Interiorssneak peeks

An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA

by Garrett Fleming

Emmy-awarding-winning producer Jeannine Denholm and her husband Dave were way ahead of the curve when they bought their downtown LA loft 10 years ago. Even though the city was “extremely rough around the edges,” the loft’s potential was obvious. They loved “…the view, exposed brick, big windows and high ceiling” so much they decided to take a leap of faith and bought the loft when the price was right. The investment has proven to be a positive one, however, with developers breathing new life into many of the once-derelict parts of the neighborhood. Watching the California city rise anew has been a treat for the pair.

Just like the neighborhood, the loft has been a work in progress for the past decade. Construction was minimal, but finding pieces and a configuration that properly fit the open-air feel had Jeannine and Dave scratching their heads. “Our ceilings are almost 16 feet high and the windows are so big, scale was definitely an issue,” Jeannine says. Initially, the Denholms thought that filling the space would provide the best living arrangement, but they quickly realized that having many tiny pieces in a big space left their home feeling cluttered. Larger and fewer pieces of furniture now act as walls dividing the loft into living, dining and working areas without making it feel disjointed in any way. One rule has stayed consistent throughout the design process: bringing in a new piece means one or two existing ones have to go. This keeps the home feeling open and uncluttered.

With the larger design decisions accounted for, the couple then layered each nook with meaningful touches. Using mementos from their many travels has brought to life their vision of a home where guests “can put their feet up and be comfortable.” Aesthetically, the home’s an obvious winner, but I especially love the many sentimental memories that each piece of artwork and accessory represents. As you’ll see when you click through, Jeannine and Dave’s candor about each piece makes this peek that much sweeter. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Diana Biryuk

An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA, Design*Sponge
When the family first viewed the home, the exposed brick, red pipes and high ceilings were major selling points. The area rug is a remnant.
An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA, Design*Sponge
The view from the living room sofa is truly stunning. The loft overlooks many of downtown LA’s historic buildings including The Eastern Columbia Building’s historic neon clock tower. The oversized photos above the window are by Robert DiScalfani, and were brought back from a trip to India. Jeannine’s succulent garden sits on a Moroccan, mid-century table, and the ottoman was a hand-me-down from Grandfather.
An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA, Design*Sponge
Between the living and dining areas is this reading nook. The Modernica furniture factory is down the street from the home, so one of their shell chairs is a natural fit for the space. Dave made the small painting while on vacation in Venice, and the Haitian Einstein bowl was also a vacation souvenir. The beads were picked up while on a shoot in Malawi and support the World Vision Program.
An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA, Design*Sponge
Maxfield Parrish prints grace this living room wall along with rosaries collected on the family's travels and "gifts from friends' trips around the world."
An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA, Design*Sponge
The home's view of downtown LA makes working at home a breeze.
An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA, Design*Sponge
Jeannine painted the watercolors while on vacation in Venice and she keeps her paperwork in the 1960s Louis Vuitton suitcase. Target sells the task lamp, bowl and stacked storage. Vase by Lustered Walnut.
An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA, Design*Sponge
Childhood toys, a license plate, worldly textiles and containers from a trip to India deck the open shelving. The large ladder didn't fit in the elevator, so Dave and the neighbors had to carry it up 15 flights of stairs!
An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA, Design*Sponge
Dave works in sports radio, and mementos from the many games he has attended live here on the living room bookshelf.
An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA, Design*Sponge
Between the shelving and front doors is the apartment's second reading nook. When a friend moved out of his place, Jeannine was finally able to snag his replica Eames chair. She made the abstract painting herself, and the pencil drawing is an early rendering of Jeannine's family home in Ohio. "My dad was the architect, and this drawing reminds me of the crazy time we had building it," she says. The tiles and basket are gifts from friends.
An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA, Design*Sponge
Fox Sports broadcaster Dave and TV producer Jeannine in their early-1900s LA loft.
An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA, Design*Sponge
The couple bought the antique armoire as an anniversary gift to themselves. The arc lamp is from Craigslist, and the mid-century rockers are from IKEA. The paper lantern is from Little Tokyo, LA. A champagne cork blew a hole in the bottom of it during a night of fun with friends, so Jeannine says a replacement may be on the horizon.
An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA, Design*Sponge
The tea set is Eva Zeisel for Room & Board, the chairs are Bertoia from Knoll. A brand new set wasn't in the family’s budget, but a year-long search across eBay and Craigslist finally resulted in this one. The rug is by IKEA.
An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA, Design*Sponge
An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA, Design*Sponge
Jeannine’s childhood kitchen table is now hers. Her father died when she was young, so she treasures having this piece of him with her. “…I love being able to sit at the same table he once did,” she says. The dining room looks into the Denholm's bedroom.
An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA, Design*Sponge
The bedroom's gallery wall features the work of Vanessa Prager, and Jeannine painted the black-and-white piece herself. Dave gave her the movie poster for their anniversary to commemorate the first movie they ever saw together. Herman Miller's Nelson Platform Bench holds an Onna Ehrlich tote.
An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA, Design*Sponge
The couple loves waking up to their breathtaking view of downtown LA. Being at risk for earthquakes meant Jeannine and Dave were a bit stumped on how to decorate the vast space above their bed. After many brainstorms, Jeannine decided to make this fiber art out of a birch branch and yarn. She wasn't sure what she wanted the final piece to look like, so she let the piece come together organically as she made it.
An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA, Design*Sponge
The bed linens and duvet are from Restoration Hardware, and the throw pillows are from IKEA and Cynthia Rowley. Z Gallerie makes the side table's lamp.
An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA, Design*Sponge
The nightstand holds very special treasures, including a box Jeannine got from a childhood friend when she was eight.
An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA, Design*Sponge
The kitchen's bowls and pottery were collected at various flea markets near Jeannine’s midwestern hometown. onefortythree makes the black lamps, and a very special child made the countertop's artwork.
An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA, Design*Sponge
The kitchen's artwork is by a little boy Jeannine met while filming a TV show in Haiti. "I did a story on him and his injuries following the earthquake in Haiti, and my husband and I have supported him ever since. I have gone back to see him several times at his orphanage since the earthquake, and this is a drawing he made for me," she gushes. These children are always in need of support. To lend a hand, visit USFCH.org.
An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA, Design*Sponge
The couple says a bathroom renovation would be splendid, but they do enjoy their large, soaking tub. It's easily Jeannine's favorite part of the bathroom.
An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA, Design*Sponge
Although it's small, Dave and Jeannine happily sacrifice this room's space in order to have a larger living area.
An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA, Design*Sponge
One day, Jeannine and David decided to paint the same scene and see what happened. The results are framed here. Jeannine thinks of it as a great reminder of how two people's view of the same thing can be different and neither one right or wrong.
An Open-Concept Loft Overlooking LA, Design*Sponge
Joel Bell helped Jeannine put the home's floorplan together.

