So this is the story of buying the classic car from the little old lady who only drove it to church once a week. But in this version, it's a house, not a car. And there's a message about leaning in, appreciating what is, and landing in exactly the right place. Deep, right?
Meet The Hill Haven House in LA's Mount Washington neighborhood, built in 1964 by architect/developer Ray A. Watt. The home was owned by a female PE teacher who didn't cook, had no kids or pets, and travelled every summer.
The intercom system still works. The carpets and curtains are original, and in pristine condition. The pull-out cutting boards in the kitchen hadn't ever been used.
Enter Nicole and her family.
Nicole is one of those women who are effortlessly chic. She's stylish and put together without trying too hard. When my husband ran into her at a thrift store, and she said she was a regular shopper there, I knew I had to see her place.
She stayed true to the house, and let it dictate her decor without going full time warp. She pulled off vintage without kitsch by mixing styles, textures, color and plants...lots of plants (healthy shiny gorgeous ones). It's impressive.
Buying a home (and adopting a pet) in Los Angeles is daunting. It's a process of ups and downs, and the downs feel like heartbreaks. When we were in the market and putting in offers, my real estate agent repeatedly said we would land in the house that was perfect for us. He was right.
Nicole's story is yet another testament to his words. To think of new owners coming in and renovating this rare and well-preserved house is unsettling. Nicole and her family could appreciate. They could LEAN IN. You'll see what I mean in the pictures below.
As usual, I must give the disclaimer that my photos don't do it justice. (If I had a superpower, it would be to have good lighting at any time.)
The woman behind the magic...