The L.A. Home of Song Exploder’s Hrishikesh Hirway Is Barely Larger Than a Music Box

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By Dwell
The podcaster and his wife get creative to compress their work lives into a compact home.

When space is tight, the first things to go are usually the non-essentials and clunkers, oversized keepsakes that have sentimental but no practical value. Things like upright pianos. 

At the 900-square-foot Eagle Rock home of Hrishikesh Hirway and Lindsey Lund Mortensen, making triages isn’t so easy. Their Kawai K200 piano, like the guitars, bass, mandolin, drum kit, xylophone, and Mini Moog synthesizer huddled around it in the corner of their studio, is an indispensable part of how they earn their livelihood. "It's hard to have to constantly consider if things are worth saving," says Hrishikesh, a songwriter and composer, "but it's also been rewarding to think so deliberately about what's in our home."

The L.A. Home of Song Exploder’s Hrishikesh Hirway Is Barely Larger 
Than a Music Box - Photo 1 of 7 - Composer and podcaster Hrishikesh Hirway hangs guitars and a bass from wall mounts in his Eagle Rock studio to conserve space.

Composer and podcaster Hrishikesh Hirway hangs guitars and a bass from wall mounts in his Eagle Rock studio to conserve space.

Hrishikesh is the host of Song Exploder, a biweekly podcast from Radiotopia by PRX in which he deconstructs tunes by artists from Grimes to U2, one at a time. Lindsey, a fashion designer with her own leather accessories line, Larsen & Lund, also requires room for work gear, including a sewing machine and drafting table. 

The L.A. Home of Song Exploder’s Hrishikesh Hirway Is Barely Larger 
Than a Music Box - Photo 2 of 7 - The living room is outfitted with a Petrie sofa from Crate & Barrel and a leather love seat from Room & Board. The armchair and console are vintage.  

The living room is outfitted with a Petrie sofa from Crate & Barrel and a leather love seat from Room & Board. The armchair and console are vintage.  

Given their busy careers, one imagines their compact Eagle Rock property, which has virtually no built-in storage, might be a squeeze. But Hrishikesh and Lindsey know how to handle close quarters: Their previous residence, which contained nearly the same amount of gear, was a one-bedroom condo. "As our creative projects grew, they started overtaking our home," recalls Hrishikesh. "It felt like we were living in a workshop."

The L.A. Home of Song Exploder’s Hrishikesh Hirway Is Barely Larger 
Than a Music Box - Photo 3 of 7 - In the bedroom, a Sonos Play:5 is connected to Amazon Echo, enabling the residents to cycle through songs and podcasts using voice commands. 

In the bedroom, a Sonos Play:5 is connected to Amazon Echo, enabling the residents to cycle through songs and podcasts using voice commands. 

The new home is also cozy, with one crucial difference: A garage. Hrishikesh and Lindsey have split the outbuilding in half, providing them each with a sanctuary to create each day. While his studio more closely mirrors the intimate minimalism of the residence, in keeping with their essentials-only lifestyle, neither zone is elaborately furnished. "In both the house and the podcast," explains Hrishikesh, "I try and get rid of clutter as much as possible."

The L.A. Home of Song Exploder’s Hrishikesh Hirway Is Barely Larger 
Than a Music Box - Photo 4 of 7 - Fashion designer Lindsey Lund Mortensen’s half of the studio showcases some of her creations as well as an inspiration board. 

Fashion designer Lindsey Lund Mortensen’s half of the studio showcases some of her creations as well as an inspiration board. 

The L.A. Home of Song Exploder’s Hrishikesh Hirway Is Barely Larger 
Than a Music Box - Photo 5 of 7 - An IKEA shelf in the guest room displays an Orbit Turntable by U-Turn.

An IKEA shelf in the guest room displays an Orbit Turntable by U-Turn.


The L.A. Home of Song Exploder’s Hrishikesh Hirway Is Barely Larger 
Than a Music Box - Photo 6 of 7 - The Grain pendant in the kitchen is by industrial designer Brendan Ravenhill, a friend of the residents. 

The Grain pendant in the kitchen is by industrial designer Brendan Ravenhill, a friend of the residents. 


The L.A. Home of Song Exploder’s Hrishikesh Hirway Is Barely Larger 
Than a Music Box - Photo 7 of 7 - The interior was freshly renovated when the residents purchased the house in 2013; they redid the backyard themselves. The Bowl fire pit is by Potted.

The interior was freshly renovated when the residents purchased the house in 2013; they redid the backyard themselves. The Bowl fire pit is by Potted.


 

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