Cohabitating with Cars: An Awesome LA Garage and Living Space

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View of the main living spaces (Image credit: Darien Zannis)

Name: Darien, Matt, and two rescue dogs, Jagger and Wile E.
Location: Culver City — Los Angeles, California
The basics: 2 years, rented |3,000 square feet

What started as a simple search for garage space turned into a very lucky home find. Darien and Matt not only found the motorcycle and car storage they were looking for, they found an airy and cool living space as well.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: Before we took over the lease, the space was a working auto garage. We were living in small cottage in Hermosa Beach, and my car-obsessed/insane human being of a boyfriend, was renting individual garage spaces all over Los Angeles to house his car and motorcycle collection. Needless to say, it was both expensive and inconvenient. Cars really are his passion, and working on them and enjoying them in general was pretty difficult to do when they aren’t easily accessible. So, I started looking for a garage space that could house several of his motorized vehicles when I came across this place on Craigslist. The intention was never to move in ourselves, but when we toured it we realized with some work the place could be livable. There was an office, kitchen, and bathroom already installed, we just needed a couple appliances for the kitchen. Our moms were nervous, our dads said “go for it!” It’s become a place we really love. We both have a passion for decorating and this has been a unique space we have made a home together.

What is your favorite room and why? The main living area. It’s the space we spend the most time in. It is amazing on a nice day when the garage doors are opened up to the outdoors. I can hang out in the living room while Matt tinkers on his cars and we can still have a conversation and feel like we are spending time together. We usually have music playing and the dogs run around chasing and rough-housing until they knock themselves out. This is how we spend most of our day on the weekends.

Which fictional character would be most at home in your place? Speed Racer and Trixie…or the Fast and the Furious crew.

Darien’s words of advice: The things that make a home yours are the meaningful things collected over time that tell a story. I have a lot of things that were my great grandmothers, or that I found at flea markets and on Craigslist. More often than not, these are the things that people comment on. We also might take time to think over the larger purchases we make and consider these as investments. Since our taste changes and evolve, we want to make sure the big ticket items will evolve with us.

Thanks, Darien !

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