Name: Philip Sumner and Leona Laurie
Location: Downtown — Los Angeles, California
Size: 2,000 square feet (800 square foot addition is in the works)
Years lived in: 7 months — rent
Philip and Leona have put their stamp on this converted garment district loft. Within seven short months they have built and defined rooms, installed wood paneling throughout, added wood floors upstairs, painted the walls and re-built the staircase (three times to get it right).
Not only do they both get to reap the benefits of working from home in this giant and gorgeous space, soon there will be another 800 square feet, as they expand the loft to create a new bedroom and half bath upstairs and an additional workshop downstairs. From floor to ceiling, the loft retains much of its original factory charm, like the vaulted ceilings with wooden beams and all the exposed brick. On top of all this, they are the only unit in their entire building with private roof access — which will shortly lead to a roof-top garden.
Philip Sumner is a man of many talents. He is currently designing audio equipment in partnership with Kevin Carney (owner of Silverlake's Mohawk General Store) and designing interiors for a development in Downtown LA. A touring musician, avid free diver and ultra-marathon-level runner, Philip is interested in everything from vintage electronics to new age philosophy. Leona is a public relations consultant, an excellent cook (she made me lunch and dinner!), and is the managing editor for the music news & video site BestNewBands.com.
Besides paying homage to salvaged wood and raw materials, their entire loft is designed for a true open floor plan with as few doors as possible. Philip also designed the 12-foot-tall book case, and designed & built many of the speakers throughout the home under his brand Sumner &. I loved that they have so much space and keep their home clutter-free. It's quite minimalist actually, though with the warm woods and rich leather Eames lounge chair and soft vintage couch, it is nothing shy of inviting and perfect for entertaining.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Warm Modern
Inspiration: hmmmm...... brown?
Favorite Element: It is all my favorite, I love all! ...I do like the soft yellow wall in the kitchen very much...
Biggest Challenge: In a traditional sense, finding the right idea is what takes time and effort. The actions themselves are easy... But this is the future! I believe in progress and that there is only good. Terms like hard, difficult, or challenging seem out-dated, or like incorrect definitions of moving from point A to B.
What Friends Say: Friends like it. We have dinner parties as often as we can. They love the views at night.
Biggest Embarrassment: When you do what you want to do as often as possible, embarrassment kind of goes away.
Proudest DIY: Really the entire loft is DIY. It started as a big room with primered walls. I like the bathroom sink and the different speakers.
Biggest Indulgence: The Altec 755's in hand-made open baffles. They sound better than anything I've ever heard ever! I really feel that we have everything we want; I think everybody does. My goal now is to make my wants bigger.
Best Advice: Progress is of highest value. If you are honest about your desires (and you must be), any expenditure of energy or resources will be positive.
Approach everything with the highest ideal in mind. Be strong enough to conceive of the highest ideal. Understand that if you are striving for the highest ideal, you win.
You are perfect! and if anyone tells you otherwise, like advertisements or TV or friends... realize that they are a reflection of the measure of your doubt. You create everything that surrounds you. Believe, and then understand that you are perfect, and you will see that you are... and so are your surroundings.
Dream Sources: Western Electric audio equipment... if you have any old theater equipment, Altec too, call me.
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
• Behr: French Roast and Roasted Nuts
• 10-Foot Modern Sofa, Eames Lounge, Mid-Century Credenza: Rose Bowl Flea Market
• Floor Lamps: Blueprint
• Reclaimed Wood Table, Open Baffle Speakers, Vintage HiFi: Sumner & "www.etsy.com/shop/sumnerand"
• Dining Table: Blueprint
• Modern dining chairs: Craigslist
• Tangerine Kitchenaid: Macy's
• Computer/iPod Speakers: Sumner & "www.etsy.com/shop/sumnerand"
• Orchid: Orchid 2 Orchid
• Togo Sofa: AccessorizeYourSpace.com
• Tulip Table and chairs: Rose Bowl Flea Market
• Reclaimed Wood Sink Pedestal: Sumner &
• Sink Basin & Faucet: Salvage yard
• Poured Concrete shower enclosure
Thanks, Philip and Leona!
Images: Bethany Nauert
• HOUSE TOUR ARCHIVE Check out past house tours here
• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour Submission Form.
• Are you a designer/architect/decorator interested in sharing a residential project with Apartment Therapy readers? Contact the editors through our Professional Submission Form.