People often wonder where designers get their inspiration and creative juice. Magazines and Blogs are great, but for us it is in actual settings. We think home & garden tours are the next best thing, to sliced bread. Why you ask? Well, first off you get to peak through people's secret daily worlds, you get to see real designs in real settings, and lets just face it, who doesn't like seeing a stranger's private home. Our new favourite version of museum hoping abroad, is checking out if local organized home and garden tours are available while en route. So, when we decided to take a mini break down south to visit our friends and family in Santa Monica, CA we stumbled upon a Green Home Tour going on. Terms like: Gypsum Wall Board, Fly Ash Concrete Slabs, Sun Tunnels and Fresh Air Recycling System mean anything? Our three fav's were:
20th Street Offices
This space serves as a multi faceted design room for 3 firms. With the open ends oriented to the east and west, the natural flow of air coming off the Pacific Ocean circulates through the linear tube, maximizing fresh air and minimizing the need for overworked mechanical systems. Some cool lookin' designers that are as about artistically minded as they are surfer ready, making hanging on the roof for some after work drinks with the view of the ocean and the infinite solar panels very, very appealing.
17th Street Residence
Dream home. No qualms about it. And this ones for sale... for a mere $3,695,000.00 (read $%^&*?!!!). Well a girl can dream. I sware the minute we stepped on site the air felt purified. The builder was extremely generous with his time, taking us around the site to chat about the irrigation system and the water controversy/ crisis here in California. Our favourite feature was the yoga studio situated high above the courtyard in its own little room, accessed by a simple elevated walkway. Ommm.
Venice Walk Street Residence
When we get our business established enough that it supports our indulgence to winter in California, this is the nieghbourhood we would choose. Main street meets Kitsilano Beach. A few blocks from Venice and the famed Abbot Kinney boutiques, young families and the likes, share in the joys of small space living and neighbourly charm. We recognized this home from our Dwell subscription. Beautifully designed with cutting-edge materials intended to appeal to those who appreciate quality and careful design. The house reflects this consideration realizing true architectural integrity.
And when home & garden tours are not available we just hop on our bikes and cruise the local communities. You wouldn’t believe what treasure we find even in the most random alleyways. Get out and tour. I promise you wont be disappointed.