Three Men & a Home Filled with Photography
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Name: Russell Brown, acupuncturist & owner of Poke Acupuncture, John Arsenault, fine art & commercial photographer & John Ruggiero, hair stylist
Location: Hollywood — Los Angeles, California
Size: 2,500 square feet — 4 bedrooms, 2½ baths
Years lived in: 6 months
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You asked and we delivered. Russell Brown’s Poke Acupuncture post intrigued a few readers who wanted an inside look into Russell’s personal residence. As we suspected, the decor takes a hint from his office and also adds another level of eclectic and photographic intrigue. For anyone who enjoyed the non-family photos in the bathroom of Poke Acupuncture, the stairwell continues the theme with awkward prom photos and strange baby pictures.
Russell purchases family photos at local swap meets. The photos are scattered throughout the home and some are even framed, weird I know. They have even gone to the extent of starting to name the family members featured in the photos. They justify the eclectic mix of photography by pairing it with John Arsenault’s Kathy’s Beauty Nook photographs and his other fine art. Somehow it all comes together and works.
I am waiting for my invite for a house party, so I can spend even more time taking in the Annie display plates, the “meals we have eaten” photographs, and the other strange but cool accessories.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Our style is eclectic, comfortable, playful, and fun. Obviously when you have a set of Annie plates on the wall, you can’t take yourself or your design too seriously.
Inspiration: The inspiration is our grandmothers’ houses meets The Three Bears’ house.
Favorite Element: Our favorite element is the use of photographs around the house. The “family” stairwell features awkward photos of strangers bought at the swap meet mixed with some truly embarrassing adolescent photos of ourselves and our good friends. Look closely and you may see your own prom picture up there! The kitchen features photographs of meals we’ve eaten together, mostly from a road trip we made from Upstate New York back here to LA last winter.
Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenge was combining three very different viewpoints on design, giving everyone a voice, and making sure each of us is comfortable.
What Friends Say: “Feels like home.” We had a party and everyone just ran around like it was a funhouse. Since it is our home, we forget that it’s a bit of a spectacle.
Biggest Embarrassment: None of us love the strange Moroccan mural in the bathroom — it is creepy. Unfortunately, it came with the house.
Proudest DIY: Our proudest DIY project was converting the dining room into a family room “salon.” We realized that placing a big clunky table, that we’d only use every now and then, in the room would be a misuse of the space. Therefore, we moved the table into our great room and use the other room for a space to hang out off the kitchen and away from the TV.
Biggest Indulgence: The biggest indulgence is framing the artwork. The framing isn’t cheap, but it is probably the biggest bang for our buck in our great room.
Best advice: Our friend Daniel asked us to really think about how each piece of furniture makes us feel. Sometimes even pretty things have a sad quality to them. We really don’t like a lot of sad pieces.
Dream source: Rose Bowl Swap Meet
Resources of Note:
- Design Within Reach
- Cloud Noir
- Random Antique Stores
- Antiques at the Barn (Lancaster, California)
- Mercantile (New York)
- John Derian Company (Provincetown, Massachusetts)
- Swap Meets
- Clampart (New York)
- Larry Collins Fine Art (Massachusetts)
- Eriq Madsen
- Silverlake Architectural Salvage
Thanks Russell, John and John!
Images: Bethany Nauert
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