I recently stayed with my daughter, Sarah, in Los Angeles. I was struck by the interesting design and decor elements I saw in homes I visited.
Sarah is 31. She lives in North Hollywood with a roommate. They have some wonderfully funky things on their walls that gives their house a happy, creative, fun feeling. For example, as an inexpensive way to treat a large wall behind the TV, they strung LP records together and created a decorative statement piece.
To give drama, color and interest to the opposite large wall in their living room, they came up with something unique, to say the least. Budget friendly, too. Sarah’s roommate found a large model of an airplane in the trash. It had been made for a studio to use for exterior shots of airplanes in movies. They hung it, nose down, and dotted it with colored paper ‘flames’. To complete the vignette, they have a Barbie doll parachuting to safety from the wreck. Not for everyone, but I love it!
I also visited an old friend who recently moved from Westchester, New York to LA. His name is Gary Kiffel and he just retired after 22 years as the sound effects man for David Letterman. He decorates his home with some of his cool collectibles, like vintage radios, microphones and phonographs. Unfortunately his giant , fully working antique pinball machine didn’t make the move out west.
The microphone that says “WRR” is an RCA that dates from 1946-1954. When Elvis appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, he used the exact same mike.
The smaller phonograph is an Edison Standard Model A from 1899-1901 and played Edison cylinder recordings. The larger one with the beautiful blue horn is a Columbia Phonograph from 1905 or 1906. It played 78 and 80 RPM records. Both phonographs still work and Gary has a collection of discs and records to play on each of them!
Maybe I just have creative friends and family. But these two styles, although transplanted from the New York area, seem to epitomize the relaxed, unconventional, do your own thing vibe of LA.