Collection by Jaime Gillin

Taalman/Koch Renovation Recap

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For the past six months, Linda Taalman of Taalman Koch Architecture has been blogging for Dwell.com about her hands-on renovation of her family's live-work rental apartment in Los Angeles. The project embodied several challenges: it's a rental, it's in a historic building (a 1952 Craig Ellwood-designed apartment complex in central Hollywood), and their budget is relatively tight ($10,000). The ongoing series covers a lot of ground, from building work stations for their architecture staff, to designing and installing curtains, to landscaping the courtyard. On Saturday June 25 at 4:30 pm on the Sustainability Stage, Taalman will talk about the challenges and rewards of renovation, and impart creative renovation tips drawn from both professional and personal experience. Here, a recap on how her live-work space has progressed over the past few months.

Here's the exterior of the Courtyard Apartments today.
According to architectural historian Esther McCoy, “The construction of the Courtyard Apartments in 1953 was a turning...
In her Week 2 post, Taalman writes: "Making an urban site work for private space while maintaining openness requires...
A view of the finished panels in place.
Week 3 focuses on consolidating live and work programs into one space.
One of my favorite posts, at least from a visual perspective, is Week 4, in which Taalman details the making of bright...
"The surprise of opening the door to Oleana’s room from the otherwise dark wood interior of the Courtyard Apartment and...
Posts 5, 9, and 10 deal with the back garden, including trips to local nurseries for plants and outdoor furniture.
To backtrack a bit, post 6 is kitchen-centric.
In this post, Taalman sings the praises of her under-counter recycling bin (from Ikea), storage drawers, and open...
Week 7 is a flashback, drawing on stories from previous residents of the apartment, including Frank Swig, the first...
As shown in this picture, Taalman and Koch learned that all the wood, inside and out, used to be a natural ‘driftwood’...
Post 8 was chock-full of useful sourcing information—such as where Taalman got her high-back crate couch and coffee...
Post 10, as mentioned before, includes a family outing to Sunset Nursery.
Here's the in-progress back patio (or "garden room") in use.
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