Name: Alex Cole & Sarah Brady: Alex is an art director, and Sarah was in the trend forecasting business for 11 years prior to opening Platform with Alex.
Location: Highland Park – Los Angeles, California
Size: 900 square feet
Years lived in: Alex has lived in the house for 6 years, Sarah has lived there for close to 3 years.
I took a few looks around Alex and Sarah's home and asked Alex where he has lived. I could tell that he had lived in a few international cities. His face lit up. "I took 10 years to travel around the world and lived in India for a handful of years." It definitely shows — Alex and Sarah's home has a well traveled and spiritual aesthetic and energy.
I always say that when a home is designed well and has great energy, the square footage becomes irrelevant. This is definitely the case in Alex and Sarah's home. You get lost in the rooms and niches. All the personal treasures and photographs speak volumes of a life well lived. Every piece in the home has a meaning and is important in the overall design.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: India, Mexico, Europe; travel really inspires our style. We like to think of it as world traveling eclectic with a handcrafted modern twist.
Inspiration: Well, when I moved in we had to come up with a way to merge our furniture and decor. It has been amazing and challenging to bring it all together, but I think we are getting there… our ultimate goal is to create a warm, welcoming and cozy environment that tells a story and is a true expression of our style and travels. Lots of texture, pattern, ethnic accents, color, natural materials: a mash-up of everything we love and are inspired by!
Favorite Element: The living room is our favorite part of the house — it reminds Alex of his home back in London and is the perfect setting to lounge, relax, entertain and play with the dogs. We especially love the bookcase which Alex designed and had custom built. It offers the perfect place to display not only our books, but also sentimental treasures and souvenirs from our travels and loved ones.
Biggest Challenge: The bathroom. Alex had it demoed when he moved in, then rebuilt from scratch. It is now one of my favorite rooms in the house, especially the Turkish style tub! It's such a peaceful room.
What Friends Say: Our friends compliment us on our unique style and how cozy our home is. Most of them say the house has good energy and they like spending time in it, which makes us so happy! They like all the color, texture, art and curios. Most of our friends like our green kitchen, the bathroom and the backyard. They seem impressed with how we somehow stay organized in such a small space. I say lots of shelves, which means all your stuff is on display, which we like because we enjoy creating little vignettes.
Biggest Embarrassment: Alex would say the storage shed. He built this when I moved in because he was trying to clear space for my stuff. He needed a place to house all his tools and other odds and ends, so he got busy and built himself a little storage shed. It's not perfect, but it does the job! I would say the kitchen floor, I can't wait to retile that baby!
Proudest DIY: The garage conversion. Alex wanted to convert the garage into an office/closet for me when I first moved in, because back then I ran my trend forecasting business from home, and I have a crazy wardrobe. He put the door and window in himself, had a little help with the walls and flooring, painted, and built a customized IKEA closet for me. I mean, a man builds you a room with your own customized closet, YEAH! It was the sweetest thing anyone had ever done for me. I was very impressed and Alex was proud.
Biggest Indulgence: Our Matera bed with storage from Design Within Reach. This bed is all walnut and the design is so beautiful. We were concerned about having enough drawer space, so this bed offered a good solution with 6 storage drawers — we LOVE it! We also indulged in a really nice ceiling fan for over the bed. We are very grateful for our fan during those hot LA nights.
Best Advice: Your home is always a work in progress — have fun and don't take it too seriously, and most importantly, think of it as a canvas to express yourself. There are fun little tweaks you can do on a daily basis to shift and play with your space, and when budget does not allow for major or even minor improvements, BE CREATIVE!
Dream Sources: TRAVEL TRAVEL TRAVEL! Nothing beats finding those unique one-of-a-kind pieces that have a great story. It can be from somewhere exotic or even from a road trip. We found some incredible treasures on a recent road trip through Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. If you can't get out of town, visit a great flea market, thrift store or some of the shops that focus on exotic imports (LA has many!!!)
Resources of Note:
- Rose Bowl Flea Market
- LA Box Collective - Various pieces of furniture from the LA Box Collective can be purchased at Platform
- The Living Room
- H.D. Buttercup
- Amsterdam Modern Warehouse Sales
- Olde Good Things
- Iron & Ducks
- Sueno (no longer in business)
- Ten10 (no longer in business)
- West Elm
- Oasis Imports
- Foothill 5 Fifty
- Heath Ceramics
- Roger Lee Ceramics - his ceramics can be purchased at Platform
- Textiles from our travels
- Badia Design
- Rose Bowl Flea Market
- Santa Monica Outdoor Antique & Collectable Market
- Past Perfect in San Francisco
- Tortoise General Store
- Mt. Washington Pottery - her ceramic bells can be purchased at Platform
- Rolling Greens
- Roberto (323) 371-1430 - our local very handy man that did all the concrete in the garden and installation of french doors and window. WE LOVE HIM!
- Samuel Hardwood Floor: Global Hardwood (818) 402-5219 - Very nice and helpful!
RUGS & CARPET
- Bashir Tribal Rugs
- Peace Industry
- Family Heirlooms
- Rose Bowl Flea Market
- The Southwest
- Muskhane Paris, FR
TILES & STONE
- Kat Hutter - art and ceramics can be purchased at Platform
- Samantha Streets - art and design can be purchased at Platform
- Flea Markets
- Estate Sales
- Antique Shows
- Family Heirlooms
- Ginger Hale Crowell
- Gretchen Kimball
- Alex Cole Photography - his photos can be purchased at Platform
- Martin Rusch Photography (his photos can be purchased at Platform!
- Framing - Fine Art Solutions
Thanks, Sarah & Alex!
(Images: Marcia Prentice)
• HOUSE TOUR ARCHIVE: Check out past house tours here.
• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour Submission Form.
• Are you a designer/architect/decorator interested in sharing a residential project with Apartment Therapy readers? Contact the editors through our Professional Submission Form.
Re-edited from a post originally published on 11.9.12 - Ab