Name: Annette and Jason and their two cats, Fitzgerald and Chiquita
Location: Los Angeles, California
Size: 4000 square feet
Years lived in: Rented 3 years
I can honestly say that this is one of the most unique houses I have ever photographed. Nestled inside of an old Edison Electric Building, Annette and Jason have made their home in a mixture of long tunnels, small cutout nooks and large expansive spaces with floor-to-ceiling windows.
Not just anyone can live in a place like this and make it inviting. However, Jason is a film and commercial director and Annette is a producer and all-around dynamo. As they are both creatives, the space lends a perfect opportunity for them to continually be inspired and dream, as well as entertain in a variety of different ways, both big and small.
Get The Look! → Industrial Quirk In An Old Edison Factory
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: We consider our style, hmmm, "industrial chic." We like a mix of mid-century modern designs and antique anything. Our space is wall-to-wall concrete, so bringing in fabrics, wood, and leather to warm up the space is essential. We reclaim a lot of the things in our home; we're very DIY that way. We're also into cocktails, so there are several bars throughout, in addition to vintage glassware.
Inspiration: Architectural salvage, Mad Men, and an Edison bomb shelter. That's aesthetically. The bigger inspiration is that we're both filmmakers and creative people, and so our need to design has come from a deeper need to bring curiosity and creativity into our world. We want to be inspired every day. We do this by continually finding DIY projects, by creating a variety of vignettes with different vibes throughout (i.e., the mezcal lounge or the speakeasy we call "Hunter's Lounge" because of a painting of H.S Thompson hanging there), and by surrounding ourselves with antiques, books, and booze. Our sense of design comes from a desire to build a feeling and to be transported.
Favorite Element: This changes all the time. We have countless nooks throughout (we avoid calling them catacombs because we like to be able to sleep at night), so we'd have to say, "our nooks." They range from a speakeasy to a live music room to a Moroccan reading nook to a mezcal lounge.
Biggest Challenge: Our biggest challenge is that the entire apartment is concrete. White concrete. And three very steep and narrow flights of stairs up. Our first purchase was a hammer drill.
What Friends Say: They think our place is crazy. We have an amazing view of the LA skyline, where the sun sets every day. They swear our place is haunted—it must be, it's old—but we know it's not.
Biggest Embarrassment: Not so much of an embarrassment as a shortcoming… but our bathrooms are small and prison-like. Crosswise chambers above carry sound so clearly that a person in one bathroom could have an intimate conversation with someone in the other.
Proudest DIY: We found an old buffet on the street. The trim was cracked, the legs broken off, hardware gone. We fixed the trim, added metal casters for legs, replaced the missing hardware, and painted it bright red. Now it's our centerpiece bar and certainly a favorite of our guests.
Biggest Indulgence: This is a two-parter. We entertain a lot. We have client and producer meetings quite regularly. So we recently dismantled a massive wooden table and converted the space into a lounge. Yeah, it has a bar. But the second part is that we put a little dough into upgrading our turntable setup. Now it's a nice focal point in the lounge, and there's something nostalgic and ceremonious about changing out the records every 20-30 minutes.
Best Advice: Find things you like and surround yourself with them. Whether photography or old typewriters or books or anything (it's personal to you). We don't design for others. We design the world that we want to be in, that inspires us. When resources don't permit, find old things and fix them up—they're everywhere. Also, share your world with others. People, conversation, and ideas give life to spaces. Design should serve that purpose.
Dream Sources: Estate sales, salvages, street curbs, restoration hardware, Design Within Reach