Location: The Brewery — Downtown Los Angeles, California
Walking into Elyse's loft reminds me of entering my high school cafeteria for the first time. It's vast, there's a lot to take in, the jocks, drama geeks and potheads (or in this case, kitchen, office and bedroom) have each staked out their own territory with just enough spillover to keep me on my toes, and I'm not quite sure I'm cool enough to be there.
Elyse is a jewelry designer and artist. Her home, like her art, is an exercise in contradiction: expansive yet efficient, industrial but natural. Huge, bulbous balloon sculptures, filled with her own breath, have--over time--withered and evolved to saggy artsy grandparents. Shiny urethane-dipped earrings hang next to geode necklaces that she calls "nature's surprise."
When she moved into the "Beverly Hills" of the Brewery complex (more spacious, better views) in 2009, she gutted most of the loft to install a new kitchen and an upstairs living area. Upstairs is bright and has a relaxing, natural, southwest vibe filled with unexpected touches. Even her closet's doorknobs are made from polished round stones. Downstairs is all business; the front area is for showing jewelry and art projects, and in back, the kitchen and double-desk, double-computer office area would make any studio-dweller's heart twinge with jealousy.
Everywhere you look there's a surprise: a wax head lying on a bookshelf, a collection of antique cameras, but the best part about Elyse's loft is the air. It feels creative, electric with great ideas.