LA Times Home & Garden Roundup 11.21.09

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

A home that looks like it came out of a catalogue, from decorator’s head, where you can’t imagine flopping down on the couch with the dog, don’t interest us. Personal, one-of-a-kind, DIY, handmade, unique, livable, whimsical even – these are the goals for how we’d describe the homes we’re drawn to. With that in mind, take a look at some of the articles from this week’s Los Angeles Times Home & Garden section: A pendant lamp made from straws; a camera that shows your garden growing in fast forward; a shop that pumps new life into old stereo speakers; and, an architect’s family’s home in Silver Lake. Links after the jump…

DIY straw lamp shade: repurposing gone too far?: The French phrase jolie-laide, which translates to “pretty-ugly,” is used to describe a woman who, although not classically beautiful, is still compelling. We’ve found that it has its applications in the design world as well; some things are so awful they’re wonderful. Depending on where you stand on that seesaw, this post links to instructions on making a straw pendant lamp for yourself.

How does your garden grow? How about in fast forward?: To be a good gardener you must possess patience. For those of us who’re impatient to see that bud bloom into full flower, who love those videos that show a speeded-up Mother Nature, the PlantCam may be just the tool you’re looking for.

The Fixers: Orange County Speaker helps audiophiles hang on to their cherished woofers and tweeters: As part of an occasional series, the LA Times spotlights artisans who can breathe new life into old items. This week the focus is on Orange County Speaker, the perfect compliment to your new-found enthusiasm for listening to music on records, old-school style.

Architect Aaron Neubert’s cozy indoor-outdoor family home in Silver Lake: What kind of houses do architect’s design when the client is their own family? In architect Aaron Neubert’s case, it’s a cozy family home that encourages the outdoor living that is one of the virtues of Southern California. Take a peek inside the photo gallery

[photos: Addicted 2 Decorating, Wingscapes; Christine Cotter for LAT; Ann Johansson for LAT]