Home Tour: Benji Madden, the Accidental Designer

The Madden Brothers guitarist invites us into his renovated Nichols Canyon bungalow.

THE DOSSIER: NAME: Benji Madden. TRADE: Former Good Charlotte guitarist, now one-half of The Madden BrothersVIBE: Clean and transitional with artful, masculine accents. ABODE: Renovated bungalow in Nichols Canyon, Los Angeles, CA.

Benji Madden's last home renovation was "kind of a nightmare," The musician tells us. "I had people designing, and they could never get what I wanted because I'm very particular." With a new album debuting this summer to launch The Madden Brothers  (his much anticipated collaboration with brother, Joel) he didn't want a lot to take care of around the house-- or to be in an apartment building. So Madden purchased a two-bedroom, three-bath home in Los Angeles's Nichols Canyon (private but manageable), but this time, he took the design into his own hands.

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"I wanted it to feel a bit more open, so I took out two walls, and I opened up the whole main part of the house," he says. With the help of a timely and efficient contractor, Andres Ariza, the musician also completely renovated the kitchen and all three bathrooms, installed new oak floors, and replaced plumbing in a matter of just five months. "I'm not on tour, and I'm home, so I thought, why not try to do it myself?"

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The only area Madden didn't renovate is the patio, but its landscaping did receive some attention. "The cool thing about this house is it's a little bit like a secret garden," he says. "When I first found the property, it was all overgrown. You could have seen and thought "Oh this place is falling apart.' So it was cool to kind of clean it up, uncover it, and bring it back to life."

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In a way, Madden's interior style was revived as well. "My last house was really, really goth -- with covered windows, heavy curtains over everything, and all dark imagery," Madden says. "This house has so many windows, and it's in the canyon. I think I kind of just outgrew being in the dark all the time." White monogrammed bedding, a slipcovered linen sofa, and all-white walls give Madden's home a lighter feeling, a look that helps to showcases the shapely furniture and unique finishes he's curated. "I don't really see myself as a designer," he says, "but I know what I like and it's very simple." A few relics from the dark age remain: an edited collection of skulls, include a little bronze one made for him by his favorite artist, Wes Lang (a skull drawing of Lang's also hangs above Madden's bookcase). "I love stuff that's gothic, but for me to live in it every day, I just think the simpler the better."

real-deal

Skull Painting Wes Lang Sofa Cisco Home Living Room Cabinets Croft House 
Kitchen Towel Louis Vuitton Painting Above Guitar Camille Rose Garcia Coffee Table Noir Furniture

shop-look

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Brenton Metal and Wood Mid-Century Chair, $1360, Mortise & Tenon The Ex Black Knife Set, $80, Overstock Ros Kilim Indoor/Outdoor Rug, from $49, Pottery Barn
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Strut 70" Work Table, $699, Crate & Barrel Gramophone with Brass Horn, $140, Wild Orchid Steel Polyhedron Pendant, $595, Restoration Hardware
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Rocha Dining Chair, $234, Crate & Barrel Adler Tufted Platform Bed, from $1750, Restoration Hardware Dennis Stripe Rug, from $40, Pottery Barn
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3D-Printed Crania Anatomica Filigre Skull, $65, A+R Calypso Mocha Swivel Lounge Chair, $609, Crate & Barrel Italian Hotel Satin Stitch Bedding, from $45, Restoration Hardware
Photographs: Justin Coit
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