On the road again…

This time of year it’s natural to take time to pause and reflect.  There’s been quite a few changes this year for which I’m grateful for.  This is one of them…

Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I’m a nomad at heart.  I love the thrill of change and I relish in the whole process which involves falling in love with a space and then bringing it to the next level, while respecting the original intent of the design.  I find the whole creative process intoxicating.

This time round I heard of the place we ended up purchasing while hosting an open house at my listing on La Jolla.  The neighbor next door; who happens to be a realtor, came in and started talking about a 1930’s style courtyard building that he put on the market.  He said they were selling pretty quickly and that they were extremely unique.  They were built by Meyer and Holler who designed a number of famous Los Angeles landmarks, including the Egyptian Theatre and Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.  The building was designated a historic-cultural monument, now known as the Mendel and Mabel Meyer Courtyard Apartments.

The thought of buying a vintage flat with pedigree was all I needed to hear and before you know it we were booking an appointment to see it.  That weekend we saw the final unit that they were working on before it hit the market.  It happened to be the top floor corner unit.  The living room was lovely with it’s vintage fireplace, high ceilings an classic moldings.  It was very reminiscent of a Greenwich Village brownstone flat.  These types of places don’t last long in L.A. for they are hard to come by.  That Monday, we bought it!

After our last remodel in Venice Beach which involved gutting the place, adding a second story, and redesigning the grounds, and moving out longer than anticipated, we vowed not to do that again!   Although we loved the final product, the process was way too long for us.  The thought of just adding some wallpaper, some fixtures and a couple pieces of furniture was thrilling!

Let’s face it…everyone loves a good walking area -no matter where you live.  But when my Shanghai clients started telling me about a particular area they wanted to live, you take note.  Beverly Grove was the place.  It’s a hot spot for sure with the locals and foreigners in the know!  This area is known for their trendy retail stores like Elaine Kim and Maison-Nathalie (some of the designer boutiques don’t even have names on them – too cool!), the finest restaurants like Izakaya , No. 10 and the legendary Jones on Third, and beauty shops galore!  I experienced the hype the first weekend here.  I literally kept my car in the garage the whole time for I could walk to everything.  The other thing I noticed was that some of the owners who worked in the stores actually greeted me when I came in.  Some even welcomed me into the neighborhood for they noticed it was my first time in –  that was really refreshing and so personable!

So here we go…looking forward to decorating this place.  I’ll chronicle this process again.  And this time we’re sure to be done soon.  Can’t wait!

Stay tuned…

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(Photo Credits: Elaine Kim:CAApparel, Maison-Nathalie:store website Izakaya: Spectrum, No.10: EaterLA)

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