Jarrett's Architectural Rental in Echo Park

House Tour

Name: Jarrett Mason - Music Supervisor at TBWA\Media Arts Lab
Location: Echo Park - Los Angeles, California
Size: 550 square feet, one bed one bath
Years lived in: 8 months

We're so excited that Jarrett has opened up his house to us again (his place was recently in the Small Cool contest). He lives in a duplex owned by an architect, so even though his home is small, the floor plan is carefully laid out and packed with modern elements. Keep reading to see more of Jarrett's place and a video of him grooving to his records (yes really)!

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One of my favorite elements in Jarrett's home is the Edison style ceiling lights. Some of his friends are not too keen on the lights, saying it looks like a circus, but I say "the circus effect" is pretty darn cool! The lights carry through the house into every room except the bedroom and bathroom.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Modern, minimal and colorful.

Inspiration: Overall I love the functionality of smaller spaces, so I'm inspired by great design that serves a purpose. California Mid-century Modernism does this best. Pop art is also a big inspiration.

Favorite Element: The Edison light bulbs on the ceiling and the large skewed white box separating the living area and kitchen are probably my favorite physical features of the apartment. In terms of decorating I'm proud of the collection of artwork. I've always thought owning art shouldn't cost a lot of money. Many of the pieces in the apartment are inexpensive posters in custom frames, but each has a great memory associated with it. Like the Basquiat poster in the hallway was from a visit to the Pompidou in Paris; the poster in the kitchen is from the Bauhaus museum in Berlin.

I've also collected a few original pieces by emerging artists — the black buddha baby painting in the bedroom is by a Thai artist; I bought it in a flea market in Bangkok. The Liberation Beats piece is by Guinean/Senegalese artist Aly Kourouma (DJ Ndebele) who lives here in L.A. The sketch by the front door is of my father, drawn by a friend of his in the 70s.

Biggest Challenge: I think when New Yorkers move to Los Angeles we totally go crazy with having space. After four years on the West Coast I had acquired a lot of "stuff," just because I could. So the challenge definitely has been downsizing to 550 square feet with one closet. But it's been great practice in owning only what I need; everything has to have a function. It doesn't matter if it's from DWR or Ikea as long as it's offering some kind of space solution.

What Friends Say: People often comment that the apartment is very neat and uncluttered. I'm drawn to furniture made of light weight materials that can be easily moved — probably a side effect of moving 15 times in 20 years. I've also been a music collector since the age of 14, so I'm used to having vinyl records and CD's literally taking over the places I live. Thanks to technology, I'm very happy not to move a room full of records all over the country. I'm not super old-school in that way — give me a terabyte hard drive and save me the back pain.

Biggest Embarrassment: It's not hard to tell I'm a fan of the Eames/Herman Miller aesthetic. When I had the space it was easier to mix and match design styles and spread out the Mid-Century pieces into different rooms. Living here, I'm a bit self-conscious the apartment is kind of an Eames explosion! I promise I like other styles too.

Proudest DIY: The sheer curtain wall. WIth the help of a friend I measured and bought the sheer fabric downtown and had a seamstress cut it into two panels. It took a couple of tries to make sure the bottom hem that would run along the floor was straight. A hospital track acts as the base on the ceiling. The roller clips (painted white) are from Ikea.

Biggest Indulgence: The sound system in every room. I always have music going — while cooking in the kitchen, relaxing in the living room, folding laundry in the bedroom or even taking a shower. I realize it's overkill to have speakers in every room of such a small apartment, but this way I don't have to inch the volume up and disturb my neighbor (also my landlord). I can play music wirelessly (with two Apple airports) throughout the apartment in different zones, all controlled by my laptop, iPhone or iPad.

Best Advice:
Received: A friend turned me on to the genius of lighting dimmers.
Given: Find a good, cheap art framer.

Dream Sources: If I could drop a lot of cash I'd do it at a store called Desiron on Wooster Street in NY. Mash Studios here in L.A. also makes awesome stuff. Lastly there's a designer out of Alexandria, VA, Daniel Donnelly, amazing stuff.

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Resources of Note:

FURNITURE & LIGHTING

ACCESSORIES

LIGHTING

  • Bedside Lamp: Yu, Brooklyn

RUGS & CARPETS

BEDS

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Thanks, Jarrett!

(Images: Marcia Prentice)

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