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Renting in LA

Frank Gehry! Heard of him?

Of course you have!!!

If there is ANY CHANCE you don’t recognize the household name of “the most important architect of our age,” here’s a quick survey via Google Image search.

Now that we are all up to speed…… check this out.

In the depths of my mind there lie this fantasy idea…. that as I was on the apartment hunt – I might reach out to Staff at KCRW where I work.

In this fantasy…. I hear back from Frances Anderton, (who is not only a friend, a Producer of 2 KCRW news show, host and creator of the Design & Architecture show (and the blog that I help her with), she is also LA’s Dwell Magazine editor…… anyway, in my fantasy – she responds.

BTW – This is my facebook post from last Friday night when I discovered Frances’ video about Venice as part of PBS’ Departures series.

I love you Frances… | FacebookSign Up Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life.

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How I love to dream, so, back to the fantasy, Frances says something to me like:

there is one, maybe even two, apartment(s) currently available in our building. It’s a great location — an early, early design by F. Gehry, situated West of Lincoln, South of OP Boulevard, just minutes from the station, and from Main Street and the ocean.

Oh wait, she didn’t say that in my fantasy — she said that in real life. It happened. This is bigger than me. My silly girl daydream fantasy became REAL.

I forwared it to Joel — along with something like this:

HOLY SHIT >>>>>>>>>>
a Frank Gehry design apartment………………

Sorry for the curse Momma, it’s a Frank Gehry apartment in an incredible location.

Meanwhile, let’s all hold our breath and see what Joel says. It is $300 more than the top of the monthly budget. The crazy thing is, I would have guessed a much higher rent for the area and other details, but I am forced to further imagine this isn’t the kind of place that hits the normal rental circuit and we are just EXTREMELY fortunate.

Either way, I’m going to arrange a visit with Frances and her adorably hilarious husband (read this post about his take on a Jonathan Adler/Simon Doonan soiree and you’ll see). It starts like this:

Got to the party site last night and my sardonic, inner, underfed crank thought, great, another twee little interior design scene party, ‘Yay, how substantial is this about to be?’

I made Heffe do some weird stalkerish drive by thing last night where I got out and creeped around the building for just a second. It’s ADORABLE and on a hill. Dear lord, I love me a house on a hill.



LA Apt Hunt: Green(house) living???

Let’s pretend you just got your first paycheck after that little indie film you busted your guts over swept Cannes and got you a couple of phone calls for more writing gigs. Next thing you know you’ve sold two more screen plays. You’re told the income will hold steady with royalties and the dough is well…. I dunno what it takes to afford a $3950/month rent for a 1 bedrom 1.5 bath apartment, but you can tell me your fantasy.

Check this place out!

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Incredibly unique opportunity nestled in the lush & serene hills near the Beverly Hills Hotel, among multi-million dollar properties. This country English style Tudor cottage features a live in greenhouse on either side & was originally built by William Randolph Hearst for the Marion Davies Estate. It has been featured on the TV show Million Dollar Listing, in Decor Magazine, & other publications.



Decor for Dudes

I always feel inspired in a newly acquired and empty-ish LA rental. I spent the evening with my friends at their brand spanking new one in Santa Monica tonight! A 3br 2ba free-standing bungalow.

Tomorrow we go shopping, but tonight I pulled together a few images for them, to plead the case for black paint in their living area. And, for the doubters and haters of all things deemed trend – I KNOW that black paint made its bloggy ripples FOR LIKE EVER ago… but this is about illustrating a case to my friends that don’t read design blogs!!

I BELIEVE that black is legitimately an under utilized neutral. It also beats the SHIT outta a terribly tired red wall in a bachelor pad any day, and I welcome any other paint color ideas to challenge its perfectness for my friends’ new hizz.

Here we go… Picture first, notes below!!

White curtains look awesome and classy – and that blue chair is purty in there… you should totally get a solidly bright chair.. all the better if its velour/velvet. The red table is helping the room not feel too monochromatic as well.

This example of black curtains on black wall grabbed me. I thought about black curtains while I was sitting in there.. but it will have a different effect cause of the white/greyish walls that the windows are on… however, I think its worth considering black. I couldn’t find an example, but I envision the most perfect blue curtains.
Meanwhile, the coffee table in this picture would kick everyone’s ass.. something like that could be great for your space, unless you are anti coffee table in the middle of the rooom?

Now, you probly don’t give a shit.. but working the right wood tone into a room is a decision – and this photo interested me b/c of the wood against black walls… its similar to your current table that the tv is on..  (though that table would be a million times coolor if it where painted a color).

Frank’s idea for hanging art in a cluster was a good one, except for the diagonal thing. I’m not sure what he meant by that, but this is what I pictured while he was saying it. Suitable especially if you guys go with a ‘museum’ theme

Another option to fill wall space w/ visual interest and these kinda shelves are real affordable at like $13 each or so..

Still think you could do this and it would be an amazing experience for the home… Though, hanging an old vintage chalkboard in the space at the north wall would be a more rational version of great…!

