Matt and Kathleen (and Calvin) Murray
Hancock Park or Koreatown (depends on who's asking), Los Angeles, California
2700 square feet
Years lived in:
2 1/2 years
If you're a fan of Greene and Greene's Craftsman architecture, you are going to love this young couple's home. Kathleen was living in New York and Matt was living in California when they got engaged. Kathleen's wish for their home was that it be old, so Matt went on a mission to find a home with character. When he came across this Craftsman that had been beautifully restored by its previous owners, they both knew it was the one.
Matt and Kathleen make sure to consider the style of the house when decorating. They really enjoy spending hours and hours searching for the perfect furniture piece or accessory to complete a room. It is all about the find for them, and they are in no rush.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our style is pretty simple, pretty traditional. Lots of eBay and thrift store finds, mixed with an ever-expanding amount of baby toys.
The house was built in 1912 and has so many great original features. Our inspiration is anything that doesn't mess that up. Some things we like: The Bowery Hotel. Gustav Stickley. Greene and Greene. The Harvard Lampoon. La Musee de la Chasse in Paris. (Oof, that sounded incredibly pretentious, but who cares, it's great.)
We were told that the inglenook fireplace was a unique creation by the home's original builder and we wouldn't find one exactly like it in any other Craftsman. This could have been a total lie designed to get us to buy the house. It worked!
The previous owners did such a great job restoring the house that all we had to do was paint the walls and move our furniture in. And that was really easy because we paid people to do it for us.
What Friends Say:
"Do you guys mind if we sleep here tonight? We are drunk."
Our fence is in pretty bad shape. Other than that, a weird amount of Bachelor episodes on the DVR. Way more young adult fiction than a 31-year-old woman should have. Way more skateboards than a 35-year-old man should have.
Does paying a crew of really talented people to renovate a guest suite count as a DIY? If not, we tried to strip and age brass latches for our cabinets. Then we realized that we probably shouldn't be handling toxic chemicals while Kathleen was pregnant. Also that we should never DIY.
Having an oil painting of your own face is pretty self-indulgent. Kathleen found this old man whose studio is inside the Port Authority subway station in New York. You actually have to swipe your MetroCard to get to him. If you bring him a photo, he will hand paint a portrait for you. The detail is pretty amazing. It's the best (and silliest) present Matt has ever received.
For all interior design advice, Kathleen asks herself, "what would Connie do?" referring to the super awesome Constanza Collarte, interior architect and founder of Sette Volpi
, an online design source. And, because Connie also happens to be one of Kathleen's best friends, sometimes we just ask her directly. Hi, Connie!
Since this is a dream, first we'd go to the time machine store and buy a time machine. Then we'd probably head back in time, get some custom stuff made by Greene and Greene or the Stickley brothers. Then we'd zap forward in time, buy some stuff from Paul McCobb, Arne Vodder, or George Nakashima. Then zap back in time from there, kill Hitler, make some sports bets, then zap forward in time and maybe pick up some Hans Wegner stuff on our way to see the Beatles play at Shea Stadium.
Resources of Note:
- Taxidermized ibis and pheasant - eBay
- Handpainted Steenwijck Vanitas replica skateboard - some guy in the Netherlands
- Table and Chairs - Vintage Mid-Century set found by Kathleen in Boston for $250 total!
- Sink - Shaws Original - Rohl
- Le Creuset, Denby, Vera Wang
- Stove - Wolf
- Refrigerator - Sub-Zero
- Dishwasher - Fisher Paykel dual drawer system
- Console - Vintage, purchased from a friend
- Couch - Room&Board
- Chairs - Eames rocker and LCR, Ikea lounge
- Side tables - Pottery Barn
- Oil Portrait by the Port Authority guy in New York
- Wedding poster by our friend Justin Nowell
- Bed - A Brass Bed Shoppe
- Mission dresser, nightstands - eBay
- Armchair - Boston street corner (obtained before Kathleen's crippling fear of bedbugs)
- Vintage crystal lamps - they say Waterford, but are probably fake, since they were only $10 each at a garage sale. But maybe not!
Vanity, sinks, cabinets
- Brian DeGraw
- Molly McIver
- Photo of 11-year-old Matt skateboarding with a regrettable haircut
- Not sure, done by the previous owner
- Bed - Ray crib by Muu
- Vintage dresser - Junk thrift store in Brooklyn
- Frank Reenskaug rocker - eBay
- Bookshelf - Vintage, bought off a friend (actually the top part of the console in the TV room)
- Rebecca Raney
- Vintage Ted Williams stand up baseball card
- Morgan Tolley's Etsy store, Drape Baby. She's the best and the prices are great!
This was the only part of the house we did any work on after we moved in. Our inspiration was the Bowery Hotel in New York City, where we had our wedding reception. Karen and Guy Vidal of Design Vidal
did an amazing job recreating that for us!
GUEST SUITE BATHROOM
Thanks, Kathleen & Matt!
(Images: Marcia Prentice)
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