Name: Austin and Jenny Flack (+ Emmy Lou)
Location: Lincoln Heights; Los Angeles, California
Size: 1,200 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year; Rented
We had the pleasure of ending a two day road trip at the home of Austin and Jenny Flack, in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles. In a home nestled in a a group of industrial-style lofts, newlyweds Austin and Jenny have created an open, airy space full of upcycled elements, combined with a modern, streamlined feel.
The bones of the couple's two-story loft are industrial: metal staircase and concrete floors. However, they've peppered the space with soft, plush elements like woven rugs, a cozy sofa, and large poufs. Their furry friend is pretty soft too — Emmy Lou is a golden retriever/poodle mix (aka, adorable Muppet).
The small backyard space, just outside a glass, storefront-style door, is perfect for relaxing after work — Austin is a filmmaker and editor, and Jenny works in trend forecasting and is about to start grad school. The tone of the space is youthful and genuine, and I loved their DIY home projects, such as the office bookshelf with ladder and skylight shade. Enjoy exploring this lovely space!
Our Style: Reclaimed DIY meets clean modern.
Inspiration: To save some cash and soak in the less-touristy parts of our destination cities during our honeymoon travels last year, we used Airbnb.com to book accommodations wherever we went. Our first stop was Paris, where we stayed in a lovely flat which had the rare ability to appeal to both of our personal aesthetics simultaneously. With lots of light, wood floors, an open floor plan, and design details to add color and offer texture and personality, it combined rustic and modern in a way we hoped to emulate.
Favorite Element: The wooden kayak we keep in our kitchen/living room. Austin's dad, a doctor by day, began crafting wooden vessels as a hobby several years ago, and offered this — one of his most recent creations — as a housewarming gift shortly after we moved in. Each one takes him around six months to make, so it is truly a gift from the heart. Many people wonder if it's usable — it most certainly is!
Biggest Challenge: The skylight above our bed upstairs proved to be a doozie. While it is a wonderful feature and our main source of natural light, it is also directly positioned above our bed — and the California sun wakes up early! We needed a way to draw a shade from about 15 feet below it, and remote-controlled options were pricey. Austin and his dad ended up installing two cables along which a shade, attached by rings, could slide back and forth when pulled by a rod with a hook on the end. That was $60 well spent.
What Friends Say: "Cool" is probably the most oft-used adjective, which seems to be a reaction to the uniqueness of the space itself. Then some people will remark on one or two items or design elements that catch their eye. Each person picks out something different — it's like the Rorschach test of in-home entertaining.
Biggest Embarrassment: Oh, dust. Whether it's the LA air, high ceilings, or lack of carpets and doors, the layers tend to settle in remarkably quick fashion — especially in the kitchen. (We dusted for you. Secret's out.)
Proudest DIY: The office. I (Jenny) l.o.v.e. to build, upcycle, repurpose, and do-it-myself, so when we moved in with boxes of books and nowhere to put them, I soon sketched out a vision for a floating bookcase with a rolling ladder — and then built it! I had given Austin full creative authority for the office, since it would primarily be his for working on freelance film and editing gigs — so when I added the shelves, I went with clean, minimal lines that I knew he would love. Next, to create the workspace, Austin helped me re-fashion two old IKEA desks, placing them side-by-side and topping them with 1x4s to create the illusion of one long counter-like desk along the far wall.
Biggest Indulgence: A few years ago, Austin took a gig creating a commercial for a high-end bed company out of Sweden called Hastens. The beds are created with de-allergenized horse hair and sold in Beverly Hills, if that gives you any idea. When he and his buddy finished the project, they proposed to receive payment in the form of beds rather than paychecks. The owner agreed. So we sleep on a Hastens.
Best Advice: Take creative risks! We have come up with some unusual ideas when repurposing, upcycling, or designing furniture and interiors. Some have worked and some haven't. If you agree to be honest with yourself once you're done, you can put that analytical stage off long enough to let yourself explore the possibilities.
Dream Sources: Swap meets, flea markets, garage sales, and friends whose styles serve as a reminder that oftentimes, less really is more.
Resources of Note:
-Chairs: Aeron (via Craigslist)
-Custom Bike: Recyclery San Diego
-Couch: Crate&Barrel (via Craigslist)
-Spotlight: West Coast Modern L.A.
-Entertainment Center: Rose Bowl Swap Meet
-Floor Poufs: West Elm
-Standing Shelves: Home Depot
-Wall-Mounted Shelves and Hooks: Ikea
-Pendant: West Elm
-Table: Long Beach Antique Market
-Credenza: West Coast Modern L.A.
-Duvet: West Elm
-Closet Units: Ikea
Thanks, Austin & Jenny!
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(Image credits: Andie Powers)