On the furniture shopping list for the new place:

  • curtains and rods
  • dining table & chairs
  • lots of end tables
  • comfortable living room chair
  • several table lamps
  • dining room console(s)
  • coffee table (maybe)
  • rugs
  • palms

Here are some before iPhone images of the house in question. We’ll check back in on this place if the boys come through on any advice that I’ll meanwhile be dying to offer!!


LA Apt Hunting: Emily

Emily is apartment hunting in Los Angeles. Someone always is around here!?

So, here we go. Emily is well aware of the rental market situation, so she fully intends to see what a landlord might do for her in terms of discounted security deposit and first month’s rent. (as anyone who is looking for an apartment in LA should right now!)

Emily is looking for a relatively affordable 1br. She currently lives in a apartment in Silverlake that I can only think to describe as PHAT. Sorry for the indulgence with that aged term, but seriously. The Silverlake place ($1950/month between her and a roomate), is sick to death. Its on a hill, with a view, situated in a neighborhood just above my favorite road in all of LA (Hyperion). It sprawls, it has early century spanish bungalow charm, a brick patio with a fireplace and brick oven, and a bamboo garden that leads into A YARD… (Man, I miss grass). However, besides the fact that her and her roomate are parting ways – they decided to get out initially cause of the noise factor of the upstairs neighbors. (These are the kinds of things that you just can’t always get a feel for in your apt hunt.) Even with all the yard, they feel that the price tag is too high for a basement apartment.

The Estate of Things chooses LA Apartment Hunt

Let’s help Emily flesh out the pros and cons of the option below, its in West Hollywood near all of the great furniture thrift stores that we went to this weekend!!! (and the Target shopping center at La Brea & SM). ((and kinda near the Farmer’s Market which is near that place where the chick from The Hills lives if you watch TV and otherwise don’t have any reference for how much of a wasteland of concrete LA is.)) I’ve mapped it above for ya. Her current commute from Silverlake to work is probly bout 30 mins w/ Traffic.

It’s a little Guest House, which immediately fairs well in assessment. A guest house means no shared walls, so hopefully that means quiet times. It’s way closer to work. Its little face is cute, and I think immediately that it suits her in charm. The front porch is beggin for a brightly painted metal glider. It’s NOT a studio!  Hardwood floors are a must have for decor freedom, so that’s a go. Parking, Laundry and an included refrigerator are all pluses. And for a girl that loves outdoor coffee and privacy to sit back and think on a Sunday morning – the french doors/back deck is happening in a major way.

The only downsides I can see:
Could be some decades old grime to contend with, and without seeing it, I’d carefully inspect the windows, bathroom and kitchen faucets to make sure you can feel at home.
Also, It’s important to try to get a grasp on if the front house tenants are cool (she describes them as 12 year old hipsters, so this could go either way.)
It’s $50/mo over budget.

Emily, I kinda love it. I’d go ahead and man up and ask them if they’d consider knocking that extra $50/mo. off too. It never hurts to ask.

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LA Apartment Search, coupla Tips.

Gonna have to do some weeding through the resources. There are tons of apartments on the market. No need to rush into buying a Westside Rentals account though. Seriously. I say don’t do it until you’ve exhausted yourself with the free ones. Even if you do pay for it you’ll likely find your place from Craigslist, or a driveby. Personal Opinion, but I don’t really care for Westside Rentals.

Most of the time I just hit up Craig and do a keyword search for “bungalow” and pick through. Then “cottage” and pick through, emailing myself the ones to think about further. (I’m a recent fan of padmapper which pulls craigslist listings that input the address correctly, and displays them on a map.) But have had my best luck with clicking through various searches on Craigslist. Once you’ve perfected your search terms, hit the RSS icon in your browser bar to subscribe to new listings that match if you wanna.

Let’s pretend you know you wanna live on the Eastside.

I’d immediately suggest living here on this hill somewhere near Montecito/Lincoln Heights. I don’t know anything about the neighborhood, but could you care with that view/balcony/lightfixture(the nelson)/moulding? $1575/month

Or here, for $1850. Not cheap but super interesting. Note fun tile and Hobbitish ambiance. Plus its in Silverlak/Los Feliz area, so you can totally be Modern Bohemian.

Actually, that black tile in the kitchen is the sickest thing I’ve seen in a craigslist kitchen image.

If you are concentrated on a specific neighborhood, it might be less frustrating for you to use a map option like PadMapper. OR search by neighborhood using a service called Rental Girl.  This fantastic genius group of women got together and each pretty lady represents a different area of town. They specialize in finding rental options with character and appear to cover a wide budget (including a little one like mine). I checked out the Pasadena page b/c sometimes that’s where I live when I close my eyes real tight.

Here’s a steal at $1,000/mo. (Um…… MARGARET!!! Margaret wrote in and said she’s scared she’s gonna get stuck renting a room in a box b/c she’s had a hard time finding character). This place is super cozy.