Name: Aubin Crowell of Rebuilt Inc., Florice Houde, and Monkey, Shy Girl, Lil' Pi, and Ninja
Location: Silver Lake - Los Angeles, California
Size: 2,200 square feet
Years lived in: 4 1/2 years
Aubin and Florice's modern loft is an interesting study of mixing elements to create a successful interior design. It has hard, concrete surfaces with stark white walls, yet the way they have furnished the space with warm woods and soft textiles balances out the more stark materials and surfaces.
Artwork is definitely prominent and important in their design and almost every room contains multiple works of art to inspire their creativity, everyday. Just when you think you have Aubin and Florice all figured out, they surprise you. They are a young and very hip couple, yet you definitely feel a strong sense of family and nature in their home. They enjoy living next to Aubin's sister and helping out with occasional babysitting. And as a side note, Aubin makes a mean vegetable juice - who knew!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Deconstructed luxury meets a curiosity shop. We scour flea markets, streets and nature for items that can be rebuilt and used or just act as a decorative installation to complement the modern lines of the structure of our home.
Inspiration: Since I (Aubin) was a kid I was always inspired by industrial spaces and nature. When designing the space for our home I wanted to incorporate the feeling of open air and natural light of the warehouses I had lived and painted in through the years but with the added warmth, comfort and privacy of a home. We commingle warm elements such as fabrics and woods with cold hard elements of metal and concrete that create a lovly balance.
When it comes to decorating our home we are inspired by our trips to nature, industrial remains, art, museums and of course flea markets and street side finds. From trips we usually bring home a suitcase of natural wonders, art and old crafts and trades. We bring these finds together and that in turn creates more inspiration.
Favorite Element: The duality between urban living and nature. Our house happens to sit under the flight pattern for Canadian geese, ducks, hawks, blue herons, and the double breasted cormorants to name a few. These birds fly directly overhead our house. There is also an owl or two that live nearby; in fact it is hoooing as I type. We also have hummingbirds, finches, doves, opossums, squirrels, coyotes, alligator lizards, trapdoor spiders and many other cohabitants we share our outdoor space with and welcome the daily reminder of the world outside ourselves.
Biggest Challenge: Finding ways to enjoy our choices of design that can withstand the animal traffic.
What Friends Say: Our friends love visiting and are always jazzed to hang out. Two of the most common comments are how quiet it is and how great the space makes them feel.
Biggest Embarrassment: Our couch, the animals have taken it over! I (Florice) am always looking for cool blankets to cover up the wear and tear.
Proudest DIY: Starting from scratch and building the house. Aubin and his sister Liza Temple bought the property in auction and spent 2 years on plans and subdividing the property and a year building the houses to end up with two side-by-side independent houses that share one lot. The finishes and landscape have been more of an "in the moment" creation and we are always invigorated at each step.
Now we have a family compound, the Temples and the Houde-Crowell's independent houses on the same lot. It is a great feeling to have this community.
Biggest Indulgence: The entire house! The house is built to be inclusive, each of us have our own private work space, so no need to rent an outside studio which saves on time and resources. The spa bath with bidet, steam shower and tub, the cooks kitchen, which is apart of the great room, is ideal for dinner parties and entertaining, veggie garden and big yard for the animals to get their ruckus on and a rented studio to subsidize costs and share space with other creative individuals. We feel like we are on vacation in our own home.
Best Advice: My dad (Aubin) always taught me "to build from the inside out, start with how the space lives and feels then deal with the rest."
Dream Sources: The world! Unique hand creations from around the globe. We love to travel and see art, architecture, geography and wildlife. Our dream is to be able to spend more time enjoying the world and people, picking up memories and inspiration as we go, appreciating all the amazing beauty that comes from repetition and slow growth.
Resources of Note:
- Viking refrigerator from California Kitchen & Bath floor model sale
- Wolf stove from Pacific Sales floor model sale
- Taylor Brothers
- Flea markets
- Ricks Hardware in North Hollywood
- Flea markets
- Garage sales
- Street side giveaways
- Family pieces
- Salvage yards
- Restoration hardware
- Flea markets
- Jill's Paint Store - best paint store!
We hired craftsmen to grind down the foundation pad, stain and seal on 1st floor and install oak floors with custom stain on 2nd floor.
RUGS & CARPETS
- Small Persian that Florice's father gave to her mother 40 years ago - love!!!
- African velvet mats - flea market
- Jute runner - west elm
TILES & STONE
- United tile and stone in Los Angeles
- Tile cub - Tileshop
- Caesarstone counter tops
- Ikea mixed with vintage rods
- Ikea in master bedroom
- Custom built in guest room
- Aubin Crowell
- Florice Houde
- Ginger Crowell
- Liza Temple
- Sage Vaughn
- Woody Gwen
- Matt Murphy
- Tasya Van Ree
- Jeremy Swan
- Cathy Cooper
- Dewey Ambrose
- Albert Reyes
- Old Chola
- Doris Hale
- Karen Finley
- Heidi Zumbrun
- Sandy Hale
- Rebuilt Inc. - Aubin's design company, also contact at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Reclaimer - beautiful woods!!!
- HiQ Cabinets - international modern cabinets
Thanks Aubin & Florice!
Images: Marcia Prentice
Originally published 2.23.2012 - JL
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