A Casual, Creative Home in Los Angeles

updated Feb 19, 2019

A Casual, Creative Home in Los Angeles

updated Feb 19, 2019
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Name: Greg, Nola, Vivian (8 years) and Pepper Talmage (4 years)
Location: Mid Wilshire/Miracle Mile — Los Angeles, California
Size: 1,550 square feet
Years lived in: Renting 5 years

This great Spanish style home is located just off a busy street filled with high rises and heavy traffic. But walking into Nola’s apartment, you sense light and serenity. She has made her home a cozy, creative solace from the fast-paced Los Angeles that lies just outside her door.

Greg and Nola met in Venice, California, through mutual friends 15 years ago and they’ve been married for 12 years. Greg works for Blur Studio in Culver City and Nola is currently interning with Bent-Grass (a landscape design company in Venice). They love camping and hosting dinner parties.

“When we have friends over we all tend to be in the dining and kitchen area with kids all running around. Even though our apartment is limited to the interior area for entertaining it always seems to work out beautifully — not being precious about the furniture and just accepting all of the mess and mayhem that large groups of kids bring to a party helps make the time spent feel loose and creative,” says Nola.

Nola’s funky house is filled with vintage, thrift store and world travel finds, as well as some help from friend Shayne Blue Designs to make everything fit together perfectly.

“What makes us happiest about this home is the great light and the breeze coming off of the Wilshire corridor. And the large rooms. Also, it is always lovely to look up and see the original molding on the ceilings from the 1920s. It really feels like a house. Our most lived-in spot is the dining room, with the couch and large table. I love how we can see the tall buildings on Wilshire from the living and dining rooms but we still feel ensconced in a regular residential neighborhood,” says Nola.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Classic California, with a modern influence

Inspiration: Artists: David Hockney, Donald Judd, Agnes Martin, Uta Barth, Eva Hesse, John Divola, Barbara Kruger, Muiccia Prada. Interior Design: Charles and Ray Eames, New York Times Design Mag, House & Garden Mag, Domino Mag. Architects: R.M. Schindler, A. Quincy Jones, John Lautner, Cliff May, Richard Neutra, Frank Gehry. Places: Big Sur, Lake Tahoe, Mojave Desert

Favorite Element: Our art collection: work by talented close friends, family and other artists.

Biggest Challenge: Incorporating all of the wonderful furniture, textiles and art we have been given by our families with the contemporary and modern pieces that we also love and have acquired on our own. There are a few big pieces of furniture that we have been given by Greg’s folks that we are committed to making work somehow in whatever space we are in. Sometimes this has been difficult — trying to fit our huge brass and wood coffee table into our living room scheme, or hauling the extraordinarily heavy butcher block and finding a place for it (it wouldn’t fit into our current kitchen) that Greg grew up with from house to house. But these efforts and constraints are a fun challenge that keeps our home feeling authentic and meaningful.

What Friends Say: Our friends just always seem to have a good time. We make things comfortable and stylish.

Biggest Embarrassment: Upholstery that always seems to be stained and on the verge of falling apart. In the next life I will bite the budget bullet and upholster everything in hard-wearing velvet/mohair…no more synthetic velvets, delicate linens, or pilling cottons!

Proudest DIY: In our dining room, our camping banner, made up of colorful flags hand sewn onto rock climbing rope with stenciled images inspired by nature, and other meaningful moments, places or culture.

Biggest Indulgence: Our bedding: Bella Notte, Peacock Alley and Matteo. And our Eames Soft Pad Management Chair

Best Advice: Read that super popular book: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up – it’s good medicine for all of us folks who are constantly acquiring, decorating and mixing it up.

Dream Sources: Knoll, Prouve, 1st Dibs, Murano Glass, Blackman Cruz, Farrow & Ball

Explore This Style:

More Resources:

Noguchi Round Akari lantern – OK store on 3rd Ave, LA, CA
Blue lady in profile – thrift store find
Small sign painting — “Yoshinoya” Eric Nash, Oil on Canvas, 2006
Antique cement snail door stop — Pasadena Rose Bowl Sunday Flea Market

Sofas – Tumbleweed and Dandelion (Venice, CA)
Mid-century lamp with sack cloth shade — Tumbleweed and Dandelion (Venice, CA)
Large Lamp/table — Organic Modernism (Los Angeles)
Danish, mid-century console — HD Buttercup (Los Angeles, CA)
Main Rug – Pottery Barn
Matching lamps with black shades – One Kings Lane
Painting above mantle – “No Sign” Eric Nash, Oil on Canvas, 2014
Drawings above TV – Skulls series, Eric Nash, Charcoal on Paper, 2008
76 sign art — “Raven 76” Eric Nash, Charcoal and Pastel on Paper, 2009
Abstract painting with warm tones — Spring Eaglin, Oil on Canvas, 2011
Shelf system – Rakks Wall Mounted C Standards with Rakks style shelf support brackets in white powder coated finish) with white painted wood shelves

Table – Big Sur Dining table from Crate and Barrel
White chairs – Bellini Chair from DWR
Couch – custom by Tumbleweed and Dandelion (Venice, CA)
Fireplace mantle – from Tumbleweed and Dandelion (Venice, CA)
Rugs – antique Moroccan
Butcher block – Greg’s family
Lamps – “Nova Table Lamp” West Elm
Large dark “flower” abstract painting behind the couch – Spring Hughes, Oil on canvas, 1968
Large dark painting above mantle – “Night Swim” Eric Nash, Oil on Canvas, 2005
Skull painting – “Indicus” Eric Nash, Oil on Cavnas, 2016
Small red wall sculpture — Andrew Zimmerman
Photos in plaxiglass mount — Roxanne Jannette
Black and White Spiral Jetty photos — Roxanne Jannette
Blue — an antique from Inheritance Furniture and Accessories on Beverly Blvd.
Pillow — Christine Clayton
Others pillows — Vintage from Greg’s parents

Rug — Pottery Barn
Dresser and Chest – Thrift store find
Bed Linens – Bella Notte, Mateo Linens, Peacock Alley
Desk side table – Inheritance Furniture and Accessories
Linen covered arm chairs – mid-century form Greg’s family, material sourced from Tumbleweed and Dandelion
Round painted and inlaid metal side table – Organic Modernism

Beaded hanging — Shayne Blue collection
Blue pot a thrift find from Austin, TX
Mirror — Cost Plus
Sculpture head — thrift from Cayucos, CA, a small beach town in the Central Coast, CA
Pink flowered tray — Last Call Neiman Marcus Home Wares
Cute little gold trimmed ceramic leaf tray — Inherited from my grandmother’s china
Blue laquer box — Container Store

Office cabinets — Ikea
Desk — Rakks counter brackets and a couple of file cabinets from CB2
Floor — Flor tiles to cover the vinyl flooring that extended form the kitchen

Thanks, Nola and Greg!

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