The Estate of Things

A Little Hippie Den Makeover

by Betsy Moyer on November 5, 2014, 3 comments

Hippie Den Makeover Before and After

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.

 

House Hunting – Things Are Gettin Crazy

by Betsy Moyer on November 3, 2014, 4 comments

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?

EPSON MFP image

 

 

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?