Yesterday I snuck into Kate’s house while she was away at work. I was there to walk her little funny face dog, but while I was there, I couldn’t help but zhush the space up a bit and snap a few pics, because lo and behold – homegirl took that advice from the previous Kate’s Cottage Re-Do plan that I had blogged earlier. The apartment feels nice and as Sarah put it, “slightly more glamorous and quiet” than planned. It’s true, and it is in a good way. Here is a check-in.
Now, don’t get too bored with me. This is not a professional photo shoot job, I was just lurking around with my iPhone. But it felt sweet inside on this cloudy Brentwood day, and I wanted to share our progress with you. There are still a few things to do before we call in Tessa Neustadt for the after shots.
- Get some better hanging hardware for those curtains. I suggest these.
- Find the right fabrics to update the pillows and dining chairs.
- Grab a fun and moody rug for layering atop the jute area rug.
- Find some art for that large open frame and a piece (how about a textile) for the wall closer to the door.
- Add some life with some plants.
I’ve been leaning more and more towards the color combo of Coral and Olive for Kate’s Cottage projects. Here is a little inspiration from the webz. How do we like the softer palette?
Traditional Home / Robert Passal / Black Crow Studios
Copper Pendant paired with Olive Pouchard Stools
Whew! In the past two and a half weeks we’ve visited three homes in Altadena and placed offers on two of them, and LOST BOTH. And even though this home tour is old news… I’m still pleased to look at the photos and think what if…
Truly, I’m pushing to remain about as hopeful and positive as I can throughout this process. It’s really started to feel like a game. Losing out on this house (number 3 of 4), wasn’t so bad because I could immediately set my sites on the fourth that I showed you previously. But by now, I admit, I’m feeling a little defeated.
Throughout this process, I just absolutely pour over the photographs of hundreds of home, but when I find one that we visit that we think can work, I grow a bit obsessive. It’s fun if not borderline unhealthy, but I have no self control. I just love to flip through pics and dream up ideas for renovation and decoration.
Our friend Billy showed us this particular Midcentury Modern, and that is what steered the dude and I toward Altadena. We were already pondering moving the home search out of the Westside because it was feeling like we’d exhausted our options. The disappointment of the last few westside tours really helped me to realize that the budget wasn’t going to get us what we deeply wanted in terms of our lifestyle at home – it felt like we should expand our search.
The time capsule quality of this particular home, plus a nice night exploring town with our soon to be neighbor friends got me all bent on living in this sweet hillside community just north of Pasadena.It was easy enough to wrap my head around decorating, and I was stoked about all of the space, the night time glow of the city over the vast landscape in the backyard, and a spot for the camper, plus just the right amount of opportunity to update kitchens, bathrooms, etc. If nothing else, the experience definitely cemented a big move from Santa Monica to Altadena as a true prospect for the dude and I.
This past week I took a quick trip to Fort Collins to visit with my brother and his wife and their sweet gaggle of children, Avery, Madeline & Ezri. They’ve recently moved from Los Angeles and are still making their new house a home. The split level ranch style represents an interesting challenge for a work-from-home momma that splits her time chasing a wild 2.5 year old plus a 8 month old oral explorer on the cusp of walking. The main floor features the most lived-in/baby proofed kitchen and living room combo, but we needed to carve out a more aesthetically pleasing family friendly solution in the forgotten downstairs den where the homies can all stack up and watch movies by the fireplace. Here is a look at the space before.
The family has amassed a fair suite of seating options for next to nothing from sites like craigslist as well as some serendipitous curb finds. I know as design bloggers we like to talk about dropping 44.5 gabillion budgets on a room redo, but the reality for most of us, is that a room might need to come together with more frugality than that. They had pretty much all they needed, so we approached this room with the idea to simply apply a plan to what they had. After a quick cruise at the local thrift store for just a few missing pieces, e.g. the pillows and a rug and a dig through a stack of textiles downstairs, we were able to pull together this little cozy hippie den.
I love how we ended up with something that felt like it speaks to the personality of the family and suits their needs as a second living area. What was once a careless den is now it’s own little slice of heaven for a nap by the fire or movie nights. My next suggestion for their collection might be a few floor poufs for the nights that their 8 year old son has a friend over for video games, and some hanging plants in the window to polish off that modern bohemian jungalow vibe.
I have more homes to show you, I do. Because last week, while I was NOT posting, we had put in an offer on a midcentury modern (seen here in my Instagram feed) up in the hills of Altadena (record scrrrrrraatch – what?) We were on pins and needles awaiting word, when this one hit the market with a bang. Spoiler alert, we did NOT get the other one… despite our best intentions.
I say that the home hit the market with a bang, because we were literally awaiting final word on the other house when we discovered it, and mere hours after we had the realtor looking into it for us, it appeared on Curbed LA. I’m like “no, no no no no, don’t be on Curbed, we don’t want ANYONE else to know about this home for sale but us. We had a feeling that the other home was going to fall through. That put the tally to 3 offers, 3 times beat by all cash.
So, here she is. This home marks our 4th offer. I’ve skipped a few steps in the natural storyline b/c we went through a bit of a process to move our search over to the clear OTHER SIDE of Los Angeles. But this post is in real time, as we are currently sitting on our hands, awaiting news of on acceptance. I’m not built for the real estate game. I’m way too emo!
Will they accept? Will we beat out by yet another all cash offer that doesn’t give us an opportunity to play for it? I don’t know. But this time I took a moment to write a personal letter to the seller, to let them know why and how we might take up in their house, to pick up where they are leaving off in calling it home.
This is what she looks like…. she is practically a fantasy glass ship having sailed right through the fairy tale land of the Sierra Nevada, anchored in the hills overlooking all of Pasadena and downtown in its orangish purple glory. Wax poetic much? I just hope we get the opportunity to dig into this midcentury with the right guidance to make it home for our future and our family. We are talking renovation budget and honoring midcentury legacy already.
PS. here is a snapshot at the floor plan that the homies and I doodled on while we were fantasizing. How cute right?
This little house has been sitting on the market for some time, toying with us, taunting us. It’s in a sweet little neighborhood that is quite near the future Metro train stop, on a quiet street with alleyway access. It has ample parking, beam ceilings, and an incredible indoor/outdoor living vibe. The price just recently shot up which is an interesting strategy. We have been feeling trigger shy for two reasons. Top of budget, plus just imagine – is it awesome or awful to share your shower experience with the entire master bedroom plus the backyard? Peep the pics below for the master bath with floor to ceiling windows in the shower stall!
I was kind of digging the idea of looking out upon my vintage camper while taking a long soak in the tub.
The surprise of such an architecturally aware, if not starkly modern addition to the back of this typical Spanish Colonial Beach Bungalow, plus its updated exterior color were appealing. It was updated inside as well with bold bathroom tile choices that I didn’t mind. Heffe and I agreed that we’d need to make some changes though. I can hardly stand the sweet honey oak overload in that kitchen, and check out the strange exposed closet system in the master!
The home has 3 bedrooms and a nice little patch of yard plus outdoor living space that totally makes up for the small living space inside. It also features a detached garage along with 3 parking spaces. Kinda seems like it might work for us if we were willing. I really do love the idea of hopping on the train in 2015 and having car-free LA adventures at my fingertips! I could definitely imagine my Santa Monica posse popping over for evening entertainment.