hunt and home

Wednesday... From The Outside In

We often spend a lot of effort focusing on what goes into our homes, but what about what's on the outside?

Home should be a place you feel happy to come back to. Somewhere you can lay your head and rest your boots.

And what better way to greet a tired traveler than with flourishing leaves or flowers by your door?

When people put effort into beautifying the outside of their homes the inside becomes so much more inviting.

In the city, it's really nice to see when someone do just that. The residents of this local Philly home get it, when will everyone else? :)

Eternal Sunshine in Echo Park

I met Heather and Chachi for the first time in L.A. when my boyfriend, Dan, and I stayed with them before driving up the Pacific Coast Highway to San Fran. Dan has known Chachi through skating in
Philly and had nothing but nice things to say about their place when they lived in Philly together.

When we arrived at their house, I immediately fell in love with their space. At the time, I had never lived with anyone that I dated and I didn't know any young couples with beautiful homes. Heather and Chachi's was the first place I walked into and thought wow, this is their home. I found it really inspiring.

That was a few years ago and there place has only gotten cuter since. Here's a peek at their unique L.A. home in Echo Park.

Q: When you guys moved from Philly to LA, what was the home-hunting process like? Was there one thing in particular that you guys had to have when searching for your new place?

Heather: We had about 2 months to find a place when we moved to LA. We were looking for a place that was light and airy, had a small yard and a lot of character. We love the 1920’s stove and original tile work. The original details were important to us. 

Q: Once you moved in, what was the biggest challenge you faced? What was the biggest surprise?

Heather: The biggest surprise when we moved here, coming from Philadelphia, was that our place did not have heat! We definitely didn’t expect it and have space heaters to keep us warm during our 60 degree winters.

Q: Now that you are all settled in, what do you love most about your home? What piece in your home is most special to you?

Heather: The most special thing about our home to me is our kitchen. I have really learned to cook since I’ve been living in LA. We love making vegan food and sharing it with friends.

Heather: The pale yellow 1960’s Barcelona Chairs are really important to me. I inherited them from my grand mom when she died. She had amazing taste and those chairs became the focal point and inspiration for how we chose to decorate our home. We love midcentury furniture because of her and look for it when we are scouring flea markets in LA. All of the details in our place were found at flea markets. Any Sunday you can always find a different flea market in and around LA to pick up vintage planters, wall hangings, and pottery.

Q: If you guys decide to own one day, what would your dream home absolutely include and why?

Heather: My dream Los Angeles home would include an enclosed back yard area where we can entertain friends, a pretty porch to hang plants and watch the sunsets, more counter space in the kitchen to spread out a little more, and lots more light beaming in through the windows! I could go on and on!

What’s what: The striped planter on our cocktail table is a hand-me-down… from the same grand mom who gave me the chairs. She gave it to my mom and my mom gave it to me. It’s so old and the colors go well in the apartment. The vintage wall hanging above our desk was found at the Rose Bowl Flea Market. I love the different textures and size of it. It brightens up the brown wall. The Bull Skull was gotten in New Mexico when we were driving across the country. One of the many momentos from the best road trip we have ever had! The Record Player is one of our favorite pieces in our apartment. We love listening to records and are constantly buying new old records whenever we find them. We have been listening to a lot of Waylon Jennings lately.

Ryan is the International Sales Representative for Baker Skate Boards and I am a wardrobe stylist. Both of us work in Los Angeles. We have a sweet 3lb Chihuahua named Ruby who we can't live with out!

Follow Heather & Chachi on Instagram @heatherfredrck @flyupsidedown

Shop Heather's Etsy Store : VintageConnectionLA

all photos by Heather*

Jim and Kelli Bought A House!

Jim and Kelli are two  friends who also live in Philly and ride. They also just got married and took on a huge DIY project! They're renovating / revamping their newly bought home.

Right now they live in a small but picturesque, trinity-style South Philly home with fresh white everything and two cute little pups.

Naturally, their new place is completely different. It's a big, three-bedroom, two bathroom house with a huge by-city-standards backyard and lots of light. It's the perfect framework for a beautiful home. But, there's a ton of work to be done. In other words, the house was uninhabitable (by their standards) when they decided they would buy it.

Q: What did you absolutely love about the house when you saw it / what made you cringe? What was the biggest surprise?

Kelli: We were the one and only couple to see this home the day of showing due to crazy circumstances and sheer luck. It was 10 degrees outside and we were the only guys to stick it out in the cold to wait for the owner. We got in and I was immediately STOKED on how tall the ceilings were, and how spacious the entire house felt. The real fall-in-love moment was when we saw the large enclosed patio, and backyard with evergreen trees!

