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House Hunting in Los Angeles – Spanish meets Modern

by Betsy Moyer on October 24, 2014, no comments

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.

House Hunting in Los Angeles

by Betsy Moyer on October 23, 2014, no comments

House Hunting in Los Angeles with The Estate of Things

Not that we aren’t ALWAYS looking at Trulia.com for casual evening entertainment, but the dude and I are actually in the market for a new home in Los Angeles.

It’s a tough job, but we’re getting after it. I try to keep my wits, and between searches on Trulia and FSBO.com, I cruise the internet and shake my head as I read articles like this, about LA’s unaffordable housing.

Initially I illustrated the boundaries of our search for our realtor. I’ve since added the blue opaque highlight, b/c that is the more realistic compromise for the part of town we have to live in if we want hit the desired square footage plus yard. Pretty much any where in that area is fair game, but as is the game with real estate – all of the pros and cons must align. E.g. Sure, we’ll live way down there in Venice by the blvd IF the home has a killer yard… okay, we’ll cram ourselves into a tiny home with a patch of grass IF it’s in Santa Monica proper and walkable to our favorite Sushi restaurant, etc.

Places we will live in Los Angeles The Estate of Things

Thus far, we’ve toured more than a handful of homes, put in the offere and lost out to all cash on two, and now we’re thinking about expanding the search even further, cause maybe what we want doesn’t exist in that purple or blue area?

We recently toured this house in Santa Monica’s Ocean Park neighborhood b/c it appeared to fit the bill. It seemed that it was rather perfect for us, except for the price. At 1.5 million, it’s at the tippy top of the budget and yet it needs a lot of renovation. We aren’t afraid of renovating, in fact I think we both prefer the challenge to a turnkey move-in ready joint that looks like someone else’s dream home – but I guess the hope was to find a dog for a deal… not a dog at our max budget. Emotionally Tragic.

Doesn’t this look like a fun one to reimagine?

This is what my headcase fantasy looked like while I was walking around the backyard. I was buying the pottery wheel and tearing down the alley wall to pull in the camper in my mind.

A Yard is important because of dreams

Sarah advised that I not let any emotions any where near my process. That is sound advice that I have to remind myself of constantly. It’s hard not to feel emo as you to try to separate hopes and dreams for the future from the floor plan of the home where it will all unfold. I’ve narrowed in on this list as important, and perhaps I log it here more for posterity’s sake than actual reader interest. Nonetheless:

  • As illustrated!!! A yard is super important, it supplies my heart with deep contentment
  • Detached Garage PLUS ample parking is ideal (so we can use the garage for project space when we want to make our own coffee table)
  • Exposed Beams are lovely, I’ll take them in the midcentury style or the craftsman
  • We don’t mind if the kitchen/bathrooms need renovation – we probably would prefer it actually
  • We aren’t going to be mad if we are within walking distance of Grocery, Beer, Burger, and/or Sushi, not a deal breaker though
  • We need a dog friendly home with a fence!
  • Architectural Intrique of SOME sort… whether it’s Post & Beam, Craftsman, Bungalow, SoCal Ranch, etc. These are all acceptable New Construction is not as likely to be interesting, unless it’s particularly nuanced.
  • Room for our vintage shasta camper would be a SUPER RAD bonus
  • Our budget range, which for LA is a little more than a million… a by a little more I probably mean like $500k more.

If you like to get a peek into the other homes we’ve toured in Los Angeles, from the next door neighbors to the lost Topanga dream, to a trailer park by the sea – check out Estate Envy.

A Midcentury Modern Lover’s Fantasy

by Betsy Moyer on October 20, 2014, no comments

Harveys on Beverly

Is this a fun little fantasy or what? It looks like Harvey’s on Beverly is for sale.

I stumbled upon this listing while I was doing a bit of research for furniture manufacturing in and around Los Angeles. I had no idea that BizBuySell.com existed. It’s somewhat of a Craigslist for businesses. And I’m just the right amount of dork that I like to sit around and fantasize about buying and turning around business as much as I like to fantasize about buying and turning around real estate.

When I stumbled upon Harvey’s on Beverly, It was great fodder for a fun discussion with the dude about what to do.

First, we took a look at the company’s existing website. The listing states that included in the $800k sell of the business, over 1.5 million dollars worth of inventory is included.

