Monday, October 31, 2011

Welcome to My Renovated Life

To restore to a former better state; give new life or energy to; reanimate; repair, quicken, vivify, revivify

The year 2011 has truly been a year of purging the old and welcoming in the new. My family and I have experienced many changes that have positioned us to grow and elevate in ways we have been praying for. We recently joked about how for years we felt the recession before the recession actually began!

Among many of the changes that have come, our most recent change was a relocation from an apartment circa 1960s in West Los Angeles into a really beautiful and historic apartment towards Larchmont and Koreatown. Our new neighborhood was one of the first comprehensively planned communities in Los Angeles designed for upper and middle-income families. As I walked through the streets the other day, I was excited to find so many hidden treasures, cafes, bistros and gorgeous architectural elements around every turn. 

Our apartment building was constructed in 1929 with design elements in the famous Art Deco style. This architectural style began in Paris in the 1920s and is marked by the use of materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, lacquer, chrome and inlaid wood, as well as exotic materials such as sharkeskin and zebra skin. The use of stepped forms and geometric curves, chevron patterns, fountains and the sunburst motif were quite typical. At it's best, art deco represented elegance, glamour, functionality and modernism.

{lobby of a building in our new neighborhood showing the art deco elements found in our building and others like it}

The details in our apartment is what makes living in a historic building so fun. Our building is made of brick, which is not the typical building material used in Southern California where most buildings are reminiscent of the Spanish Revival period with it's smooth plaster and red-tiled roofs.  Instead, we live in a building that reminds me of apartment living in New York City. We have beautifully maintained original hardwood floors and high ceilings with a small kitchen and bathroom. It stay nice and cool in the summers and will retain a decent amount of heat in the winter. We are thrilled.

This type of apartment is right up my alley. I am not big on living in these new pre-fabricated homes built on tracts. Historic homes have personality, architectural interest, nooks and crannies that today's constructed homes lack unless you are designing your dream home from the ground up. Historic buildings definitely come with challenges... like insulation issues, creaky floors and lack of air conditioning. However, I say bundle up if you are cold... the creaks are the homes way of telling you it's been loved... and thankfully living in Los Angeles rarely requires the use of air conditioning. 

The first several weeks that I lived in this space, I did so without my furniture. I placed everything I owned in storage and have camped out on an air mattress as I decided what I wanted to do with our new living quarters, what items I would keep in storage and what can be incorporated into our new home. I have been collecting a few ideas that I plan to turn into projects and a few forgotten and discarded items that I plan to bring back to life. As they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure. Sometimes people have no idea what they are throwing away. In addition, I will journal about my second-hand furniture shopping and finds.

I created this blog as a place to share my journey as I paint, design and decorate our new digs. And I wanted to allow you an opportunity to have a peek inside my real life. Perhaps you will follow along. Perhaps you will not. Either way I am journaling my process because it is therapeutic for me and it helps me to look back at what I started with so that I can truly appreciate and always have a heart of thanksgiving for where I am in my current state.

I truly believe in surrounding yourself with what you love. I am the type of person who will take my time finding that perfect chair, that perfect piece of art work or that perfect accessory in order to feel happy and satisfied with my home. I am not just creating a living space...I am making my house a home (or my apartment, in this case).

I have plans... lots and lots of cool and amazing plans to share with you. I invite you to journey with me as I refurbish old furniture, decide on wall coverings, select art work,take on DIY projects and create the home that my family can settle into and enjoy for the next year or two.

Welcome to my renovated life!

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