Much to my husband’s regret, I’m a bit of a nomad. I have no qualms about moving every two years. So, to me, homes are a wonderful opportunity to create a lifestyle that fits where I am in my life. Our last home was an atomic bachelor pad in Los Feliz, perched on stilts with a balcony overlooking downtown. This house is the baby house. It’s meant for family barbecues, dinner parties, guests staying the weekend. But, we’re on a budget, so the houses we’ve lived in have been these amazing single-owner granny shacks. Untouched since 1961, but, a lot of work to renovate. Honestly, they’re the kind of homes most people would probably tear down, but I love preserving them and finding ways to underline what makes them special.
So I guess I don’t really make my homes about me. I take what captures my imagination about the home, and do my best to maximize it. My dream home is an original 1920s Spanish Colonial Revival home with a Malibu tile kitchen, so, there you go.
The living room required the most careful renovation, because we were actually preserving elements. The foundation needed to be patched, the sunken living room needed a hardwood floor, and the dining room was a perfect square, so we added a pony wall to separate it from the kitchen and give it a rectangular shape. But the wood panelling and room dividers were gently sanded and refinished to make them look brand new. Anything that had character I kept, and that was almost entirely in the living room and hall. The room dividers and wood panelling were the main thing. A few people told me to paint over these elements, or remove them to widen the room, but I loved the shag carpet vibe to them. It made the house special, so they stayed.
My favorite historic homes in Los Angeles have original furniture that was built for the home – and I love that. The furniture is a continuous expression of the home, not something shoe-horned in. So for me, it’s the elements that feel like they were meant to be there. The brutalist chandelier, the tulu rug in the living room, and of course the poker table, all come to mind. I fell in love with the mid century details, and chose decor that echoed and added an exclamation point to it.
The poker table is probably one of my favorite areas of the home. The living room is an odd shape, and it seemed like that was the only thing that would work there was a game table. And then, by pure luck, my friend Georgia’s grandmother was moving and was selling her old poker table from the 1960s. I nabbed it immediately, and then had it and a few chairs from Craig’s grandma reupholstered to create a set. At least 15% of our furniture in the house is from Craig’s grandma, which I think helps anchor the house in the 1960s even more.
Michael Harnish is a wonderful artist, and often uses my beautiful friend, Yasmine Khatib’s, floral arrangements as subjects. So I went through Yasmine’s instagram, chose an arrangement I liked, and Michael painted it. He also did the pet portraits at the front of the house, which is probably one of my favorite things about this house.
Table and chairs:
These came with us from the last house. They’re from Organic Modernism and I get so many compliments on the set. I think it’s just a great mix of modern, mid century, and a bit of art nouveau.
Dining room table and chairs – Organic Modernism
Poker table – Vintage, upholstery by Leija Designs
Light fixtures above poker table – Rejuvenation
Couch – ModShop
Rug – Vintage Tulu
Wall hanging – Vintage C. Jere
Bar credenza – Grandma
Pineapple cup on credenza – W&P Designs
Pillows – Leija Designs
Coffee table – Organic Modernism