Name: Kathleen Whitaker and Bradford Whitaker
Location: Echo Park - Los Angeles, California
Size: 2200 square feet
Years lived in: 8 months
Kathleen and Bradford live at the top of the hill in Echo Park. You drive up and up and up and then when you get to the very top you walk down a set of stairs to reach their front door. Their house is very private with an incredible view. I will admit I am a bit (ok a lot) jealous.
Kathleen and Bradford's house reminds me of a home on the East Coast — white paneling, creaky wooden staircase and slanted ceilings. I especially love the very small, cozy bathroom, which Kathleen says is a favorite among guests. The more I visit these charming homes in Echo Park, the more I am getting swayed to move on over to the East Side.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: A mix of heritage and handmade.
Inspiration: Its setting. Every vista offers treetops during the day and twinkling lights at night. It's a very romantic spot in a beautiful, inspiring neighborhood.
Favorite Element: The house is over 100 years old, having been built in 1909. So all the original features like the wide pocket door and large leaded-glass windows feel really special. Another great element is in the basement. One side is a sheer rock wall - the bedrock the house is built into.
It was great to see the house through the lens of our good friend, architect Jeff Phelps, who visited us right after we moved in. There are strange add-ons — a wall there, a header here — that are clearly NOT original to the house, but they add character; they were added in response to what the house needed. It's nice to embrace little oddities like that.
Biggest Challenge: Harmony! It's natural to want to make your mark on your OWN home, but what if your co-habitants don't like what your mark looks like? Or the timeframe in which you plan to complete making your mark? Hypothetically speaking.
What Friends Say: A friend the other day called it "epic." We think he was referring to the amount of work ahead.
Biggest Embarrassment: No A/C, which on 4th of July with 50 people in our home and the oven cranked to 400, was a bit of an embarrassment. Also, the skunk living under the back deck makes for smelly outdoor evening dinner parties.
Proudest DIY: Doing the demo and new drywall in the living room, followed by the new bookcase and mantel. There's also the kitchen shelves, bedroom side tables, and small bathroom shelf. Repairing the aforementioned 100-year-old pocket door eaten through by the new puppy. Doing all the plumbing and electric required for installing a new washer and dryer. This is a house for the ambitious and capable (aka "Bradford").
Biggest Indulgence: So far no big ticket spends besides the taxes.
Best Advice: Maybe most thought-provoking advice: "Sell it. Don't hold on to it for 20 or 30 years or grow too attached." We've both had old family houses sold and later demolished. It's a heartbreak when you lose a house you're emotionally attached to. Plus, you know, there's also the eye of the needle and whatnot.
Dream Source: Antique stores in Summerland, Pasadena, and Long Beach. In Los Angeles: IKO IKO, Casbah Café, Grain, Dosa, Galerie Half. On the web: 1st Dibs.
Resources of Note:
- Samsung refrigerator
- Samsung washer and dryer
- Vintage Wedgewood stove
- Cellular Shades from Lowes
- Martha Stewart in Popcorn, Lamb and Heavy Goose
- Refinished by Ralph's Hardwood Flooring
- Serena Mitnik-Miller
- Aimee Rhodes Cook
- Hadley Holliday
- Sally Wylde
- David Korty
- Caitlin Lonegan
- Heather Levine
- Bradford Whitaker
- Jack Hecox
- IKO IKO / Waka Waka
Thanks, Kathleen & Bradford!
Images: Marcia Prentice
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