Sun Mun Way Cool

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January 16, 2009
In Los Angeles, California, a family of four inhabits a polychrome fantasia in the heart of Chinatown. Formerly a restaurant, punk rock night club, and furniture warehouse, the Berniers’ loft is anything but boring. Read Full Article
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  Sunlight streams through formerly boarded-up windows in the living area that was once Madame Wong’s stage. “When we took off the drywall, we realized there were windows in there. So we had more made to match these four,” says Dan. The new windows open up the east side of the building to views of the courtyard below and the San Gabriel mountains in the distance. The apartment is furnished with an eclectic mix of furniture, including an Eero Saarinen womb chair.  Photo by: Bryce Duffy
    Sunlight streams through formerly boarded-up windows in the living area that was once Madame Wong’s stage. “When we took off the drywall, we realized there were windows in there. So we had more made to match these four,” says Dan. The new windows open up the east side of the building to views of the courtyard below and the San Gabriel mountains in the distance. The apartment is furnished with an eclectic mix of furniture, including an Eero Saarinen womb chair.

    Photo by: Bryce Duffy

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  Unlike the ornate exterior, there wasn’t much interior detail left to reuse—but the Berniers did their best. Dan says, “There was a wall that had octagonal shapes in it that we took out, and when we rebuilt it, we kept the shapes,”.  Photo by: Bryce Duffy
    Unlike the ornate exterior, there wasn’t much interior detail left to reuse—but the Berniers did their best. Dan says, “There was a wall that had octagonal shapes in it that we took out, and when we rebuilt it, we kept the shapes,”.

    Photo by: Bryce Duffy

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  Thrift-store lamps and an illuminated snowman lend the loft a warm glow at night.  Photo by: Bryce Duffy
    Thrift-store lamps and an illuminated snowman lend the loft a warm glow at night.

    Photo by: Bryce Duffy

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  Moe and Lewis play in their shared bedroom, the former Madame Wong’s kitchen. “It’s just so fun for them to live in a funny place like this,” says Amy. “Their friends love to come over and play.”  Photo by: Bryce Duffy
    Moe and Lewis play in their shared bedroom, the former Madame Wong’s kitchen. “It’s just so fun for them to live in a funny place like this,” says Amy. “Their friends love to come over and play.”

    Photo by: Bryce Duffy

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  Vintage kettles and a wide-ranging assortment of pots and pans sit above kitchen cabinets from IKEA.  Photo by: Bryce Duffy
    Vintage kettles and a wide-ranging assortment of pots and pans sit above kitchen cabinets from IKEA.

    Photo by: Bryce Duffy

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  Moe stands in front of the circular opening between the living area and the sleeping/bath quarters.  Photo by: Bryce Duffy
    Moe stands in front of the circular opening between the living area and the sleeping/bath quarters.

    Photo by: Bryce Duffy

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  Amy was the sole architect on the project, when she wasn’t working a full-time job. (Her cardboard model of the living/dining area included a red Lego as the dining table.) “It’s surprising how great it is,” she says of the redesign. “It just works really well—if I do say so myself.”  Photo by: Bryce Duffy
    Amy was the sole architect on the project, when she wasn’t working a full-time job. (Her cardboard model of the living/dining area included a red Lego as the dining table.) “It’s surprising how great it is,” she says of the redesign. “It just works really well—if I do say so myself.”

    Photo by: Bryce Duffy

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  In the tiled master bathroom, the boys get their own sink.  Photo by: Bryce Duffy
    In the tiled master bathroom, the boys get their own sink.

    Photo by: Bryce Duffy

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  Lewis descends a metal-tube set of stairs fabricated by a maker of ship’s ladders. A banister from the original restaurant stairway serves as a railing for the sleeping loft.  Photo by: Bryce Duffy
    Lewis descends a metal-tube set of stairs fabricated by a maker of ship’s ladders. A banister from the original restaurant stairway serves as a railing for the sleeping loft.

    Photo by: Bryce Duffy

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  The exterior paint scheme is a riff on a vintage sign hanging downstairs, which may reflect the building’s original colors. “Hundreds of people a week photograph our building,” says Dan.  Photo by: Bryce Duffy
    The exterior paint scheme is a riff on a vintage sign hanging downstairs, which may reflect the building’s original colors. “Hundreds of people a week photograph our building,” says Dan.

    Photo by: Bryce Duffy

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