House Tour: Emma's Affordable Mid Century Gem

House Tour: Emma's Affordable Mid Century Gem

Laure Joliet
Aug 8, 2008

Name: Emma and Habib
Location: Los Angeles
Size: 1000 sq. ft.
Years lived in: Owned for 2 years


I first spotted this house on Flickr and immediately contacted Emma to see if I could come and see it and ultimately photograph it for a house tour. The 'fred flintstone' fireplace, the sunken living room, the mid century furniture, the view! Perched on top of a hill in East LA, this house remains true to the era it was built in. Emma and Habib painstakingly matched the paint for each room of the house so that it would remain original and they've decked it out with thrift store finds, heirlooms and great art:



Emma and Habib's house is a great tribute to mid century style with a breezy deck that extends from the sunken living room and great stone and brick details in the living room and kitchen. Almost secluded on the top of a hill they have incredible views of LA and a clean breeze that sweeps in from the ocean adding to the oasis/retreat vibe the house has.

With all the great furnishings and definite penchant for mid century style, we wondered how they had amassed so many great pieces. Well, Emma's got a thing for recycling. And we're not talking bottles and cans (though she recycles those as well). Most of the furniture in the house has come from different thrift and consignment stores or off the street, which goes to show that you don't need to be a trust fund kid to afford mid century style, just a keen eye and some patience. You can follow her on her thrifting adventures on her blog my marthas and me. Not only does Emma save money and retain charm by searching out thrift stores, but in her garden she constantly propagates plants and does plant swaps with friends and family. This way nothing is wasted and almost nothing is spent either. You may also notice that Emma and Habib have quite an eye for artwork. Habib used to run the Post Gallery Downtown and has artwork from many of the artists and friends that he showed there. Many were graduates of Calarts (our alma mater!) so the work is experimental and forward thinking, a great contrast to the history in the home.

Thanks Emma and Habib for opening up your home to Apartment Therapy!

AT Survey:

My/Our style: economically minded mid century with a focus fine art

Favorite Room: the living room and adjoining deck

Inspiration: Eichler homes and interiors, Metropolitan Home, friends and family

Favorite Element:

Biggest Challenge:

Most Talked about Element: the original "Fred Flintstone" fireplace built by geologists, the living room and deck

Biggest Embarrassment: ceilings with florescent tube light fixtures (not the kitchen) with popcorn ceilings

Proudest DIY: taking out two closets to make a real dining room, and learning how to work with the previous owners paint choices.

Oldest Item you Own: Habib: Persian rugs and a gingerbread dinette table from the 40's or 50's. Emma: a mushroom lamp and low cabinet/coffee table from Danica which my parents purchased new in 1967.

Best advice: when in doubt, do nothing.

Cleaning or Organizing Tip: If you live on a boat, and you bring something home, something else has to go.

Dream Piece of Furniture: A Hans Olsen round table with the tucked in chairs (we don't actually have any room for this).

Favorite Store: Grot, in the South Bay. They refurbish furniture, which is green and keeps the prices down. They also do upholstery.

Place You Actually Buy Things for the Home: Furniture: flea markets, thrift stores and garage sales. Home accessories: West Elm, Ikea, and Crate & Barrel for entertaining




Photos by Laure

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