Interiorssneak peeks

A Young Family’s Happy, Golden-State Home

by Garrett Fleming

Being the son of Smith & Hawken co-founder Paul Hawken, Aidan is no stranger to impeccable design. His keen eye led him to this sunny, 1940s Los Angeles home where he and wife Andrea are raising their smiley son Gabriel. It was clear from the beginning that this couple was a match made in design heaven. Andrea’s love for mid-century pieces, Aidan’s crush on modernism and their shared desire to create a home that’s open, bright and uncomplicated has resulted in today’s pretty Golden State peek.

When they first moved into this two-bedroom space, a good purge was in order. Good thing neither of them are known for hanging onto anything for too long. “We had lots of things – enough furniture for our previous home which had three bedrooms, two bathrooms and an office. We were moving into a much smaller place, with smaller rooms and much less storage,” Andrea says. Letting go of so much has helped the couple truly appreciate the items that remain and has made their home feel “so much more open and comfortable.”

As renters, non-invasive tweaks were the only options when personalizing their home. In order to fill the space with as much natural light as possible, the two painted all the walls a brilliant white. New, dimming light fixtures and fresh hardware were also some of the first changes the couple made when they moved in. “We’ve been renters for a long time, and as a result, we don’t shy away from improving on a space even though we don’t own it,” the couple says.

Not only is the home’s interior gorgeous, it is located in a national, historic landmark so the views are spectacular. LA’s Village Green neighborhood is “nestled within acres of hundred-year-old trees and grass fields as fas as the eye can see,” so Gabriel can run and play without the worry of speeding traffic. If that wasn’t enough, the home even sits on the migratory path of many butterflies and birds, so once springtime hits, all types of little critters call The Green home. Living in such a place where hummingbirds, hawks and wildflowers are right outside the door is exactly the type of childhood Andrea and Aidan always wanted for Gabriel. “I am most thankful for the chance to raise our son in a place that he can run outside and play and climb trees,” the proud parents gush. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Monica Wang

A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
"We eat dinner at our dining table every night and often listen to Aidan's records afterwards when we're enjoying each other's company."
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
Any renter would be grateful for such modular shelving. It's a non-invasive way to display all sorts of beautiful finds without compromising the walls.
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
"Gabriel typically starts a dance party (after dinner) and usually tries to convince Aidan to join in."
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
Aidan is a songwriter and his love of music led him to co-founding Valleyheart Recording Studio. Aidan and Gabriel make up songs all the time together "mainly about Halloween."
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
"Clearly we really like the color white. Nothing feels as clean and fresh and airy as that color. It really helps in a small space."
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
"Our friends take one look at the color of our sofa and call us 'brave.' We're pretty sure there is a reupholstery in its future."
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
"This chair was my grandfather's. He bought it in California in the 70s (and) I have vivid memories of him sitting in it while we spent time together in the evenings. My cousins and I spun in this chair millions of times, and he never told us we couldn't."
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
Andrea, Aidan and Gabriel giggling... typical. This family is just as cheery as their home.
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
"We've switched (the living room's) configuration about a thousand times and tried out a dozen different rugs, but this is the one that works the best for us. A few years ago, I asked Aidan to give me one dusty-pink wall for Christmas, which I loved so very much, but I think we're ready for a change."
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
"The Noguchi paper lantern was Aidan's gift to me on our first wedding anniversary. One evening, the sun had gone down and Aidan turned on the lamp to find a huge praying mantis silhouette upon the shade. It was definitely entertaining for everyone. The Arne Vodder sideboard was brought in from Denmark for our store, but we kept one for ourselves. It is so solid and well made that Aidan and the movers suffered some battle scars getting it up the stairs of our home."
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
"We both have aspects of design, art and music that were intrinsic to our childhoods. Mayumi Oda and J.B. Blunk were friends of our family, and I was exposed to a lot of their work. As an adult, I appreciate their work in a different way," Aidan says.
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
"We try not to invest in temporary storage solutions. Sometimes this means that things live on the floor. We think it looks better anyway. It doesn't matter how minimalistic we are, one can never have too many records!"
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
"Our front door is downstairs and our living area is the floor upstairs. On our stairway, we have this beautiful photograph of Aidan's mom [center] and her cousins. It's from the 70s before Aidan was born. It's just such a beautiful image of her, and she's holding court so effortlessly."
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
Gabriel's bed lives under an old promotional poster of Aidan's. "He used to have little drawings of cartoon monsters, but he decided that he'd like Daddy's posters more. He keeps a little vase by his bed and once a week, we go outside and pick flowers – he picks out exactly what he'd like to have by his bedside."
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
"We have a limited amount of space so we rotate Gabriel's toys into and out of the garage."
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
"It was more important when we set up Gabriel's room that he had space to play and leave his elaborate train tracks out if he wished to. He can spend hours building tracks and giving each train a personality of its own."
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
The couple had this print before Gabriel was even born. It fits perfectly with his bedroom's color scheme.
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
"Gabriel loves reading books... so much! Aidan's mom recently gave him a vintage collection of the Beatrix Potter series which he simply cannot get enough of."
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
"We used to sleep in a queen. When I was pregnant, we decided that a king-sized bed was a priority. It was a great decision. Now we three spend many cold mornings here together snuggled up before we start the day."
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
Aidan's side of the bed.
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
"Our bedroom is our retreat. Breakfast in bed doesn't happen often, but when it does, it's a treat! This is Aidan's 'papa bear' chair. The stool next to it is an Eames stool that Aidan's dad gave him. It's one of two heirloom pieces, aka things that will never be purged." Lamp by Louis Poulsen.
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
Andrea's side of the bed is always filled with several books and bits from the outside.
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
The curves of this dresser were strategically designed so that pulls were not needed.
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
"I am in love with my hand mirror [from Ladies and Gentlemen Studio]. My mom is a craftsperson and she can make anything under the sun, but jewelry is where she shines. She made that necklace when we lived in India. It's one of my favorite things," Andrea says.
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
"Our bathroom is small, so with three people using it, it can get a bit rugged. We usually put out a towel and new bar of soap when we have guests so we can appear more civilized."
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge
A Young Family's Merry, Golden-State Home, Design*Sponge

