House Tour: Justin and Joshua's Whimtage Loft

House Tour: Justin and Joshua's Whimtage Loft

Gregory Han
Mar 20, 2009

Name: Ms. Justin Lieb & Mr. Joshua Simpson
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Size: 1100 sq. ft.
Years lived in: One


We've always held onto the dream of calling a loft space home sweet home. The high ceilings, the open floor space plans, the industrial details and often unique indoor/outdoor elements that define loft living as a blank canvas for ideas. The premise has always remained a temptation for someone who likes to rearrange and redecorate at a whim like ourselves. Justin and Joshua are living that dream. Their LA loft a perfect example of customizing a space with colour and creativity, all with budget resources from the likes of Craigslist, the "oops" section at Home Depot, and thrift stores. Most notable is their solution for living within a space without windows with an outdoor view; a hand painted mural playfully fills in from floor up, giving the couple a place to enjoy the "outdoors" on their own couch...a space we'd imagine from the mind of someone like Michel Gondry! Take a peek below...


AT Survey:

My/Our style: Vintage/DIY/Storybook whimsical? If you shook all of those adjectives up I think that would be our style. How about Whimtage? That seems more succinct.

Inspiration: The graffiti removal around our industrial neighborhood, compensating for the lack of actual windows in our home, our wonderfully high ceilings and the incredible light we get from our skylights. Playing with size relationships.

Favorite Element: I love the high vaulted ceilings, the industrial quality of the loft, and the open floor plan.

Biggest Challenge: Making it feel cozy and reconciling the lack of windows. Finding a way to stow all of the crap that comes with our respective hobbies/professions while keeping them accessible.

What Friends Say: Usually "wow." We have unfair capital in the wow department however because the approach to our home is deceptive, we live in what appears to be an alley and then you pull up to our gate and find a little oasis with blooming wisteria, cacti, and a fig tree. Then we open our steel door and reveal all that color-its an unfair advantage.

Biggest Embarrassment: I'd say the bathroom (really haven't touched it since we moved in) and our appliances. I would really like to upgrade our washer/dryer to something more energy efficient and our oven is ancient (but not in a cute way).

Proudest DIY: Well I guess I'd have to say the wall mural! It was something I had wanted to try for a while in a film but had never had the right script/opportunity. When we decided to move in here it was the perfect canvas. I'm lucky that Josh agreed to go along with it! I must admit there was a moment, I believe shortly after I had washed the brushes, that I looked up and thought, "what have I done? Is this going to be livable?" but my doubts quickly faded when I saw the look on Josh's face when he came home.

Biggest Indulgence: Hmm…we are pretty frugal and most of our big pieces are recycled pieces from sets or craigslist finds…I guess the bookshelf? Josh pretty much let me do anything as long as he was able to stake a claim for his art and photography books. But it is an Ikea product, not a huge investment. Maybe the biggest indulgence is the amount of time I spend on the Internet finding pieces of furniture I like.

Best advice: Don't buy cheap sh**. Not advice I am always able to follow, but sound advice none the same.

Dream source: Ohhhhhh, man! Anything at Twentieth, Jonathan Alder lamps, Curiosity Shoppe and Anthropologie for knick knacks, DWR, Denmark 50, Modernica, Room Service, Living Room, Cantoni sofas, Thomas Paul rugs,Tom Dixon, Moooi Boutique…I better stop…



Furniture: Couch is from Out of the Box (or something like that) but I wouldn't recommend. Putting it together made us want to drill holes in our heads – or each other's. And it isn't terribly comfortable! But it does have storage and folds into a bed. Pretty much everything else is from Craigslist, vintage stores, the alley or Ikea (pretty much in that order).

Accessories: The mushroom shelves above the stove are from Curiosity Shoppe. The doll house was a thrift store find. Throws from Anichini.

Lighting: The charteuse pendant is by Mio and called Bendant – it comes flat and you bend it, you see. A gift from a friend who is also a production designer. The black and clear acrylic lamp by the bed was from a vintage store in Chicago, the orange lamp from a bargain shop near our house, the lamp shade is from Anthropologie.

Rugs and Carpets: On my wish list!

Beds: I think it was originally an Ethan Allen bed. We bought it from Craigslist and it had already been painted so I went at it again painting the wood a very soft pale pink and the wrought iron red. The sheets are from Anthropologie and that bedspread is Urban Outfitters (keepin' it in the family)

Artwork: From friends or made by Josh or me. The previous tenant left behind the big yellow wooden piece, my friend Ryan Berg (who is also a Production Designer). He also left the crow in the bedroom, which was creepy at first but now is comforting.

Paint: Leftovers from sets mostly, or from the oops shelf at Home Depot, mixed to suit my needs. Most of it is Behr.

(Thanks, Justin and Joshua!)


Photos by Justin Lieb

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