Interiorssneak peeks

sneak peek: gregory beauchamp

by Amy Azzarito

Gregory Beauchamp likes to say that his home in Venice Beach, California, is a stone’s throw from the ocean — but only if you have a good arm. With his penchant for oranges, reds and browns, Gregory likes to channel a sort of city version of 1970s off-the-grid living, but where the hippies would have had a timber bookshelf and a well, he has a Milo Baughman credenza and a water heater. Gregory works as an advertising design director and started a creative consultancy called Granite Pass. (Last year he won an Emmy for his work as executive producer for the documentary Art&Copy.) He now splits his time between the communications world and making art, which his sells on Etsy. But in both spheres, and even in decorating his home, he works to strip things down until they become as simple as possible because the simpler you can make something, the more universal it becomes. He believes that creativity can solve anything and that we all want the same things — for tomorrow to be better than today — and today is pretty great. Thanks, Gregory! — Amy Azzarito

Image above: The Milo Baughman credenza is the first piece of “grown-up” furniture I ever bought. It was found at a mid-century shop on Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice called Surfing Cowboys. The large door on the lower left opens up from the bottom and slides into place. It’s a wonderful hiding spot for strange things. The framed art is a piece I made called “FOOD” (the shadows of the animals spell “Do Not Feed the Animals the Animals”). I fell in love with the pottery sculptures when I visited the studio of Larry Carnes, an amazing artist in Ojai, CA. They’re called Kiln Gods and have a wonderful innocence and mythology to them. The vintage rug was one of those “needle-in-a-haystack” moments from a neighborhood garage sale. It’s giant and beautifully covers the carpeting, which, if you rent, can sometimes become an albatross.

Image above: The Knoll chair, upholstered in the original fabric, was an eBay find and still bares the sticker that says “University of California” from when it once sat in the library in Santa Barbara. The pillow is double-sided with a bird on one side and a smiling happy person on the other and was discovered at the Santa Monica Airport Flea Market. The built-in bookshelf is home to my favorite book, Kerouac’s Dharma Bums.

See more of Gregory’s Venice home after the jump . . .

Image above: This is my office. The 7-foot folding farm table and braided rug were purchased at a local antique mall. I chose not to refinish the table because I love the 100 years of wear and tear. The chair was found after a year-long search ending at French 50s/60s in Culver City. I got it for a steal since I bought it “as-is” before it could be reupholstered. The macrame seat cover was still intact when I brought it home.

Image above: The bed sits in a converted day porch with a wall of windows looking down on the street. Although the entire room is not much larger than the bed itself, it’s my favorite room in the house.

Image above: I’ve had this dresser since I shared a room with my brother growing up. It came in a set with bunk beds. I remember climbing the handles like they were rungs on a ladder. The large painting was a gift from a Venice back alley.

Image above: Seventeen years ago when I lived in Portland, OR, I bought the oil and charcoal drawing off the walls of my favorite coffee shop. It’s by an artist named Chad Crouch, whom I’m happy to call a friend. It was my first piece of framed art and depicts a dinner scene where the thoughts of each participant are painted on their body . . . “yes,” “no,” “yum,” “duh” and “mouse.” I like to think of it as a version of The Last Supper. I keep my blankets handy since old Venice buildings tend to have a draft. I’m always on the lookout for a vintage Pendleton or hand-knit. All of them and the desert painting are from local flea markets. The ’60s handmade bench is another “haystack needle” find from a garage sale found on a morning stroll.

Image above: I made this bird sculpture out of newspaper, tape, polyurethane and shredded junk mail and tax receipts. It was originally created as a drawing model.

Image above: I’ve found that the secret to ferns is to water them on Sundays and Wednesdays. The bookcase was made from two vintage wooden crates and a cut-up towel rack from Home Depot.  It’s surprisingly sturdy, sits next to my desk and holds books on a few of my idols of design.

Image above: Somehow my favorite rug ended up in the bathroom, but I love the way it warms it up the space. The Pendleton towel and L.L. Bean slippers were gifts from my girl. Another Larry Carnes sculpture stands next to a thrift-store pottery vase filled with local wildflowers.

Image above: The entire breakfast area cost $35. The 1930s antique folding chairs from the American Seating Company were hand-me-downs from my brother’s college years. The Formica table was another gift from a Venice alley, and the Danish teak bowl and rug were found at a rural antique mall on a winter trip back to Oregon. Note: If you get a chance to walk through an antique store with your parents, you’ll hear a lot of wonderful stories provoked by the vintage objects.

Image above: The carved face was made by my father. What makes it so special is that he grew up in a very Catholic household, but he spent his adult years exploring alternative belief structures that were far away from the traditional religions. After he was diagnosed with cancer in 1995, this was the last thing he ever carved before he passed.

