Jaime and Carleton's Backyard Palm Springs

Jaime and Carleton's Backyard Palm Springs

Gregory Han
Dec 2, 2009

Name: Jaime, Carleton, and Scarlet Curtis
Location: Fairfax District in Los Angeles, CA
Size: 1,700 square feet
Years lived in: Just a few months

We love hearing from readers with updates about renovations or a move to a new home. Earlier this year, Jaime gave us a peek of her previous home in Silver Lake, right before making a move to a new home in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles. She's finally settled into her new abode, recreating a little bit of Palm Springs chic in both the interior and backyard areas of her rental, a space they describe as a "little modern, a little cozy".

AT Survey:

My/Our style: Eclectic. A little modern, a little cozy

Inspiration: I find things I like that I can afford and work around them, I love the Ace Hotel Palm Springs and tried to create a little version of it in my backyard

Favorite Element: The dog. The yard. The dog door to the yard.

Biggest Challenge: It's a rental so I can't do much to it, but our landlord has such great taste and style, it didn't need much!

What Friends Say: I asked my friend Kelly and this is what she said: "The inviting red door sets the tone. Every nook and space tells the story of where Jaime and Carleton have been separately and the moments that have defined them together. It's a home where I expect good friends, good wine, and endlessly great conversation. I am never disappointed."

Biggest Embarrassment: Our bed. It's shameful, so old and uncomfortable but we just can't spring for the fancy new mattress we want so we continue to sleep on it and whine about it. And because it's a queen and we plan to get a king, I haven't decorated the bedroom yet.

Proudest DIY: I'm proud of all the DIY projects that don't turn out awful. The living room cornices I really like because they only cost about $15 for both.

Biggest Indulgence: That white silk down-filled regency chair from Jonathan Adler…my husband will never let me live it down. It's now a lovely shade of gray with cat scratches and baby stains…not the wisest splurge.

Best advice: Advice I've received: "Robots are here to help you" – Plex (Yo Gabba Gabba)

Advice I've given: Well I'm writing a book of advice (comes out next fall and is based on my blog) so I'll take this chance to share a piece that means a lot to me:

If you ever get sad that you don't have a garden of your own, remember that you have hundreds of beautiful gardens all over the city and all over the world. Try to erase the language of "want" from your head. You have everything that you need.

Dream source: ABC Carpet & Home, the entire Pacific Design Center, the future.


Appliances: Buying appliances is a bummer and I have no suggested spots that you don't already know of.

Hardware: Liz's Antique hardware for inspiration/Google and eBay for reasonable prices.

Furniture: I always check the Anthropologie dressing room for chairs that have been marked down to $500 because of a tear here or there. Jonathan Adler does the same every now and then, make friends with the employees and they'll tip you off. St Vincent De Paul for neglected pieces with good bones (if you are handy enough to re-upholster/refinish). Craigslist of course. Wisteria, Ballard and even JCPenney.com have great affordable finds hidden in there. HD Buttercup. In our house:


  • Blue Chair in living room: Anthropologie sale find
  • White Chair in living room: Jonathan Adler store display chair
  • Orange bench: Pottery Barn
  • Blue couch: Custom made at The Dock Downtown (it's cat proof and has a bed inside) but that place closed!
  • Coffee table: Lucite console used as desk: CB2
  • Eames chair: Modernica
  • Dresser Cabinet: Another Anthropologie clearance find.
  • Honeycomb End table: Anthropologie. I paid full price and the next week it was $60% off, grrr.
  • Brown leather/white wood chair: Jonathan Adler sample via eBay
  • Horse Lamp – Jonathan Adler birthday gift from my boss
  • Pelmets – Homemade with fabric purchased on eBay, DIY instructions posted at Prudent Baby
  • Eagle Mirror – Room Service LA


  • The mirror in the dining room is from the Homegoods clearance rack for $15 and had a mirror put in it.
  • The wire sculpture is a C Jere found on eBay
  • The buffet I found at the Fairfax flea market for $30
  • Dining table is from Brocade Home
  • Louis Ghost chairs bought on eBay
  • Dining chairs from Wisteria
  • The little cabinet I got on La Brea at that Jaipur place and added some fabric
  • Captain's Wheel from Melrose Trading Post
  • Bird embroidered chair in breakfast nook is also an Anthropologie sale item, one of the back legs is chipped, but you'd never know.


  • Nurseryworks sleepytime chair
  • WalMart crib & changing table
  • Oeuf Mini-Library bookshelf
  • Homemade pelmets (Ikea fabric), pom pom curtains and crib sheets (Alexander Henry fabric)

  • Ikea easel spray painted purple
  • Rody from Plasticashop.com
  • Eames Hang-it-All
  • Fabric bins from Micheal's
  • Various prints from Etsy
  • Moroccan pouf from Calypso in Santa Monica
  • Julia Rothman Daydream wallpaper from Hyyge & West in the frame, walls color matched
  • Frame from Ikea spray painted
  • Blanket homemade with Kokka fabrics gray lion


  • Hammock from Hammocks.com
  • Rug sewn together from a bunch of $2.99 Ikea dhurries
  • Baskets, one from Venezuela and the others given to us as gifts nailed to the wall
  • Hanging planters from Ikea
  • Vases from eBay

Rugs and Carpets: I'd love a weinrib zig zag from ABC Carpet…one day. For now HD Buttercup, downtown LA and craigslist and every now and then west elm, like for the chevron runner in the hall. A cowhide is great for under a dining table because it repels all food/drink spills & stains. Overstock, if you can stand the browsing through badness, has some great finds here and there.

Paint: Par Paint is the place.

Flooring: I have no idea. My house came with floors.

Window Treatments: Make them. Windows treatments are insanely expensive to buy yet cheap & easy to make. I made the pelmets and curtains in all the rooms and it was quick, cheap and rewarding. I posted DIYs on Prudent Baby (http://prudentbaby.blogspot.com) if you need help with the steps. For Scarlet's room I found blackout cellular blinds from JustBlinds.com were hiqh-quality at the lowest price and they come cord-free to keep little ones safe.

Artwork: LACMA Art Rental and Sales Gallery – the best kept secret in LA. Underneath the main gallery are the offices and hallways, hung with art by local artists selected by LACMA curators that you can rent-to-own. If you change your mind, just bring it back. The "Vermont" painting I rented for 7 years, and now I own it. One of the artists I rented is now very successful and I got his painting at a steal!

To buy a real piece of art, online auctions are great. I purchased my Ed Ruscha "Every Building On The Sunset Strip" through swanngalleries.com, 20X200 for affordable prints.

The owl photograph is by my brother who is a nature photographer.

Going to actual gallery shows and buy things from real live artists is good too. I remember before we had a kid and we did that. Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica is great for affordable pieces by young artists, the Marcel Dzama on the mantel is from there.

(Thanks, Jaime and Carleton!)

Photos by Jaime and Carleton Curtis

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