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.

Sarahs house

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!

Sarahs plane

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.

garys mikes

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!

garys phonograhs

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.

Categories: Architecture, Ellin Curley, Fashion, Humor

Tags: , , , , , ,

8 replies

  1. You have to love the creativity and imagination of those young people. It’s a nice bit of nostalgia.


    • Creativity and imagination is the key.Think outside the box. I love using objects in different ways than originally intended. Anything can be decorative – pieces of driftwood, an antique dress or blouse, a map. You can also mix these items with photographs and make a very interesting statement wall.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. These are such amazing ideas for home decor. Sarah is really talented and creative, her home decor concepts are so funky and contemporary. A good change from those heavy wall paintings and wall papers


    • For young people who are living on a tight budget, there are so many fun decor ideas. In place of the wall of records, you can hang a large arrangement of solid and print plates to create a bright and colorful focal wall. You can make a collage out of wrapping papers or maybe hang an arrangement of decorative metal wall candleholders (they come in all colors and finishes) that you can get cheap on Etsy or elsewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the flaming aircraft. It needs sound effects, like a continuous loop of commentary from “Airplane” 🙂


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