When we interviewed Kathleen Whitaker, the notable LA jewelry designer, four years ago about her turn-of-the-century home in LA’s Echo Park, she summed up her DIY remodel this way: “I suppose my jewelry designs are the antithesis of the expression displayed here at home.” Indeed. Back then, while her pieces were minimalist and understated, her home was expressive and vibrant with saturated colors.
Today? “It’s flip-flopped. I started a sister collection that explores texture and color, and that created an inverse effect of really committing to reduction and minimalism in our home environment,” she says. “My work and my home, they influence each other.”
This second makeover was far less labor-intensive. The first one involved restoring the building to its former glory, including converting the three-apartment structure back to a single-family residence, a laborious project that she and her husband, cinematographer Bradford Whitaker, undertook themselves. This time around, the rehab was mostly superficial—a fresh coat of white paint on every wall, the addition of a few new pieces of furniture, and the removal of others—but the results have been profound. “You can radically transform a space by doing very little to it,” says Kathleen.
Let’s take a tour.
Photography by Laure Joliet.