Sun Mun Way Cool

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January 16, 2009
Originally published in Renovate! Reuse! Recycle!
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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.
    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.
  • 
  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,”.
    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,”.
  • 
  Thrift-store lamps and an illuminated snowman lend the loft a warm glow at night.
    Thrift-store lamps and an illuminated snowman lend the loft a warm glow at night.
  • 
  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.”
    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.”
  • 
  Vintage kettles and a wide-ranging assortment of pots and pans sit above kitchen cabinets from IKEA.
    Vintage kettles and a wide-ranging assortment of pots and pans sit above kitchen cabinets from IKEA.
  • 
  Moe stands in front of the circular opening between the living area and the sleeping/bath quarters.
    Moe stands in front of the circular opening between the living area and the sleeping/bath quarters.
  • 
  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.”
    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.”
  • 
  In the tiled master bathroom, the boys get their own sink.
    In the tiled master bathroom, the boys get their own sink.
  • 
  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.
    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.
  • 
  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.
    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.
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