Image above: This bear hangs out in the living room on a Tivoli stereo. My father sculpted it from a single block of wood in 1985 as a birthday gift for me. It took him a year of nights and weekends to complete. The painting above it was found in a thrift store and depicts a little kid holding a bottle of soda (here you can see his legs in shorts and the bottom of the bottle). On the back, in pen, it says: “Natalie Wilson 1975. Pepsi Generation.”

Image above: This is the bookshelf in the office. Over the years there were many different types of cases holding the books before I figured out how to make my own “built-in.” The hardest part of the project was getting the 4″ x 12″ x 12′ side pieces of pine home. It’s 10 feet tall and 4.5 feet wide (the photo shows only half the width). It’s also my first experience using a router, which I used to notch the slots in the sides. The complete project of cutting, painting, staining and constructing took about a week. It’s full of design and art books and is kept color-coordinated to keep it clean.

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  • I was so touched to read about your father’s last carving… very beautiful. Thank you for sharing that story. I like that you fill your home with things that you love and have meaning for you. Wonderful home.

  • Such sweet use of small space. The color and pattern + use of wood balance the bright whites so well! Love.

  • I love that every item has a story and character. So much better than IKEA-common! OK< I do love IKEA, but this says so much more about the person who lives in the home.

  • Love this home, and aspire to have one that’s as personal some day. I ordered the States United poster from your etsy shop. There are no toes in the poster are there?? ;-) Can’t wait to have it framed. Nice work all around.

  • This home feels so cozy with layers of interest everywhere yet still refined. I am hoping to achieve something similar one day.

  • my daddy had a deathbed conversion as well. raised (somewhat) catholic, he later declared himself agnostic.
    a month before he died, he told me he was no longer an agnostic.
    “this is it,” i thought, “the power of catholicism knows no bounds”…
    “i’m atheist”, he declared. (!)

    your father did beautiful work, and your home is a joy.

  • Love it! What a beautiful mix of art, textiles, and books. And it all comes together so thoughtfully yet so simply.

  • Such a great space filled with warmth, textures, earthy colours, lively plants and personal history with each little item. Many hand me downs related to family (those are the best). Kids could live in there. It feels real. It looks lived in. It’s so inviting!! It could all be an illusion from well chosen pics but it makes you want to know more. My favourite of the 3 sneak peeks by far! I feel sheepish because I just gushed all over the hot pink couch from the first one but this space is exuding a feeling of comfort without even showing a couch or a whole bed! I’m almost fooled into thinking there is a fire place or wood stove in there but I guess not if he’s from California. Great inspiring space! Thanks!

  • My favorite Sneak Peek! If I may, I would also recommend the Gregory Beauchamp’s site (the link is at the top of this page..)

  • Having spent a lot of tie in Venice in the 70’s (at my parent’s friend’s houses, I was too young not to be dragged along + then there was brunch either on Main St. or someplace on the strand every Sunday) I love-love-love this SP. I know so many people in the area who have almost completely furnished their entire homes in really cool alley finds.

  • Your home looks filled with such warmth, personality and style. I love, love, love the carvings that your dad did — they’re just beautiful. The bear on the rocks is especially amazing.

  • i am positively in love with it all. fantastic sneak peek. the artwork, the plants, the rugs, the books, everything. so well done.

  • This has to be my favorite sneak peek in a while–love love love the handmade, rustic touches all over. Those blankets and rugs are gorgeous and that bath is to die for. Love the homey, lived in feel–perfect without being fussy. Saving this to my favorites. :)

  • We bought the “Tribe” print of Gregory’s from his etsy shop last year and it’s my favorite piece on our home! He’s a wonderful artist and a kind person, so it’s no surprise that his home is gorgeous and comfortable. Great feature.

  • Lovely home, I like the little bedroom best. This is my favourite sneak peak for a long time I don’t get excited when things cost a lot of money!

  • Wow. Those rugs! And that birdy pillow! Ohhh! Those carvings are beautiful. One of my favourite sneak peaks. x x

  • Very Very NICE! Truly a “home”

    And how fantastic to see a floor plan.
    Definitely would be a welcome addition for all sneak peeks.

  • what a fantastic home. thoughtful yet not precious or overly self-conscious. great job!

    and, as a UCSB alum, i will forever be envious of that chair!

  • dear design sponge,

    the photographer did a great job at documenting some of the objects in this house. but, they did a terrible job at photographing THE HOUSE ITSELF. The most expansive picture is that of the bathroom. it’s a shame that almost none of the spaces were shown; I’m sure they are terrific.

  • a lot of his things are similar to mine but what he has that i do not
    and need to add are the beautiful, warm, and cozy rugs!! this is
    an investment that i would be wise to make..
    if you took those away and had mostly bare floors it would be cold
    (as are mine), if you put in modern rugs you would take away
    the warmth that this home has!
    thanks! this is inspiring!

  • OMG! Dharma Bums is my favorite Kerouac book too! I love the homeowners sense of style. Like the hippies and beatniks, but more sophisticated.

  • Love, love, love it! Am pretty sure your ‘macrame seat cover’ is actually crocheted afghan. It looks very well appreciated to me!