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  • This is such a beautiful loft! I love that the owners have decided to keep the exposed brick and red pipes – really makes the room stand out.


  • Beautiful. I totally understand the small bathroom thing! We once lived in a space with a MASSIVE bathroom and small living space…I would much prefer a smaller bathroom:) Love this loft!

  • Such an awesome place! I really like the open shelving in the living room- do you have a source?

    • Thank you! They are from Ikea and it is two units side by side…..unfortunately they have been discontinued for awhile. I actually had to buy one of them on craigslist to make a pair. You can always check there! Good luck!

  • A lovely and inspiring home. The brick is terrific. Brilliant idea to make the pipes red. It’s like another artwork.

  • As an Angeleno and current downtown resident, I can totally appreciate the foresight this couple had to buy 10 years ago. These days, the 900 sq foot downtown loft I am currently renting would sell for $630,000 K :( !!!


    • Hi neighbor! I know… DTLA real estate has skyrocketed in the past few years. We love living here and witnessing all the changes over the years. Its been really rewarding seeing the historical buildings finally being restored. It’s exactly what we hoped would happen! Finding a good spot to rent is even a challenge…at least you found a place :)

  • This Downtown LA lofts is an excellent example of the original brick, large windows and high ceilings that are typical for #DTLA lofts. The exposed plumbing and concrete floors are also exemplary of historic commerical and industrial loft buildings in Arts District and Historic Core of Downtown #LosAngeles. Downtowners also like being withing walking distance to coffee, dining, shopping, entertainment and transportation.

  • Love your loft! The kilim-style rug caught my eye. Is it vintage or do you have a source for it? Thanks!

    • Thank you so much Susan! The rug is actually from Ikea. I got it a few years ago so I’m not sure if they still have it. If you live in LA I will probably put it on Craigslist soon since I’ve changed things up a little bit since this was originally published. :)

  • Wow! This is one of my favorite spaces –ever! Love, love, love the space AND how you have taken advantage of all the wonderful features –windows, exposed brick, pipes. Very creative, unique and beautiful!