More of Marina Del Rey

Its Friday. Let's look at pretty pictures of a recent project we wrapped up in Marina Del Rey. Not much to say except we added an infusion of beachy boho style in a layered thoughtful way for a new construction home that was beautiful (but plain) to start. One word: wallpaper - it makes a huge difference.

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The entry was small but we managed to fit in the essentials - beachy rug, bench, mirror, hooks.

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The powder room was begging for killer wallpaper and a cute little kilim pattern in pattern play.

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The master bedroom was taken to the next level with shibori wallpaper, new Roman shades, a leather headboard bed, and considered layers of ethnic textures to be the ultimate beachy modern bohemian bedroom in town.

One Massive Custom Designed Storage Unit

Our Marina del Rey clients needed more storage in their newly constructed home. They had one perfectly blank wall. You can see the BEFORE picture below. Not bad, but it could be so much better. So we got cooking.

LIVING ROOM BEFORE

LIVING ROOM BEFORE

We worked out a custom designed unit that would fit exactly on their wall and be designed around the existing wall mounted TV location. There was not one part of this that was easy. Thankfully our wonderful builder was up to the bear of a task of building this dang thing. 

A bear it certainly was. It took him twice as long as he had estimated and I think he was secretly cursing me under his breath. But it came out incredible and the clients won't be running out of storage any time soon.

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The rest of the new furnishings we brought in aren't so bad either ;)

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Veneer Designs - Yale-46.jpg

More from this super cool pad in blog posts to follow.

About to Move

Big news.....I'm about to move, soonish. We just sold our beautiful home (it closed yesterday) and are currently in escrow to buy a bigger house that will need a lot of love. Since that's not a done deal I don't want to share too much about our future home, but either way our old home is sold and we do have to vacate in a few months. Which got me thinking about packing (ah!) and what are the first few things the new place will need to make it feel like home. 

Whether you are moving to a freshly refurbished rental apartment or a bigger older house, this basic list of items will get it feeling like your actual home from day 1, as you sort out unpacking and what goes where and what you are missing. Its nice to get them ready in advance of your move and bring them along in your car instead of the moving van.

1) You know I'm crazy for rugs and there will end up being a specific size floor area that will be begging for its unique rug counterpart that fits just right and feels like it was meant for that exact spot all along. I have been salivating over The Citizenry's new yummy Morrocan rug collection.

2) There will be a daunting amount of blank walls. Printing a recent vacation photo in large format and hanging it right away will make your new place feel more personal. 

3) The first night in your new place can be weird. Treat yourself to a comfortable deep sleep with Casper pillows.

4) You are NOT bringing the grimey shower liner from your old pad. You are placing a fresh shower liner with a new shower curtain you bought to specifically match the scheme of your new bathroom to make it feel exciting and yours.

5) Introducing a new plant buddy (in a pretty planter) to grow with you in the new digs and make it feel more friendly.

6) Welcoming guests to the new place is better with a cheerful doormat.

Any of these would also make good housewarming gifts for your friends making a move this summer. Wish us luck.

A Fun Before and After in Echo Park

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I have an awesome relationship with the groundbreaking owners of SCSH. We have done more than a few remodels for student rentals near USC in the past few years, but this was their first foray into grown up housing rentals, the hip young things of Echo Park specifically. They found one sad sad building on Sunset and transformed it into a clean and urban setting. Here are some amazing before and afters.

Exterior BEFORE

Exterior BEFORE

Exterior AFTER - Love those murals

Exterior AFTER - Love those murals

Upper Landing BEFORE

Upper Landing BEFORE

Upper Landing AFTER

Upper Landing AFTER

Entry Hall BEFORE

Entry Hall BEFORE

Entry Hall AFTER

Entry Hall AFTER

Apartment Kitchen BEFORE

Apartment Kitchen BEFORE

Apartment Kitchen AFTER

Apartment Kitchen AFTER

Apartment Kitchen AFTER

Apartment Kitchen AFTER

Penthouse Kitchen BEFORE

Penthouse Kitchen BEFORE

Penthouse Kitchen AFTER

Penthouse Kitchen AFTER

Penthouse Kitchen AFTER

Penthouse Kitchen AFTER

Penthouse Living Room BEFORE

Penthouse Living Room BEFORE

Penthouse Living Room AFTER

Penthouse Living Room AFTER

Penthouse Bathroom 1 BEFORE

Penthouse Bathroom 1 BEFORE

Penthouse Bathroom 1 AFTER

Penthouse Bathroom 1 AFTER

Penthouse Bathroom 2 BEFORE

Penthouse Bathroom 2 BEFORE

Penthouse Bathroom 2 AFTER

Penthouse Bathroom 2 AFTER

So much BETTER, huh? There is nothing like smoothing ceilings, ripping out carpet, paint, and new lights to transform a sad dirty greasy low end space into something special. 

