C For Men

Beauty Magnate Davis Factor Reimagines His Mulholland Corridor Home

by slh

Take a tour of his sleek midcentury house

Factor at home.

Factor at home.

An Angeleno with a Hollywood pedigree, lensman Davis Factor grew up with dueling influences—the grit of skateboarding with the Dogtown kids in the ’70s, and the gloss of his family’s illustrious legacy (his great-grandfather was iconic makeup artist Max Factor). His love for athletic pursuits led him to ski, and to photograph the U.S. Ski Team. “I’ve always had a camera with me,” says the garrulous, 6-foot-tall Factor, whose uniform du jour consists of a black T-shirt, jeans, Ray-Ban Wayfarers and a pair of Nikes. Such youthful poise led him to his current career: shooting celebrities for publications including Variety and L’Uomo Vogue, and producing ad campaigns for the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Guess and Pepsi, often at his hip photographic hub, Smashbox Studios in Culver City. 

Architect CHRISTOPHER MERCIER preserved the lines of the original midcentury post-and-beam home with steel and glass to HARNESS the 180-degree view of the San Fernando Valley.

Architect CHRISTOPHER MERCIER preserved the lines of the original midcentury post-and-beam home with steel and glass to HARNESS the 180-degree view of the San Fernando Valley.

Seven years ago, Factor embarked on a major renovation of his low-slung 1959 residence, set along the Mulholland Corridor, with a clear vision: “I wanted it to feel like the coolest hotel, but still warm and inviting like a home.” It also needed to house his photo studio and entertainment center, and serve as a personal retreat.

A steel carport alongside a stretch of Ipe wood siding.

A steel carport alongside a stretch of Ipe wood siding.

He tapped architect Christopher Mercier of (fer) studio in Inglewood for a seamless addition: roughly 3,000 square feet of interior space, including a master suite and spacious living room and bar, as well as a 2,600-square-foot deck-patio-pool area, among other new exterior spaces. Taking his cue from the original midcentury post-and-beam structure, Mercier used exposed steel in-filled with glass windows and sliders to capitalize on the 180-degree view of the San Fernando Valley.

Artist BAE SE HWA’s “livable art” bench and LINDSEY ADELMAN’s glass pendants add texture to Davis Factor’s foyer.

Artist BAE SE HWA’s “livable art” bench and LINDSEY ADELMAN’s glass pendants add texture to Davis Factor’s foyer.

“I was involved in everything from the foundation to selecting pillowcases,” says Factor, who views the house as an art project. Indeed, the home’s subtle gray-scale palette is reminiscent of one of his black-and-white photographs. Interior designer Sarah Buxton helped to source the modern-classic furnishings, such as Hudson’s Grid coffee table and a seductively comfortable Flexform sofa.

The Fleetwood Pivot entry door is made of glass and steel.

The Fleetwood Pivot entry door is made of glass and steel.

An avid surfer, Factor stores 12 boards in a walk-in closet aptly referred to as “The Board Room.” (He keeps his ski collection at a vacation home in Snowbird, Utah.) Being the senior vice president and creative director for Smashbox Cosmetics—a line he developed with his brother Dean and sold to Estée Lauder in 2010—keeps him traveling four months out of the year. A new gym added to the original house finds Factor cross-training, boxing and practicing yoga five times a week “to get ready for my day,” he says. The room’s white walls and high ceiling double as a home photo studio. Ditto the nature path designed by architect Victoria Pakshong, which leads from the gym up the hillside—a perfect venue for alfresco workouts, or shooting a music video for the likes of Indio Falconer Downey.

This year the globe-trotting Factor took a two-week staycation watching old movies on his Flexform sectional and soaking up views from his Jacuzzi. “It’s like being in a fine hotel and at home at the same time,” he says.

This year the globe-trotting Factor took a two-week staycation watching old movies on his Flexform sectional and soaking up views from his Jacuzzi. “It’s like being in a fine hotel and at home at the same time,” he says.

When the doors are wide open, the sleek California home resonates an indoor-outdoor vibe day and night. A launch party for new Smashbox lipstick shades by sisters Erin and Sara Foster found guests inside and out: curled up on the sofa by the fireplace, standing by the pool mesmerized by valley lights. “No one was on their phone the whole night, and no one wanted to leave,” says Factor. Luckily for him, he doesn’t have to.

Photography by SAM FROST.
Written by BARBARA THORNBURG.

This article originally appeared in the C For Men Spring 2017 issue.