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A Budget Renovation for a Stylish LA Guest House (Available for Rent)


A Budget Renovation for a Stylish LA Guest House (Available for Rent)

October 6, 2016

We recently spotted (and admired) the interiors of the Glassell Park Boathouse, a detached guest house in Glassell Park, Los Angeles, on photographer Jessica Comingore’s site, The Elysian Edit. When she first saw the property, owner Lisa Cole was able to see the potential in the abandoned 1920s Craftsman outbuilding, a former car repair garage. “It’s probably the main reason we bought the house,” she says. Cole and her husband renovated the space in January, naming it the Boathouse for its proximity to the LA River. They removed the drywall to expose brick walls, polished the concrete floors, and designed a custom kitchen and bath with particle board and plumbing pipe faucets. Join us for a tour here, and go to Airbnb. for rental information.

Photography courtesy of Jessica Comingore of the Elysian Edit.

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Above: The interior walls were repainted in Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White. The folding lounge chairs are vintage midcentury chairs that Lisa found at the Rosebowl Flea Market. The ceiling fan is a MinkaAire Translucent Ceiling Fan.

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Above: Lisa had the original 12-foot shop workbench stripped and repurposed as a side table in a new location along the side wall. An old mechanic’s well—now used as storage—is at the center of the floor, covered with a large jute rug. Lisa designed the coffee table and commissioned a woodworker from Etsy to make the sawhorse supports (they’re made from Douglas fir salvaged from a 1910 Packard building in Seattle) and had the glass cut at a local company in Silver Lake, Los Angeles.

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Above: The vintage Costa Rican rocking chair is from the Rose Bowl and the poster behind it is by Lisa’s friend Eric Junker (it was originally designed for the Lafayette Hotel in New York City).

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Above: Working with a tight budget and narrow dimensions (the door prevented the installation of a normal size countertop), Lisa designed the kitchen herself working with contractors on the custom cabinets and faucets. The countertop is a white Ceasarstone remnant given to her by a friend. The shelves and cabinets are oriented strand board, a construction material often used for roof decking. Lisa sealed it with Briwax, but since the material doesn’t stand up well to water, she suggests sealing it with a more durable epoxy. The pendant light is by ceramic artist Heather Levine, whose studio is down the street from the house.

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Above: The backsplash is Japanese terracotta tile from American Tile in Cypress Park in LA. Lisa collects vintage pottery from Dryden Pottery in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas, where she grew up. The yellow vase and utensil holder are from Fox Pass Pottery, also in Hot Springs. Other ceramics are hand-me-downs from Lisa’s mother and the local thrift store.

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Above: Textiles in the guest house are mostly vintage—sourced from friends and the Rose Bowl Flea Market—and from Pottery Barn.

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Above: The sink and shower faucets, like the kitchen faucet, are designed by Lisa from raw copper plumbing parts; her contractor, Josh, helped her build them. (For more, see our post Trend Alert: 10 DIY Faucets Made from Plumbing Parts.) Says Lisa: “I’m still searching for a good copper sink aerator piece for welding onto the faucets to help slow water flow. If anyone knows of one, please let me know.”

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Above: While on vacation in Yalikavak, Turkey, Lisa took a liking to the concrete daybed in a farmhouse garden. She took measurements of the daybed and designed an outdoor concrete bench in the same style.

To rent the Glassell Park Boat House, visit Airbnb, and read more about Lisa’s design style and relationship to her LA neighborhood on The Elysian Edit.

For more ideas in remodeling and LA interiors, see our posts:

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