Shannon & Mike’s Soothing, Sustainable California Home
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Name: Shannon and Mike Parry, Asha (5) and Bodan (1)
Location: Mar Vista — Los Angeles, California
Size: 990 square feet
Years lived in: Owned 5 years
Walking into Shannon and Mike’s Mar Vista home is a unique experience of high design coupled with sustainable functionality; a rare combo that Shannon pulls off effortlessly.
Shannon runs the Sustainable City Program for the city of Santa Monica and Mike is a cinematographer/filmmaker. The couple met in college at UC Berkeley where a love of travel and wanting to make the world a better place brought them together. After college, Shannon became a trekking guide in the Himalayas and Mike started his filmmaking career. However, once Shannon started seeing many of her guide friends getting hurt on the treks, she decided to quit and make a change. They moved to Los Angeles for a warmer climate and to be closer to resources for Mike’s career. This is the home in which they chose to set their roots down and start a family.
This house is such a great mix of functionality, DIY projects and clean style while paying attention to sustainable practices.
Check out their backyard tour → Ideas & Inspiration from a Creative California Outdoor Space
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Minimal, sustainable, mid-century modern, kid-friendly
Inspiration: We love California inspired indoor-outdoor homes, Scandinavian sensibilities, neutral spaces with a hint of mid-century modern, and sustainable design features. We are inspired by minimal, kid-friendly, indoor-outdoor homes with tons of natural light.
- The Eames chairs at the dining table. We bought them for their timeless style long before we had kids, but they are the best family chairs. Everything wipes right off!
- The mid-century modern art table in the kid’s playroom. Shannon saw it out of the corner of her eye driving down Abbott Kinney 10 years ago. She fell in love with it and Mike surprised her with it as a graduate school graduation gift.
- Neutral Capital wall art: A wedding gift from family friend Peter Simensky. It’s made from defunct currency from around the world. It’s definitely a conversation starter when new friends come over.
- The sunlight in the living room and the sounds of the birds chirping in the yard.
- A family of 4 living in less than 1,000 square feet.
- Cultivating a sense of gratitude for what we have instead of focusing on what we need or want to change.
- Agreeing on what light bulbs to use. As a sustainability professional, Shannon wants the most energy efficient bulbs available. As a cinematographer, Mike wants the best light quality!
- Keeping sand from the beach out of the beds!
What Friends Say:
- “Your house is so organized.” Yes. Everything has a spot and we straighten up at night once the kids go to sleep so we all get to wake up to a fresh and organized space.
- “How did you avoid all the plastic toys?” We were very careful to purchase high quality, open-ended wood toys for our children. Our friends and family took notice and supported this effort. Plus, Shannon is a sustainability professional and our family life reflects this commitment to protecting human health and the environment.
Biggest Embarrassment: The kitchen! If we wait long enough, maybe the 1980’s will come back into style!?
- Asha’s self-portrait!
- We built the closet wall that separates the (formerly) awkward master bedroom into a master bedroom and a kid’s room. It made a huge difference to have a functional closet in our room and it gave our daughter her own space (even if the room is tiny!).
- Moving the roses to the front yard. We moved them from the back yard so that it was safe for kids to roam around freely. Everyone said they would die, but they didn’t. They are thriving and every time we pull up to the house we are reminded of Shannon’s grandmother who grew roses when Shannon was a child.
- Our Nelson Bubble Lamp: We saved for months when we were younger to buy our first one.
- The Ferm Living bathroom shower curtain: Our house flooded a month after our newborn son came home from the hospital and we ended up being out of our house for a lot longer than anyone expected. The shower curtain was a retail therapy purchase to recover from that experience!
PAINT & COLORS
Benjamin Moore: Non-VOC eggshell
- Couch: West Elm
- Credenza: Vintage (We use the right side to hide our DVD player, cable box and stereo. The center drawers and left side hold our family games and kid toys.)
- Credenza art: Etsy and REI
- Wall art: Neutral capital by Peter Simensky
- Pillows: IKEA and Target
- Shelf: String
- Bins: Land of Nod (We love having lots of books and simple collections of open-ended wood toys available to the kids. The bins keep all the loose parts contained. The bins are small enough that our 1 year old can move them himself even when they are full.)
- Carpet: FLOR (This is a sustainable carpet manufacturer.)
- Table: Vintage
- Chairs: Eames
- Plate: Vintage (This was a gift from Mike to Shannon for her first Mother’s Day. Subsequent Mother’s Day gifts included the Eames Hang It All hooks in the bedroom, MCM planter next to the couch, and the Bitossi Bird on the String Shelf.)
- Highchair: Stokke (Shannon entered a mommy blog contest on a whim, and won the chair when our daughter was a newborn!)
- Pots: La Crueset
- Towel: Target
- Bed: Vintage (This was gifted to us from a friend. Shannon was describing to the friend the MCM bed with floating side tables that we had been looking for and the friend said “I have that bed and it’s taken apart and about to be donated because it doesn’t fit in our bedroom. Do you want it?”)
- Dresser: IKEA
- Art: Etsy, FERM Living and family photos
- Dream Catcher: Arizona roadside stand. (The dream catcher used to have leather, feathers and beads hanging from it. Our son pulled it apart when he was little. We decided to keep it as a reminder that our home and our family aren’t perfect, that we will all make mistakes, but we will recover from the mistakes and still love each other. We call it our “dream catcher in real life.”
- Crib: IKEA (Shannon’s mom took a basic IKEA crib and replaced the two shorter ends with plywood that she treated with beeswax and a tree and bird graphic. She then made the same crib in a smaller version for our daughter’s dolls.)
- Lamps: Land of Nod
- Bedding: West Elm
- Hooks: Eames (These were a gift from Mike to Shannon.)
- Shower curtain: Ferm Living
- Mirror: IKEA
- Art: Thrift store
- Bath toys: Hape, Squirtz and Green Toys
- Adult bath towels: Turkey!
- Kid bath towels: PB kids
- Bed: All Modern
- Dresser: Vintage
- Art: Asha made the self-portrait. The birds are BLIK. The growth chart was made by Shannon’s mom. The dream catcher is from Etsy. The other art was made by Shannon for Asha for Mother’s Day. Shannon makes each child a Mother’s Day gift to say “thank you for teaching me to be your mom.”
- Play kitchen: Craigslist
- Walking blocks: Nova Naturals
- Bedding: IKEA
- Pillows: Land of Nod
- Hooks: IKEA
- Bed: CB2
- Desk: CB2
- Art Table: The mid-century modern art table was a graduate school graduation gift from Mike to Shannon.
- Mirror: IKEA
- Art: Neitzche quote is from Etsy. The Dalai Lama image was a gift. Wall art is by Asha.
- Baskets: Target
- Carpet: FLOR (This is a sustainable carpet manufacturer.)
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