House tours are a great source of inspiration; seeing how someone else has tackled storage solutions, design challenges and complex living arrangements propels you to try it in your own home. This week's Los Angeles Times Home and Garden section offers up two for your reading pleasure; the developers of each, have met the city's challenges with elegance and humour. Hoping to try out an idea you've seen in a house tour in your own home often means turning to one or more of the folks in your entourage, especially your upholsterer. David A. Keeps takes a look at why his services are so pricey. Links to these stories, and others, on the Los Angeles Times website, after the jump...
Home tour: Four luxury town homes rise in Venice: I hadn't given much thought to Venice but between hanging out at Laure's home and the Dwell Tour (not to mention some serious eats), I've found myself being increasingly drawn to this unique beach community. These eco-friendly townhouses only confirm my newfound fascination.
New building tour: Is this town house development the future of L.A.?: As Los Angeles becomes increasingly dense, classic Spanish-style buildings are making way for multi-unit faceless complex which barely speak to the surrounding architecture or to the needs and wants of potential residents. Habitat 15, a new complex on Detroit Street, may be unique in this way.
Object lesson: Why upholstery can cost a bundle: You love your upholsterer but why does it cost so much to redo the couch? A short lesson in the details that matter whether you're talking to your long time upholster or in the market for a new one to add to your entourage.
[image: SVA Architecture Interiors, Ricardo DeAratanha for LAT; David A. Keeps / LAT]