The business gets by with over 65% of its revenue being generated online, I’m assuming mostly through sites like 1stDibs and Ebay more than their own site. The site also caters specifically to the production world of Hollywood with another 10% of its revenue coming from studio rentals. I did a little Google search to get a feeling for the reputation of the company. It seems to be in good standing with the community and Harvey appears to be known for his emphatic authority in the world of antiques, particularly dealing with midcentury classics and rattan (which we all know are having a moment with national appreciation for Southern California’s laid back “effortless yet sophisticated” vibe.) There is a serious affection for rattan since Harvey Schwartz wrote the book — Rattan Furniture: Tropical Comfort Throughout the House.

Harveys on Beverly

In the listing, Harvey states he’s facing retirement and a recent trip to Fiji prompted him to get out of the biz and enjoy life. He’s looking for someone that is equally passionate about midcentury antiques to pick it up. Is this all too good to be true? Seems like such a ripe opportunity for the right person.

I love to think about re-organizing that website on a modern eComm platform and gassing up the social media channels. Even taking over the bi-level storefront on Beverly seems fun, and while my wheels are spinning I begin to think about signing up others of my favorite suppliers and mixing in some high and low, and some new with the old. Next thing I know, I’m styling vignettes and calling on my talented photographer friends to swing by and snap a few photos, then I’m inviting design bloggers over to host styling workshops in the space, and hitting up my tech friends to see who has ideas for how to grow our reach in the eComm space. We’ll erect a giant commissioned portrait of Harvey behind the newly renovated checkout counter.

Let’s identify a gaggle of fellow bloggers and design lovers in this crazy online world of blogging, and go in on it together!!! We can all share in the fun of building out a studio and host fun events where we style and shoot original content for our blogs, and we can create editorialized sales and connect our communities of equally impassioned design lover readers with awesome midcentury furniture!

Is this just fun for me, or do you want to join in on the fantasy!? What else can we do with Harvey’s on Beverly?

 

 

 

Jaxon Home is Hiring

by Betsy Moyer on September 5, 2014, no comments

Work with Us Jaxon Home

It’s not always easy to find great talent, but we’re on the hunt. Jaxon Home is looking to fill several key positions from product development to manufacturing administration to design savvy sales folk.

I’ve been with the company now for a little over a year and I am really enjoying the nature of the place. If you are in the Los Angeles area and you are excited by the thought of working with furniture design legacy and manufacturing, please do inquire. I’m personally fielding resumes and setting up interviews, so I’d love to know if you came our way by The Estate of Things. Jaxon Home is located in the historic Helms Bakery district of Culver City, nestled in between HD Buttercup and Trunk Club. We see an exciting bit of foot traffic, and our clients are some of the most interesting names in town. We offer in home design services as well, so if you are interior design obsessed, this is a really interesting place to get a foothold in your career. In fact, because we are in this incredible period of growth, there is room for you to come in and identify designer needs and really help us build out that aspect of the business. I’d love the help.

There is plenty of opportunity for the right candidates, and there are several creative positions to fill. Please have a look here: http://jaxonhome.com/pages/work-with-us

 

 

Brika takes the Maker Movement International

by Betsy Moyer on August 25, 2014, no comments

Far and Wide Collective at Brika

Since Sarah and I are always sitting around plotting and scheming and dreaming our own future endeavors into the world of retail and ecommerce, we love to swap notes on shops that are doing interesting things.

Are you guys already familiar with BRIKA?
They have been popping up here and there in my world and I love paying attention to these new networks of artists and crafters that get together and present their wares in way that appeals to my neo-hippie sensibilities. #SHOPSMALL

BRIKA though, really caught my eye with a recent partnership with Far + Wide Collective, which supports craft production and small businesses in post-conflict and emerging economies. So, now my love for hand crafted and personalized product can extend beyond just supporting local small businesses, and now it can reach into developing communities abroad. I love shopping to support humanity!

Especially when it looks like this!

Far and Wide Collective at Brika pillows

The products are presented along with stories and insights into the craft and the crafters behind them. In a day of mass made junk and technology overload, it’s nice to settle yourself into a little story about the constellation inspired toss pillow you have your eye on – knowing it was crafted out of hand made batik in Swaziland feels special.

Here is a little more eloquent presentation of what we are looking at here:

“The founder of Far + Wide, Hedvig Alexander, has extensive experience in international development, specifically in Afghanistan, and has seen first-hand how supporting craft production and small businesses (rather than donations alone) is the most effective and sustainable way to improve quality of life.  But Hedvig also understood something many socially based businesses don’t – the end product has to be beautiful and marketable.  Far + Wide Collections’ products are that perfect intersection of modern crafts that are authentic and exceptionally made while also providing real opportunities for communities in emerging economies.”

Sounds like a win/win to me.

Shop The Far + Wide Collective at BRIKA here.

The Estate of Things picks from BRIKA Far and Wide