszlo was a complete designer, working much the same way Frank Lloyd Wright did, even choosing the right ashtray for the space.

Paul Laszlo lounge chairEasy lounge chair and ottoman, this beautifully proportioned chair is crafted in solid mahogany with a woven rattan seat and back. Created for the manufacturer Glenn of California and made in the USA during the 1950’s.

Laszlo for Brown SaltmanStunning oak three-drawer chest, designed by Laszlo for Brown Saltman c. 1950’s. This three-dimensional piece perched upon a flat plinth exemplifies his attention to detail and form.

Paul Laszlo chaise lounge

A rare chaise lounge with solid bleached walnut trapezoid base. This unique piece boasts a curved scroll end with a bolster cushion, c. 1955.

Paul Laszlo sconces

This rare pair of sconces in aluminum, brass and enameled steel showcases Laszlo’s refined society style and unique form, think country club chic c. 1950’s.

Paul Laszlo lounge chair

A fine example of Laszlo’s warm, sumptuous, traditional style, this generous lounge chair, for Brown Saltman, in an ebonized cerused finish has a button tufted channeled seat and back c. early 1950’s.

Paul Laszlo dining table

Laszlo’s dining or gaming table in light mahogany, is beautifully proportioned and includes copper accent hardware in the base, c. 1950’s.

Looking for a Classic Los Angeles home to showcase these amazing designer pieces? Our city is home to many architecturally significant Mid-Century ModernSpanish, Craftsman homes and Luxury Estates. Visit Beyond Shelter for more Designed Living ideas to create your LA story.