Room Envy

This Publicist’s Midcentury-Modern Living Room Is a Total Vibe

Cory Sargeant even met her fiancé while dresser shopping
This double sided fireplace features a painting that publicist Cory Sargeant found in Santa Barbara with her fianc. The...
This double sided fireplace features a painting that publicist Cory Sargeant found in Santa Barbara with her fiancé. The ceramic chain to Cory’s left is designed by Christian.Photo: Poiema Lee

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Welcome to Room Envy, a series where we ask interesting people about a favorite room in their house. From minimalist living rooms to vibrant kitchens, we’re zeroing in on the best features of the most enviable rooms.

Cory Sargeant believes in the power of connection. The publicist is already busy enough running her eponymous public relations firm Sargeant PR, but Cory also happens to be the designer behind a card game that aims to get players to open up emotionally too. Say It Do It: Truth or Dare to Connect was the brainchild of the publicist’s time at home during the pandemic, and what she describes as coming from “the desire to connect more deeply with friends and families after a year of social isolation.”

This belief in connection follows Cory outside of work as she has also collaborated with her life partner, Christian Boehr, to curate a home that showcases pieces of their personalities. The couple moved in together two years ago after purchasing a two-bedroom home just outside of Pasadena and decided to make it their own. Cory says, “We felt, for a lot of different reasons, that this house was quirky in a way that really fit our personality but also very classic and just had really good energy.”

Luckily, moving in with her partner has been seamless, and it makes sense. The pair met when Cory messaged Christian about a dresser that he posted on Craigslist through his furniture business, Atomic Threshold, hinting at a similar design taste. Christian agrees and fondly says “the transition has been very easy and fun to be able to put together a space with our combined tastes and pieces; a process that has been joyful rather than contentious at all.”

The space was originally part of an outdoor patio and was converted to incorporate it into the main living area of the house. The couple blended pieces like the Folke Ohlsson Lounge Chairs and Johannes Andersen Teak Credenza with self-made ceramics and furniture like the ottoman, made by Christian.

Photo: Christian Boehr

Location: Monrovia, California

Square Footage: The house is about 1,450 square feet, the living room is 300 square feet

How would you describe your aesthetic?

My fiancé, Christian, and I are both old souls, so we gravitate toward pieces that have a story and history, whether it’s vintage pieces that he has found, or we found together, or having pieces from my grandparents. They had really great modernist taste that’s similar to our own, so it’s been fun to add in their pieces.

The textile wall art by Tate behind Cory and Christian is an uncommon piece and adds texture to the space.

Photo: Poiema Lee

What are some of your favorite pieces in the room?

The rosewood and chrome coffee table designed by Milo Baughman is a favorite focal point in the room. Also, our main art piece in the space is this abstract painting that we found together. It was our first painting we got as a couple in Santa Barbara at an antique mall, and we fell in love with it, so that’s definitely a major favorite piece in the room. Aside from that, the ceramic bust that belonged to my grandparents was something that they had in their home in Cape Cod where we would go every summer. It was a piece that my sister had and then gave to me because she knew it meant a lot to me. They had it made by a local ceramicist in Cape Cod in the ’70s. Having heirlooms throughout the home is a lovely way to bless the space and give it a personal touch.

You have a number of ceramic pieces in the room. Where are those from?

My grandparents were from Boston and we used to have a home in Cape Cod and there was a family of ceramists called the Holl family that was in Cape Cod. So, the ceramic plate, the mirror, and the bust are from the Holl family, which is really special to me. We would go there every summer to go visit them and see them make pieces and collect them through our whole family.

The stoneware bust belonged to Cory’s grandparents and the stoneware planter was made by her partner, Christian.

Photo: Christian Boehr

How do you source vintage pieces?

Christian and I love thrifting, of course, and going antique shopping. So every summer when we go to Wisconsin to Christian’s family’s home, we drive and stop along the way to look for vintage pieces for his business. It’s been really fun to find items for him as well for the house from those trips. Also, my grandparents on both sides of my family had really amazing modern, abstract art, so we have their pieces throughout and it’s just very nostalgic for me and makes the house feel cozier.

When do you know if a vintage piece is worth the splurge?

My partner Christian is really fun to vintage shop with. He has an encyclopedic brain for everything so, he knows what is more common and not common. But for me personally, I’m always looking for pieces that have quirky details or something that is going to stand out and make it more original—even if it's just the handles on a piece or the wood grain.

Cory studied art history and has an ever growing collection of vintage art books sourced from estate sales. She’s also in a Tarot Book Club so the purple velvet Dali Tarot deck bridges both of these interests. Cory and Christian frequently update the credenza with new books and accessories that they collect as they thrift together.

Photo: Christian Boehr

Have you been entertaining guests a lot in the space?

We threw a big party for my birthday last year and it was so fun because of how the living room is designed. An aspect that is special about this living room is how it looks out into our patio and yard. When we throw parties it’s fun to have those big windows that allow guests to feel connected to one another no matter where they are in the house. You can be in every major room and see each other through it. This living room really allows for that, and it’s really lovely.

Sounds like quite the party!

Yes, and I wanted to point out one little thing. I don’t know if you saw in the photos, but there’s a blue glass piece that’s on the credenza by an artist named Seguso. My dad has one that belonged to my grandparents, and Christian and I loved it. For my birthday, he found me that piece, so we have our own Seguso.

The Milo Baughman Rosewood Coffee Table features Henri Matisse: A Retrospective from the Museum of Modern Art in NY from 1992 that was found at an estate sale.

Photo: Christian Boehr

Lenyx Saddle Brown Leather Sofa

Toodle White Wool Throw Pillow

Simon Ivory White Wool Throw Pillow

Chunky Checkerboard Knit Throw

Sideboard by Johannes Anderson, 1968

Folke Ohlsson Model USA-143 Lounge Chairs

Magritte in 400 Images by Julie Waseige

Salvador Dalí Tarot Card Gift Set

Calder's Universe by Jean Lipman

Joan Didion: What She Means by Joan Didion

Large Seguso Arte Vetro Signed Striped Murano Glass

Saarinen Round Marble Top Tulip Table

'Ziggurat' by Fiber Artist Jane Knight

Dazor Desk Lamp Model 2008, 1950s