The scariest part? The house was very, very, lived in. Lots of smoke damage, carpet, vinyl, more carpet, and I'd say close to nothing had been updated in the past 15 years. I'm talking drop ceiling with florescent lights, lipstick kisses from who knows when on the doorframes, and faux wood paneling from the 70s. Everywhere. 

Kelli: The biggest surprise would have to be, of course, the floors. Before we closed on the house, we had no idea what was underneath that vinyl and carpet. The actual moment we got the keys we ran back to tear up the corners and voila, hardwood in every room. Hell yeah. We had it professionally sanded and sealed. When I saw them finished, I almost cried of happiness. That's when I knew my house was gonna rule.

Before...

After!

Q: What do you feel has been the biggest accomplishment thus far and what is the next project that you're taking on?

Kelli: We're really just getting into it. It's been a whirlwind of trying to tackle big things, small things, prioritizing, packing, and then living our day to day lives on top of that. I'd say our biggest accomplishment so far is being able to work together as a team without losing it! It can feel overwhelming at times, but we're staying positive :) 

The bedroom, being completely gutted for renovation.

The bedroom, being completely gutted for renovation.

Kelli: Our biggest project is the kitchen at the moment. We don't have the dollars for a real deal renovation, so we're working with what we've got (painting the cabinets) and replacing the worst of it (countertops and backsplash!)

Before painting the cabinets....

Before painting the cabinets....

Future countertops.... Tile backsplash to come!

Future countertops.... Tile backsplash to come!

Q: What is your favorite space in the house and where do you see yourself spending most of your time?

Kelli: Every time we take a break from tearing down paneling, painting walls, or bagging up debris, we sit out on the patio, drink a beer, split a cheesesteak, and take a minute to breathe and enjoy the Spring weather. I can already tell it's going to be the best spot in our home, the part we fell in love with when we first walked in!

They plan to keep the trees and replace the faux-grass with some ceramic tiles.

They plan to keep the trees and replace the faux-grass with some ceramic tiles.

Sneak Peek: Their living room is coming along nicely.

What's what: Cabinet hutch and chair from JINXED. Ice Cream Cone Planter from Etsy. Concrete planter and plant from City Planter.

Kelli is a Jr. Artwork Consultant at Printfresh Studio and previously worked at Jinxed in Philadelphia as the GM. Jim works with me at RevZilla as the Contact Center Manager.

Follow them on Instagram: @shinyalien & @the_dusters

Obligatory photo of their rescue pups, Tiki and Frisco.

A Cozy Cave

Q: A woman's bedroom is a very personal place. How would you describe yours?

Tracy: I’d say the overall theme in my bedroom is cozy Mexican Cave. I like the use of vibrant color and romantic imagery in Mexican culture that manages to be bold yet not overly feminine. When I shop for home, I’m instantly drawn to things that are unique and I like the challenge of making it fit into my space instead of shopping with the theme in mind. My space is also filled with small trinkets and photographs from family and friends. I’m constantly inspired by the people in my life and I like to think my personal style is embedded with little pieces of each of them.

Q: Your bedroom is half underground, what issues have you had to work around?

Tracy: I had a few issues with the space that I had to work around; mainly the carpeting and also a strange cement wall that made the room look even more sterile when it was empty. Still, I think I’m managing to fill it with items that make it feel warm with a little creativity and strategic decorating.

Q: Which part of your room are you most fond of?

Tracy: My favorite part of the room is the accessories counter within a built-in bookcase. I've had an affinity for costume jewelry my whole life and when trying to figure out what to do with the bookcase, I took the opportunity to put some of my collection on display.

Q: Did anyone inspire your knack for decorating? If so, who?

Tracy: I think I was inspired by you, Alessandra! I always liked gawking at beautiful spaces but always assumed it had to cost a fortune to make my own space that beautiful. As we became friends, I spent more and more time in homeware sections of my favorite stores when we went shopping. Now, I think I look forward to hunting for home more than clothing shopping.

Q: If you could build your dream home tomorrow, what is the one thing it would undeniably include?

Tracy: It would have to have a porch with a tiled floor and a hammock surrounded by lots of greenery! My favorite part of visiting family in Puerto Rico was laying on my godmother's hammock on her porch, right under a Quenepa tree. If I could just get a Quenepa tree to grow in Philadelphia, it would be a dream home for sure.

What's what: Anthro-inspired duvet and sheet sets from Target. Ivory throw, elephant hook and rabbit vase from Anthropologie. String of butterflies, Frida painting and bird shelf from Eyes Gallery. Desk, chair, wicker baskets and trunk from IKEA. Red rose night table from a thrift-shop on Mt. Carmel Ave in Glenside PA. Rose mirror and framed corazon print from JINXED.

Tracy is a Philadelphia resident who was born in Puerto Rico but raised by her Mexican mother. She currently works for Project Home, an organization that seeks to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty in Philadelphia.

Follow Tracy on Instagram @cunting_season