A 1927 English Tudor Has a Cool Modern 13-Foot-Long Built-in Sofa
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Marika Wagle and her two rescue dogs, Mona and Crash, lived in this three-bedroom house for a year-and-a-half: The English Tudor house was built in 1927 (nearly 100 years old!) in a cozy little alcove of Northwest Pasadena.
I am a born-and-raised Angeleno and moved back to Los Angeles during the pandemic after living in New York City for 18 years. (In fact, you published my NYC NoHo loft back in 2017.) I left a successful fashion career in NYC to go back to school to get my master’s in social work. I am now a social impact consultant in Los Angeles working on homelessness, housing, and economic inequality. I live with my two rescue dogs, Mona and Crash.
I am a study in contrasts, and I often toggle between two extremes. A true mix of left and right brain, creative and analytical, colorful and natural, social and introverted, silly and serious, urban and country. My home reflects my identity with the eclectic mix of art, tons of pattern on pattern, clean but colorful lines, and organized clutter. You will find my home filled with the art of my friends, items collected from my travels around the world, and sentimental items passed down through generations of my family in India and the U.S. Almost all my furniture and decor is vintage, sourced at online vintage dealers and flea markets (quite a lot of the pieces in this home are from the Rose Bowl Flea Market just a few blocks away!).
I designed and remodeled the house with a mix of my NYC urban style and newfound California natural vibe. The house had so much gorgeous natural light so I was set on lightening it up and creating warmth. I stripped the black floors to restore the natural wood and added touches of alder wood on the fireplace and floating shelves in the kitchen and hallway. I was inspired by the architecture, natural wood beams, and Southwest elements in Georgia O’Keeffe’s New Mexico home. O’Keeffe’s built-ins inspired me to design the 13-foot-long built-in sofa with alder wood beams and custom cushions made from African mudcloth found at the Rose Bowl Flea. I also wanted to bring the Southwest vibe into the house by retiling the fireplace and front porch with Mexican talavera and lincoln red tile.
One of the reasons I moved to LA was to be closer to nature, so it was important to me to create a lush garden inspired by English cottages and native California wildflowers. Over time, I re-landscaped the whole garden on my own, growing dahlias, peonies, roses, camellias, hydrangeas, jasmine, apricots, artichokes, lavender, sage, wildflowers, and much more!
Describe your home’s style in five words or fewer: California natural modern bohemian eclectic.
What is your favorite room and why? My favorite room is the covered lanai in the backyard. I get the true indoor/outdoor living experience that is unique to California. During the day, it’s a great space to lounge on the sofa with my dogs or post up at the table when I’m working from home. I also love to have friends over for dinner parties with the twinkle lights all lit up.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? (Include links if you have them!) The last thing I found for my home is the amazing sculpture of a boxing glove holding a joint in the dining room. I saw it at the Rose Bowl flea and the seller had no idea its origin or artist. I neither box nor smoke joints, but I couldn’t resist the bit of joy and humor in my home.
Any advice for creating a home you love? Have fun! Throw all the rules out the window, mix and match styles, try new things. There is no right way to design a home, as long as it makes you happy when you walk in the door. One of the reasons I love vintage home finds is because they make my home unique and help me create a new story and life for the pieces. Not to mention, it’s far more eco-friendly!
This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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