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Metropolitan Talent Agency

Film and Television Talent Agency

Mid-Wilshire

Except for the unusually large number of cars lining its short cobblestone driveway, there's no outward sign that the graceful gray manse is anything other than yet another Hancock Park-area home.

But it's not. It's the Metropolitan Talent Agency, a boutique that has represented such Hollywood notables as Jayne Seymour, Kirstie Alley, James Brolin and Ned Beatty.

Rather than reconfigure the interior of the French Country-style home into a standard office environment, Metropolitan has designed its offices to accommodate the house.

The upstairs bedrooms, which now serve as agents' offices, are flooded with natural light and cross breezes. The backyard with dense foliage, cobblestone pavement and wrought-iron garden furniture can be used for a lunch spot, cocktail reception or refuge for clients to relax with their scripts.

"I wanted to deconstruct the corporate veneer; go far away from the standard office building mentality where windows don't open and everything is glass-and-marble coldness," said Metropolitan president and owner Christopher Barrett.

Barrett's wife, Anne Schedeed, a third-generation antique collector, decorated the offices with a muted-color palate and eclectic furniture pieces. She filled empty spaces with architectural touches, rather than conventional wall art. Iron wall sconces decorate almost every room. Corners of various rooms feature free-standing wooden geometric-shaped columns, or urns heaped with metallic fruit, metal ribbons, or other decorative touches.

In the foyer, a receptionist's desk has been nestled into the crook of a curving stairway. The formal living room, complete with an antique wooden dining table and slightly worn velvet chairs, serves as the conference room. The den has been converted into Barrett's office, with super-comfy couches grouped around a fireplace.

A collection of objets d'art is prominently displayed on his stone slab-top desk, causing Barrett's computer, discreetly positioned on the corner, to go virtually undetected. The converted den opens onto an enclosed patio, where Barrett holds casual meetings on low-slung, wrought-iron furniture.

But while the interior is worthy of a Town & Country magazine photo spread, it's also livable.

"There's not a piece of furniture you can't put your feet on," Schedeed said. "I didn't try to seek perfection, which isn't warm and friendly. There's a little tear here and a little rust there. It's an environment where everyone can relax."

Sara Fisher

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