Wednesday, February 29, 2012

california design & lacma

People in Los Angeles refer to the residents of Orange County as living behind the Orange Curtain.  It’s true. We really don’t get out much. In my youth, I went to concerts and plays in L.A. and had friends up in L.A. as well. Now, not only has the O.C. improved its restaurants and entertainment, but the traffic to Los Angeles has become ridiculous. A 45 minute trip can take an hour and a half.

A couple of Sundays ago my reluctance to travel beyond my zip code was over whelmed by my need to see the “Living in a Modern Way” exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) -- because it is ending in March. I called my mom, “I am driving up to LACMA to see the modern design exhibit in thirty minutes; do you want to come?”

We are cut from the same cloth. She replied without hesitating, “I’m in.”

Sunday, February 26, 2012

80/20 rule and remodeling -- all about louver closet doors

The closets in a 1955 house suck. Period. A big bonus in this project was the addition of a closet in the master bedroom, plus new louver doors on all the closets in the house (grand total of five when we are done). Please keep in mind this house has a flat roof, with no attic, and because we are in Southern California, no basement. Needless to say, storage is at a premium. The “before” closet doors were 1950’s sliders that came off the tracks, like, every day. And in the guest bedroom the previous owner had removed the closet doors and installed bookshelves, taking the total closets in the house down to three. At one point, we installed swing out doors, in a cheap ugly MDF material (blech). The house is extremely damp, and any closet doors that are air tight are dangerous. Clothes quickly become attacked by mold and mildew which is why louver doors are the perfect solution (air circulation) in the damp Pacific ocean climate.

MDF Close Doors
Weird MDF closet doors in guest bedroom

Sunday, February 19, 2012

physics laws, stucco and mid-century modern remodeling

Alex called me at work last week. I always pick up for him, just in case it is important.
“Mom, how much did that bowl on the table cost?”
“Why?” I asked suspiciously.
“Just tell me how much it cost,” insisted Alex.
Sharp as a tack, I immediately catch on. “Were you playing around with the Lazy Susan?”

Sitting on it, I have a candle from CandlEssence in a mid-century modern Bauer bowl. 
He confessed, "I forgot about centrifugal force." 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

an incredible updated mid-century modern home in Corona del Mar

Last year, our friends remodeled their mid-century modern home. The results are truly stunning. Updates included completely revamping the galley kitchen to remove hanging cabinets over the kitchen counter and open up the kitchen to the dining and living rooms. You can see a glimpse of the house's impressive sunset view over the Pacific Ocean below.

Monday, February 6, 2012

electrical upgrade to mid-century modern house

Last week we got a new electrical panel. We went from a 100 amp service to a 200 amp service which allows more circuit breakers, and means we can have more lights and more stuff running at the same time. We have had trouble with Christmas lights, blow dryers and the ever present space heaters. I like this video on YouTube from “Randy” which explains when to upgrade your panel. He is a little dry, but what do you expect from an electrician?
New electrical panel next to 60 year-old crappy panel on left

Sunday, February 5, 2012

recovering from a remodeling window mistake

I got this text a couple of nights ago from Albert while I was out walking with my energetic walking friend. “I need you to check out the window, two were swapped I think. MBR with left open?” Disturbing. I examined the windows when I got home. The proportions were weird, but were they wrong? The architect and I had extensive bathroom window discussions (e.g. vinyl vs. aluminum and manufacturer, Milgard). I didn’t really remember a lot of bedroom window discussions aside from the manufacturer (Pella). I valiantly attempted to read our fourteen pages of plans. After about 45 minutes, I deduced, the bedroom windows in our mid-century modern remodel were most likely, in fact, switched.

MBR Window