We did a create a few aha moments. The brass accents, the graphic bathroom floor tile with matching criss-cross subway wall tile, the colorful front doors, and that wood feature wall. To be honest, I didn't think it would happen quite as well as it did. I created a directional sketch for the builder and hoped for the best. He truly surprised me with the care he took making it come to life. I love how the wall turned out. Unique, inviting, and so cool. An element that all the users must past by once they come up the landing to any of the units. 

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I mean, seriously. A fun hip project that stretched me in a good way. 

Dare to Go Custom - The Insider Scoop

A custom white sofa in Calabasas

A custom white sofa in Calabasas

Here is a little not so secret trade secret of mine, I like to go custom when possible with furnishings. It may seem intimidating to go that route and commit to a piece being made for you that you can't return if you are unhappy with it; versus seeing something in a showroom first. Or it may sound really expensive. 

A custom sectional with interchangeable ottoman in Los Feliz

A custom sectional with interchangeable ottoman in Los Feliz

For me, its actually my preference for a few reasons:

  1. I have found time and time again that going custom tends to be about the same price as big box brands and actually a fraction of the cost of designer brands.
  2. Instead of spending hours scouring for that sofa that fits just right in a client's room and falling short, its actually easier to design it exactly to my specifications.
  3. It makes my designs original. Its harder for people to copy me if they can't buy the exact sofa I used in a project. It makes me feel like I give a more personalized and special end product for my clients.
A blue velvet sectional in Redondo Beach

A blue velvet sectional in Redondo Beach

I have been using Clad Home exclusively for my custom designs because I trust the oversight. Rosa Beltran, who owns Clad Home, is a fellow interior designer. She already has a collection of her own designs to pick from if you are scared to design something on your own. Many times I have taken her items and modified the depth or length, or changed a sectional to a sofa. If its my own idea, I trust she will double check my dimensions and ask the critical questions so that something ugly isn't fabricated.

Copies of a daybed and a sofa I liked from other vendors that were either not available or came in the wrong fabric, modified to my exact dimensions.

Copies of a daybed and a sofa I liked from other vendors that were either not available or came in the wrong fabric, modified to my exact dimensions.

Usually I see a sofa or bed that I like but isn't quite right in terms of size, proportions, or fabric options and ask her if she can make something like it. Or my clients see something they love that is well beyond their budget and we modify the concept to make it theirs.  I get a rough estimate and match it to my budget.

The shop's Melrose sofa modified to a sectional

The shop's Melrose sofa modified to a sectional

If its a win, I pick the fabrics to use on the pieces in her LA showroom. She has a wide selection of yummy fabrics. The shop itself offers a tempting array of decor and home goods to pick up while you choose your fabric. Once the fabric is selected and the sizing and style determined, a final quote is generated. When payment is made, she creates detailed hand sketches to approve. That way everyone is on the same page about exactly what is going to be made so there are no questions or issues later on.

4-6 weeks later the custom item is delivered. Its a top notch looking item which is why I have used her again and again. But when for whatever reason it  is not, she jumps in to correct the flaw until its perfect. 

An upholstered bedframe

An upholstered bedframe

For all these reasons, I pounce at the chance to do custom furniture. The process is pretty safe guarded so mistakes don't happen. Everyone ends up happy. My clients get beautiful tailor made furniture pieces they adore, I get original designs in my portfolio of work, and her small business thrives. Clad Home has been an awesome fit for me and my needs,. They make all of their items locally in LA but can deliver anywhere. I know there are dozens more of small custom shops in each city who would be happy for the chance to make you a nice custom piece. Check local yelp reviews, follow their Instagram and Facebook feeds to be sure they can handle your design sensibility, and visit their warehouse/shop to see finished pieces before you make the leap. 

The Playa Vista sectional with walnut wood topper showroom in the factory

The Playa Vista sectional with walnut wood topper showroom in the factory

The Playa Vista sectional with custom walnut wood topper in action

The Playa Vista sectional with custom walnut wood topper in action