Domestic Democracy

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June 15, 2009
Originally published in California Dreaming
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  The Fung/Blatt family enjoys the backyard of their Mount Washington home. Despite its 5,000-square-foot lot, the house is just 1,640 square feet. Michael Blatt admits, “If we could add anything to this house, it would be five walk-in closets.”
    The Fung/Blatt family enjoys the backyard of their Mount Washington home. Despite its 5,000-square-foot lot, the house is just 1,640 square feet. Michael Blatt admits, “If we could add anything to this house, it would be five walk-in closets.”
  • 
  The elevated dining room opens out to a side patio, which climbs the wall just behind the house.
    The elevated dining room opens out to a side patio, which climbs the wall just behind the house.
  • 
  There are precious few decorative flourishes in the house; the architects put their faith in line, form, and materials. Concrete, stainless steel, and birch were used in the kitchen, where not an inch of space goes unused.
    There are precious few decorative flourishes in the house; the architects put their faith in line, form, and materials. Concrete, stainless steel, and birch were used in the kitchen, where not an inch of space goes unused.
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  Galvanized steel was used to clad the fireplace.
    Galvanized steel was used to clad the fireplace.
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  Téa gets mom ready for her close-up on the curvy nature-meets-industry chaise lounge of the architects’ own design. The landscaping in front and out back is characterized by sturdy, resilient, and drought-resistant plants like bamboo and cacti, cultivated in galvanized steel planters.
    Téa gets mom ready for her close-up on the curvy nature-meets-industry chaise lounge of the architects’ own design. The landscaping in front and out back is characterized by sturdy, resilient, and drought-resistant plants like bamboo and cacti, cultivated in galvanized steel planters.
  • 
  The steel framing used for the house was left partially exposed. Other pragmatic touches with longevity and economy in mind are evident throughout, such as the screwed-down birch plywood stair treads that can simply be flipped over when worn out. Most seating below by Charles and Ray Eames. The coffee table by Paul Laszlo is, says Fung, “probably the nicest thing we own.”
    The steel framing used for the house was left partially exposed. Other pragmatic touches with longevity and economy in mind are evident throughout, such as the screwed-down birch plywood stair treads that can simply be flipped over when worn out. Most seating below by Charles and Ray Eames. The coffee table by Paul Laszlo is, says Fung, “probably the nicest thing we own.”
  • 
  Kai and Téa brush their teeth in the upstairs bathroom shared by all. “We went with the 1950s thing—a family bathroom,” explains Blatt. The sinks are by Kohler.
    Kai and Téa brush their teeth in the upstairs bathroom shared by all. “We went with the 1950s thing—a family bathroom,” explains Blatt. The sinks are by Kohler.
  • 
  The tile is by Carter.
    The tile is by Carter.
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  A river breeze flows up and down Fung and Blatt’s canyon street predictably at 4 p.m., cooling the house. In the master bedroom, Blatt and Téa take advantage of the cross-ventilation. The bed is from IKEA; the sheets are a Marimekko reissue from Crate & Barrel.
    A river breeze flows up and down Fung and Blatt’s canyon street predictably at 4 p.m., cooling the house. In the master bedroom, Blatt and Téa take advantage of the cross-ventilation. The bed is from IKEA; the sheets are a Marimekko reissue from Crate & Barrel.
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