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  • Such a beautiful home – thank you for sharing!! Any idea where their couch is from? Thanks so much!

  • I like the effortless cool vibe this home has. I wish I knew where that rug was from in the living room. It’s gorgeous!

  • What kind of modular shelving is that? And please share where the nightstands are from!

    • The shelving is String and the side tables are Eames – you can get them through Herman Miller.

  • Grace, the shelves are string shelves that we purchased from A + R in LA. See it here. http://www.aplusrstore.com/product/863/string-shelving-system So great for an apartment!

    The night tables are Eames Wire Base Low Tables. Lots of different stores sell them. Hive Modern, Herman Miller, DWR and Modernica all sell them. They’re so fantastic and versatile, we even use them to have dinner on when we “picnic” while we watch a movie! I couldn’t love them more if I tried :)

  • Beautiful home!! I wish I could be as minimalistic as this! Why don’t you guys have any extensions cords and chargers and cables hanging around?! Haha loved the home.

    • hahah! you’re too funny! They’re there, there are a few of them lurking around, driving us crazy! There are also lots of cables that get shoved through the wall. :) Thank you!!

  • Thank you for sharing such a gorgeous home. All of the furniture is wonderful, but the dresser is such a grand piece. Anyone who reads this comment please also notice they have the book Eames: Beautiful Details. A perfect visual read!

  • What a lovely home. I very much like the planter in Gabriel’s room, where is it from?

  • Jessica, thank ou for such kind words. The dresser is so beautiful! It’s by Arne Vodder, and we carry them in our store. Makerla.com I’m in love with it!

  • um—yeah: the trees aren’t a hundred years old in Village Green; they’re “only” as old as the project itself, which was constructed and landscaped in the early 1940s. Anyone can find out much more by starting at our official website, http://www.villagegreenla.net.

    Otherwise, always delighted to see mentions and accolades for the unique, beautiful place that I, too, call home.

  • I noticed that you have a few Nelson’s pendants lights…. How do you like to have more than one Nelson light in your place?

  • Your home is beautiful! What type of plants are those next to the couch? The smaller one pruned into a flower shape really catches the eye.

    • oh! how i wish I knew the name of that plant. It is a succulent, and it recently just shed all of its little “leaves.” I didn’t prune it that way, it came that way. We bought her at Home Depot or Anawalt, I can’t remember which one. And the other guy is a Rabbit Ear spineless cactus. I found him on craigslist :)

  • Oh my goodness this is lovely. I’ll join the chorus of questions — where is that lovely bed from??

    • his bed frame is from DWR. The rug in his bedroom is from West Elm, the West Elm x Steven Alan line. Our bedroom rug is also from DWR. Our living room rug is from a place called the rug warehouse, http://www.therugwarehouse.com/. The cowhide beneath our dining room table is a vintage one that we bought on a trip to Joshua Tree. Cowhides beneath dining room tables are my favorite thing ever–they never stain, they’re super durable, and water just beads right off. I know it’s a bit strange to have an animal hide, in a dining room, but… yeah, i have nothing to say to that, it’s strange.

  • Hi Andrea! I LOVE your home, it’s really beautiful and the light is incredible. I would love to know where you got the plant stand in Gabriel’s room? Also, the master king bed and ‘papa bear’ chair? I really adore those pieces. Thank you!!

  • I love everything about your house – so light and well-edited. I, too, would love to know where you got your bed, and I’d also love to know about the pendant lights. Thank you!

  • what a lovely lovely place! do you have the same lighting throughout your place? and what are they? thank you!

    • Hi Darush,
      thank you thank you! mostly yes, the same overhead lighting. George Nelson pendant fixtures. We also have a few different lamps throughout. Serge Mouille & Grasshopper lamps in the living room. :)

  • What an inspiring space! I love that your son has his own little record player – so cute. I have been trying to find a wall light like the one over your couch, could you share the source?

  • Such a gorgeous house! Love everything about it. Gabriel’s room is so simple and child-friendly.
    Could you tell me where that lovely A-Z poster is from?

  • You have an amazingly beautiful house. How do you like your string shelving in terms of safety… falling objects as your son runs around? And did you have problems securing it to the walls (if the studs didn’t align?)

    Again, most beautiful and serene home!!! Your kid is blessed to grow up with such style!

  • gorgeous! I love the simplicity of the design which really allows you to appreciate the lines and shapes of all the furniture and accessories. and, as a serial renter myself, i love seeing all the ways they customized their own rental! great tour!