Falling in love with a house often happens at first sight: from the outside. The lot, the architecture, the address must pass muster before going any farther. It is only when we cross the threshold and see the inside that the relationship deepens and we begin to imagine what it might look—and feel—like if we were to make it our own.
Even after almost 40 years of partnership, husband-and-wife furniture and interior designers Fari and Melinda Pakzad derive immense satisfaction from guiding their clientele through the creative process of turning a house into a home.
“The allure of the collection is the uniqueness of each piece.” —Melinda
“When every last detail has been attended to and we meet our client at their door and open it for the ceremonious ‘reveal,’” said Melinda, co-founder of Orange County-based Ebanista, “there is no greater feeling than watching their eyes light up. They recognize at that moment that their home really is a dream come true.”
Ebanista, a luxury collection of European-influenced furnishings and objets d’art, was born of the couple’s first business, Fari’s eponymous design-build firm that for more than 20 years developed luxury residences throughout Southern California.
After a career of overseeing the architectural, landscaping and interior design, as well as the general construction of homes as large as 20,000 square feet, Melinda and Fari have narrowed their focus back to their original passion.
“We know what it takes to furnish homes on a grand scale,” said Melinda. “Part of our dream for Ebanista was to create a place where designers could find beautiful piece after beautiful piece that would be intriguing and unique for their projects.”
“Each of our pieces must appeal to the critical eye of the interior designer.” —Fari
Ebanista has made a name for itself in part because of the enduring relationships the couple has nurtured with local artisans. Ceramicists, weavers, metal workers, guilders, silversmiths, artists and wood carvers—once known throughout Europe as ebanistas—lend to each piece a rich history that blends seamlessly with a modern sensibility.
“The collection is handcrafted in Los Angeles, mostly by artisans who learned their craft from their fathers and grandfathers,” said Melinda. “Their work is infused with the nuances, know-how, passion and patience that have been handed down for decades, and their artistry shows in every piece we deliver.” This expert level of craftsmanship coupled with Fari and Melinda’s unique design approach have made Ebanista’s showrooms in Orange County’s Laguna Design Center and Los Angeles’ Pacific Design Center a coveted destination for many high-profile athletes, celebrities and entertainers.
Ebanista recently completed a fourth project for a client who over the last 15 years has come to rely completely on Melinda’s expertise and shared love of the classical combined with an appreciation for detail and personality. The home, in the Meridian complex of Newport Coast, presented a unique design challenge, as its clean, modern lines were a departure from the elegant and classical style of her other properties.
“We had to take cues from the architecture, but we also know our client,” said Melinda. “She loves high fashion and she loves the mix—color, brightness, vibrancy—-so there were a lot of surprises waiting for her. When she walked in the door, she literally burst into tears.”
Melinda and Fari continue to meld their particular design aesthetics for the benefit of their clients. Fari’s cultural traditions and heritage dovetail with Melinda’s quintessential California lifestyle to create a unique interpretation of European sophistication and West Coast sensibility.
Their own Pelican Hill home is their laboratory, with furnishings, objets d’art and textiles ever changing and yet always rooted in tradition. “There is a depth to what we’re doing and I think it comes from the yin and yang of our partnership,” said Melinda. Four years ago their daughter, Jessica, joined the firm and is lending her own perspective to a brand that, despite its allegiance to the old world, insists on keeping it current.
“It’s in her blood,” said Melinda with pride, “because it’s in our blood.” Like the generations of artisans who honed their craft at their father’s knee, Ebanista’s identity is an inimitable blend of yesteryear and today.
Showrooms in major design centers nationwide | ebanista.com | 800.570.1087