Name: Erin Smith
Location: Montecito Heights; Los Angeles, California
Size: 760 Square Feet
Years lived in: 4 Years; Owned
Tucked away on a hillside in a little residential pocket just east of downtown Los Angeles is a magical little house, home to Erin Smith. For many years she's worked in film and television as a set stylist and decorator. However she also has an entirely different business, reading tarot as a psychic healer. Cultivating both worlds, her home exemplifies both of her talents!
Her home is welcoming to all visitors. It is calming and cozy, filled with gorgeous artwork, crystals and some wonderful furniture. The house is elevated against a hilltop, surrounded by palm and pomegranate trees. Erin says that during the time of our shoot that the most significant thing in her home was her little bird, Pierre, who was her pet for fifteen years and passed in the days after these photos were taken.
Though her home feels very airy and dreamy like spaces in California often do, she says that living in Los Angeles hasn't really affected her design aesthetic, for she believes cohesion is the most essential part of designing a home. "Rather than treating each room as an individual, I like to think of them as supporting players to the whole structure. They should all relate to one another, be it through color palette or period aesthetic."
Once we walked through the home, I also got a tour of her Vardo Van, the little mobile office where she practices her tarot!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Eclectic Modern Mystic
Inspiration: Hilma Af Klint
Favorite Element: I love the alcove off the living room. There’s beautiful afternoon sunlight and a tree top view from those windows.
Biggest Challenge: This house was in terrible disrepair when I found it. Nearly all the windows were broken, the flooring in the kitchen and bathroom was almost non-existent, the chimney was falling away from the house, etc…the challenge was to restore the house in a way that was true to it’s 1920’s heritage on a limited budget.
What Friends Say: Everyone comments on the great energy of the space. The layout of the house is really conducive to flow. It’s built in a round so that almost all the rooms are connected.
Biggest Embarrassment: It’s a work in progress. The back yard has enormous potential but needs a lot of love.
Proudest DIY: I’m a set decorator so I’m used to sourcing the materials myself. I would go to salvage yards and Habitat for Humanity to find fixtures; everything from period doors and hardware, to the bathroom sink and tile.
Biggest Indulgence: I was able to build my caravan in the back
Best Advice: : I would say don’t be afraid of a fixer upper so long as it’s structurally sound. You’ll get a better deal on the asking price and then you have the freedom to make it match your own personal aesthetic.
Dream Sources: I love Habitat for Humanity. I have found the most amazing stuff there at a discounted price. All the money that you spend in their resale stores helps to fund the construction of Habitat houses within local communities.
Thank You Erin!
(photographs: Bethany Nauert)
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