A Creative Power Couple’s Caribbean-Inspired Studio City Home
Written by Susan Spillman
Photographed by Robert Deutschman
From the outside, Robert Deutschman and Sybile Kohn-Deutschman’s ranch home looks like a lot of houses in the Colfax Meadows neighborhood. The pea green structure is well tended and full of charm. But once the front door opens, it’s anything but typical. Visitors are met with a vibrant palette of burnt oranges and golden yellows. On the walls there are spectacular framed photos of Cuba, Thailand and the Caribbean. Also on the property: an eclectic assortment of Buddha artifacts, three energetic dogs and the coolest couple north of Mulholland Drive.
Rob, a fashion photographer and commercial director, and Sybile, a stylist and designer, met 15 years ago on a photo shoot. They got engaged two years later on the deck of an over-the-water suite in Tahiti, married soon thereafter and have been working together ever since. With their 11-year-old son, Kian, in tow, they travel the world shooting big-time campaigns for clients like Pottery Barn, Crocs and Hyatt Hotel’s luxury boutique brand, Andaz.
Photo spreads that don’t take them abroad, including Kylie and Kendall Jenner’s Steve Madden shoe campaign and Eva Mendez’s Interview magazine layout, are often shot here at the couple’s home, which easily doubles as a lush resort in Mexico or Tahiti. The property includes a 2,500-square-foot main house and an equal size guesthouse that serves as their offices. The two are separated by a rectangular travertine-tiled pool, covered patio, two outdoor fireplaces, custom teak cabinetry made by Rob and walls saturated in cheerful sunrise shades. Chill-out lounge music and Nag Champa incense complete the ambiance.
“We wanted to make our home feel like a resort so that when we got home from traveling around the world for work, we didn’t feel like we had to go anywhere else,” says Rob.
Inspiration for the Deutschman’s décor aesthetic is their love of the easygoing lifestyle and lively colors of the Caribbean. Sybile, whose parents are both French, was raised in Tahiti, St. Bart’s and the Dominican Republic. Rob fell in love with the region’s turquoise water and white sand beaches while shooting numerous swimwear ads on the islands.
The most striking Caribbean influence is the bold use of color inside and outside the home, including purple with black accents in the master bedroom.
“She started with one wall, and then it just became a virus,” shares Rob.
“As a stylist and designer I kind of live for color,” explains Sybile. “I get a lot of talent who come in, and they wear just black. I’m not anti-black. But I try to get people out of black because I see how peoples’ whole auras change when they wear different colors.”
Their devotion to Buddhism is apparent
“I put a lot of Buddhas in each room because I like to be constantly reminded about what I say and how I act,” says Sybile. “We love surrounding ourselves with symbols and elements that mean things that make you happy and inspire you to live a good life.”
Color and symbolism are also the driving tenants of Sybile’s recently launched clothing and lifestyle brand, Rum Punch, available at rumpunch.com. The line features sustainable, hand-dyed hemp clothing for children, emblazoned with inspirational messages like “Live the Life,” as well as yoga mats, throw blankets, women’s dresses and home goods brought back from her travels to India and Tibet.
The couple run their businesses out of the two-story guesthouse, which also has a yoga/exercise studio and sauna.
“We were about to sign a lease on office space right before we found this place,” says Rob. “It’s turned out to be ideal.”
The only drawback: such a convenient and comfortable office sometimes makes it hard to end the workday.
“One beautiful day I looked out the window,” recalls Sybile. “Each of my three dogs was on their own lounge chair by the pool, while I’m in my office preaching ‘live the life you love,’ ‘don’t work so hard,’ and ‘be in the moment.’”