I Could Live Here: A Modern Vision in Venice


 I may be an SF resident by mortgage and marriage, but my work and my in-laws provide plenty of opportunity to head to LA. Each time I go, my parallel parking gets a little better, and I fall a little more in love with Venice. The sleepy-yet-stylish beach town is one of the few places I could see my self settling in down South. It’s realistically bike-able, the coffee (Intelligentsia) and pizza (Gjelina) scenes are on par with SF, and the houses—all those modern marvels mixed in with modest little bungalows and kooky artists’ houses—could’t get any more charming.  

And while the bungalows are cute, because there is no budgetary limit on my hypothetical new home, I’ll take a fancy new modern one, please. This is no work of architectural genius, but like so many other Venice homes, it’s a nice clean glass, steel and stucco box with a whole lot of potential, and of course, an impenetrable seven-foot-tall wood fence running along the sidewalk. Three bedrooms, three bathrooms and steps to the beach, asking $1,425,00. And since the kitchen and bathrooms are up to speed, design wise, that gives me plenty of time and Monopoly money to decorate the heck out of the rest. (Do you like how I am even frugal in my fantasies?)

But man, the furniture in real estate photos. They make me want to buy the house just so I can save it from the flimsy leather furniture, generic art and completely inappropriate bar stools. Let me start by saying NONE of that furniture would make it into my house. I would take my inspiration from this Mill Valley home designed by Allison Bloom—it’s modern but full of antiques, flea market finds and perfectly patinated contemporary pieces.

This house is extremely family friendly. It just makes me want to fill it with kids. Let’s go for three, minimum. The wide open layout of the first floor is just begging for homework sessions, movie nights, family meals and playdates. The only slight problem is, when I even toy with the idea of life in LA,  my husband says I better send him a postcard and let him know how I’m doing, because he refuses to return to the place of his birth for any longer than a long weekend.

You see, he was born in California, so he can be snobby about things like which gorgeous, coastal cities he will live in (San Francisco, Cabo Pulmo) and which ones he absolutely will not (Los Angeles, anything bordering the Atlantic). I, on the other hand was born in Cleveland, Ohio, so any non-war-torn coastal city with a decent taqueria will do me just fine.

Anyway, once he sees my roof deck, he might just opt for an extended vacation.