A Mid-Century Modern Musicians' Loft

House Tour

Name: Kristopher and Ginger
Location: Long Beach, California
Size: 1,728 square feet
Years lived in: 1 1/2 years

Kristopher and Ginger's Long Beach loft could comfortably be called a behind the music house tour, an expansive and flexible space which plays double duty between their "living zones" and their professional "creative zones". Designed to accommodate for their musical professions (he recently toured with Morrissey and was Gwen Stefani's musical director, she's the bass player for the Smashing Pumpkins) while also being fitted for the arrival of their first baby, the loft exhibits the charms of vintage, modern, high end, handmade, simple and ornate all at once. A harmonious melody of eclecticism...

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AT Survey:

My/Our style: Mid-Century Modern Musician meets whatever we like that we find on Craigslist. Old, new, whatever.

Inspiration: We wanted a home that was cozy while still maintaining the loft feel. It was really important for us to divide the space into comfortable living zones and creative zones for work while still having a sense of continuity throughout. We’re just about to have a baby too so a clean, functional, creative home is what we’re shooting for.

Favorite Element: Our favorite element in our home is the flexibility of our space. We had all of our walls built on casters so that we could rearrange the spaces in our home depending on our needs/wants. We found a great contractor, Ben Gillentine, who made custom walls with folding hydraulic caster assemblies so that the walls could be moved wherever we wanted and then lowered to the floor and braced to the ceiling. It’s genius. We have a recording studio space in our home and we wanted the flexibility to record and create with varying degrees of isolation. Our home walls also double as giant moveable baffles for recording.

Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenge has been to create continuity from space to space in our home. We tend to like so many different styles and we’ve found that without some restraint those styles can really clash. We’ve had quite a few train wrecks when we’ve brought pieces home. We’re kind of making it up as we go along. Right now we’re starting to put the baby room together and we’re pretty stubborn about having the damask wallpaper and making it work somehow next to the kitchen. Just in case it doesn’t work we’ve put up industrial rolling shutters in between the spaces to divide them.

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What Friends Say: Our friends like our home but it’s really their kids that love the space. As soon as kids enter they always seem to take off running and spinning around. It seems that kids (and maybe adults?) love the freedom of space. Of course we have a few family members that ask when we’re going to put in a real ceiling and carpet the place wall to wall.

Biggest Embarrassment: So far we feel pretty proud of what we’ve done with the place, being our first home and only having worked on it for a few months. We haven’t started working on our bathroom yet though so we usually don’t showcase that room. Maybe someday!

Proudest DIY: I think cutting and hanging the steel bedroom door was a personal best. We found the door on Craigslist for $100 but it was barely too tall for our space. We had to do a lot of heavy lifting and math in order to hang the door at the proper height and math was not exactly our strongest subject. To finally hang the door and have it come within 1/16 of an inch of the correct height was a real relief.

Biggest Indulgence: We kind of went for it with our bed purchase. It was the first thing we bought for ourselves right after we got married 15 months ago and felt that it was an important purchase. We nearly didn’t give ourselves a budget for that purchase because neither of us questioned the importance of having a nice bed. Plus it was our wedding present to ourselves!

Best advice: The best advice we received from a number of people was to live in our place for a bit before we did anything to it. Initially we had all sorts of crazy ideas (brick walls for bedroom walls, etc…) that we eventually realized wouldn’t suit our needs or be approved by the city. Luckily for us we travel for work a large portion of the year and that kept us from doing anything too foolish to our home.

Dream source: We’re absolutely addicted to Craigslist and found treasures. If it’s a one-of-a-kind handmade piece then we’re much more drawn to it then if it were from a fancy store. Doesn’t matter if it’s free or way too expensive for us.

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Resources:

Appliances: All of our appliances are Viking.

Furniture: We’ve purchased most all of our furniture off of Craigslist however our couch is from Room Service and our bed is from Rhoom. The large mirror in the bedroom is from Melrose Gallery.

Accessories: Most of our accessories we pick up unexpectedly while around town or on tour. We’ve also found a number of things at the Long Beach antique market. That place is amazing.

Lighting: We purchased our red chandelier at the Melrose Gallery, our black chandelier at a boutique in Sydney Australia, and our “stage light” track lights from a guy on Craigslist.

Window Treatments: The large gold drapes for the baby room we’re custom made drapes we found on Craigslist and the drapes in the bedroom are from Sears. Our rolling blinds were custom made at Ben’s Interiors.

Beds: We’ve been able to sample quite a few mattresses from traveling most of the year and by far our favorite bed was the Heavenly beds in the Westin Hotels. We purchased one of those beds.

Artwork: There’s an artist we love named Jessica Fife and we have a number of her paintings in our home.

Paint: We got our Mythic paint at Opera Paint in downtown LA and our no VOC Olympic paint at Lowes.

Flooring: The only flooring we have is a carpet remnant from Carpet Remnants Warehouse in Torrance, CA that we had bound and made into a rug in the living room

Hardware: Right now hardware is about function and we’ve found function at Home Depot.

(Thanks, Kristopher and Ginger!)

Photos by Scott Witter

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