Tanya & Todd's Atwater Village Home

House Tour

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Name: Tanya Aguiniga, Furniture, textiles and accessories designer, and Todd Beattie, West Coast Visual Merchandiser for CB2
Location: Atwater Village; Los Angeles, California
Size: 670 square feet
Years lived in: 7 years

You may know Tanya Aguiniga from her unique furniture designs that double as pieces of art, or her line of cotton rope necklaces and bracelets. I was dying to get a peek inside her home after seeing her work at the Parachute Market at LA's Dwell on Design. She insisted that her place was small, but of course I knew it would be packed full of interesting objects and references to the culture of her native Tijuana.

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Tanya moved into her rented home in Atwater Village before the area was trendy, so she feels very lucky to have scored a home with a backyard, within walking distance to Glendale Blvd., and still be paying reasonable rent. The warm Southern California weather enables her to take advantage of all the indoor/outdoor living spaces, including the back enclosed lounge room. The home is just the right size, and even has room for Tanya and Todd's growing family — a baby is coming very soon, or may even be here as I type!

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: I guess I would describe our style as a mixture of Mid-Century and craft based travel collections. When we first got married 15 years ago, we collected more and more pieces from around the world. Most of these pieces have very personal histories from my past artist-in-residences.

Inspiration: The decor of the house has grown very organically. We mainly just decorate with things that make us happy or remind us of special times.

Favorite Element: Since our house is so small, we spend the majority of our time outside. The converted garage/outdoor room is our refuge. I love being able to lounge in the space while enjoying our view of the yard and the wonderful LA sunshine.

Biggest Challenge: We rent, which means that we can't really invest a lot in fixing the house or yard. We have made lots of improvements to the house in the seven years that we have been here, but since it's not ours, we cannot make it exactly what we wish for.

What Friends Say: I guess most say that it is cozy and colorful and that we have lots of stuff!

Biggest Embarrassment: The house was built in 1924 and is in constant deterioration. It needs a lot of upkeep, some of which we have done on our own, but much of which still needs to be repaired. Some of the fixes that have been done to the house were badly designed and executed, but we have to live with the landlord's choice as renters.

Proudest DIY: The bed I made for Todd's birthday. It's torch bent steel. It is one of the few pieces of furniture that I made that is still left in the house. Everything else is in galleries/stores.

Biggest Indulgence: We have a projector that we use to watch movies in the outdoor room, which is why we left one wall white and undecorated.

Best Advice: Surround yourself with things that make you happy — who cares if it matches or not.

Dream Sources: We tend to accumulate things slowly over the years, in places we live or on travels. In the mid-nineties in San Diego, we would buy stuff at the DAV Thrift Store in Chula Vista, Kobey's Swap Meet, Mid-Cenutry Design on Park when it was called Boomerang, and Klassik. In Rhode Island, we would go to a consignment shop on Wickenden and Curiosities. In Los Angeles, we go to the Rose Bowl and PCC Swap Meet. If we could afford it, we would also buy at Reform Modern and JF Chen.

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Resources of Note:

PAINT & COLORS

  • Kilz White and a few random old Ralph Lauren colors from Home Depot

ENTRY

  • Also part of the living room - Eames Hang-It-All with Mayan tote bags from Chiapas (Mexico), Huichol ones from Nayarit
  • Eames Wire Base Elliptical table with animals from Chiapas (Mexico), Varanasi (India), Cuzco (Peru), and Santiago (Chile)
  • JB Blunk bowl from JB's family
  • Atwater Pottery pots and a Noguchi Lamp on a Rabari embroidered runner from Bhuj, India

LIVING ROOM

  • Knoll sofa that I rescued from the trash at the San Diego Museum of Art, covered in Peruvian rugs
  • Coffee table - Steelcase marble and chrome piece from Curiosities in Providence
  • Butterfly chair from the Rose Bowl Flea Market
  • George Nelson clock from Vitra
  • Plycraft chair from DAV Thrift Store in Chula Vista
  • Vista of California desk with Eames wire chair
  • Printer stand - random garage sale buy
  • Bookshelf - Mid-Century Danish piece from a resale shop in San Diego that is now closed
  • Artwork - Large Huichol yarn painting (behind sofa) from Nayarti, Mexico. Next to printer: painting by my Alaskan native friend Sonya Kelliher-Combs and hanging ceramic bell by Mt. Washington Pottery. Above mantel: party diorama by Lisa Swerling/Glass Cathedral along with dools and objects from Mexico, Peru, Singapore, and Alaska. On bookshelf: random objects from Mexico, Turkey, Alaska, India and Peru. Joseph Albers print from Rose Bowl Flea Market

KITCHEN

  • Table from Ikea
  • Eames DCM, wire chair and shell chair from eBay, a consignment shop in Providence and a garage sale
  • Storage cart from CB2

BEDROOM

  • Vista of California nightstands and dresser from Mid-Century in San Diego
  • I designed the handmade bed
  • Artwork - Painting of Tijuana by my sister Karla Aguiniga, Afghan War rug, metal sculpture that I made for my exhibit at CAFAM

NURSERY

  • Hand-me-down crib
  • Vista of California dresser and credenza from Mid-Century in San Diego
  • "Chiapas Stool" that I designed and hand made
  • Artwork - Weaving that I made for the baby, carved deer from San Martin Tilcajete, Oaxaca

OUTDOOR ROOM

  • Ikea futon
  • Helix bookcases from CB2
  • Peruvian rug from PCC
  • Pair of chairs from the street corner
  • Stools by Giacomo Castagnola
  • Coat rack by Emilie Douglas Ball
  • Lamp from eBay

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Thanks, Tanya & Todd!

(Images: Marcia Prentice)

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