The Eastern Columbia

Surviving Suburbia- Why We Have Moved So Much in 4 Years

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Surviving SuburbiaSo this topic seems like it would have a super clear and specific answer like a job transfer or something. But in reality, the a big reason Chay and I have moved 4 times in 4 years is that we have wanted to try out different areas before we have kids because both our jobs allow the freedom. One of the specific reasons we are moving this time around from Redondo Beach back up to LA, is that we felt it was too soon to be in such a quiet area that is so set apart from most of the city. We were trying to be "smart" for our future as well as our finances by moving to RB because we had the opportunity to purchase a great home in a popular area for an insane price. Regardless, we decided Suburbia wasn't for us juuuust yet, but it might be in the future and we are open to where God has us.

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In case you are new to the blog, I'll rewind a bit. When Chay and I first got married, we lived in Redondo Beach because that's where my family was and it's where we lived prior to getting married. After a few months we had the itch to try something new and Chay found an awesome place in DTLA. To my surprise he was more than willing to move, so we shopped around and found an awesome apartment where we lived for almost a year. We fell in love living in Downtown. It was so fun being closer to my twin sister who lived in Silver Lake and good for our marriage to be a little farther from my family just because it made us rely a lot more on each other. (I am best friends with all my siblings and LOVE my parents, but sometimes that becomes your only group if you never branch out and I needed more than just familial relationships.) Instead of filling every spare moment with childhood friends and family, we did things just the two of us much more often. We grew to be so much closer and had the best time as friends and husband and wife. We also got to enjoy the diversity, culture, and less manicured aspects of living in the city, and we both really loved that. It's so easy to live in a gorgeous place like Palos Verdes (where I grew up), where seemingly nothing bad happens (and I feel so blessed to have grown up here!)  and forget that there is a lot of hardship and injustice happening not so far away. (There is zero judgement on people living in these beautiful areas by the way. I just think for us at our age and the things we love to do and be involved with, it feels right to be in LA.)  I liked being more aware of it and it truly reminded me how blessed I was and made me want to get involved with organizations. That perspective really changed things for me.

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Like I said, we lived in DTLA for a year and then decided it was time to buy a home. We ended up in Echo Park. I loved how diverse the neighborhood was and how so many people were creatives because its important for me to relate to those around me. We loved our home as well and felt we could live there for a while, but knew it wasn't ideal for kids because it had two sets of stairs and no yard. It was perfect for the two of us. After living here for about a year, Chay saw a house pop up in The Hollywood Riviera (a beautiful neighborhood in Redondo Beach that was central and near the beach)  at a great price and felt like it would be smart to rent out our Echo Park house and try out Redondo Beach. We both felt like it was a smart financial decision but worried about the drastic change to our everyday lives...or at lease I did. I am a super social person who thrives off of being around people I can relate to. I feared I would be isolated and bored, but wanted to give it a try for Chays sake to have less of a commute. We also loved the idea of remodeling this home and making it into our forever home possibly. To be honest, I think the idea of creating a custom forever home from scratch was tempting since I love interior design so much. I wasn't thinking enough about the fact that I would still be in an area that didnt feel right for us at that point in our lives.

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Fast forward a year and a half. It's been a tough year for me because I did feel isolated, bored, and the drastic lifestyle change going from being around people with similar schedules and interests to not being around anyone with a similar schedule was hard. I am not a mom so it was hard for me to relate to my closest friends and family that had kids, even though I loved the idea of being close to them. At the end of the day I realized it doesnt really matter if you're down the street or 45 minutes away , we all have schedules, priorities, and lives to live which I so get. I didnt see anyone anymore than I did when I lived in Echo Park and it's then that I realized that it's okay if we moved again. 

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Chay and I are never not looking at Redfin for fun and/or for possible investment opportunities. We saw a few houses pop up that we loved, but  then they would sell in 24 hours for way more. We started to think maybe it wasn't Gods timing for us and became content with living in the South Bay and putting down more roots. We even started to plan our remodel. We said if God doesn't provide a place in the next 2 weeks, we were moving forward with the remodel and trust that that's Him closing a door. Well, the next morning Chay woke me up and said our dream home came on the market and we had to see it that day. I was like whaaaaa?! I was pretty content at this point with moving forward with the remodel and staying in RB. so this was a shocker/ I didn't even think it would work out because LA real estate is on fire right now and there are like 30 offers on every house. Long story short, tons of the design details I requested for the remodel for the RB home were in this Silver Lake home, for a great price, and 2 minutes from my twin sis! We put an offer in and waited for two weeks. We prayed and knew it would all work out just the way it was meant to and didn't offer more than we felt comfortable because we weren't trying to "will it" to be ours. We wanted God to work it out if it was meant for us. Well the craziest thing happened- The realtor called us and said we won the bid even though there were all cash offers for 50k more than ours. They liked us and wanted us to have it!! How insane is that??

I instantly felt at peace and knew this was the right place for us. We are so excited and are now making lots of plans for movers, have already rented out our RB home and are meeting with people to rent out our DTLA place.

I will keep you all updated on the move and all the design updates! Yay! We move March 22nd and I will be sure to take you guys with me during the moving day on insta stories. Ask me anything in the comments section if you have questions. See you back here in a couple days!

xo, Kim 

Our Downtown LA Loft Revamp/Home Tour at The Eastern Columbia Lofts

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I don't know why it's taken me so long to do a post on our DTLA Loft revamp, except for the fact that I probably wanted to wait because there is always more to do, right? The projects are never done and it always feels "too soon" to put it out there, except it's not! Nothing is perfect and even though my creative juices are always flowing, those changes would take lots of time and cash, which we can't spend on this place. Since Chay and I buy these properties as future investments or rental properties, it doesn't make sense to pour too much time, energy, and money into them. But, of course we want them to look awesome and represent our style. So, with some fresh white paint, light fixtures, fun pieces of furniture and a few days, we updated our loft at The Eastern Columbia Building in DTLA! 

To be honest, since the building is awesome, it didn't need much help. This building is considered "the jewel of DTLA", and for good reason. It's ornate and completely unique. It was built in 1930 and used to be a department store, and only became lofts 12 years ago. Also, Kelly Wearstler did the interior design! So yes, pretty great to begin with, but our unit was a little dark and just a tad boring with the basic light fixtures. Whenever I approach a new project, whether it be a personal one Chay and I are doing for an investment property, or for a client, I always look to see if the space can be brightened up with some basic upgrades, most of them being decor! This is of course more cost effective, as the sky is the limit if you're willing to knock down walls, or frame out new rooms etc. But most don't want to do that! If you want to get the best bang for your buck, I created a downloadable checklist to focus on these 5 things to get a room to come alive with minimal work and money that you can download for free here:

Here are some before pics so you can see what we were working with:

Before

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With a few quick fixes, some different decor, and bright white paint. the loft really came to life! Check out the afters below:

After

See how the light fixture, table, art, and paint color make such a huge difference?! I love this Pendant from West Elm. You can shop it below if you love!

See how the light fixture, table, art, and paint color make such a huge difference?! I love this Pendant from West Elm. You can shop it below if you love!

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The photography is from Max Wanger.

The photography is from Max Wanger.

Yes, these lights are from Christmas:) I love keeping them up!

Yes, these lights are from Christmas:) I love keeping them up!

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This view of the ornate moulding across the way is my favorite. It reminds me of Soho.

This view of the ornate moulding across the way is my favorite. It reminds me of Soho.

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I am in love with my Casper mattress and Parachute bedding. I linked it below in the Shop the post section!

I am in love with my Casper mattress and Parachute bedding. I linked it below in the Shop the post section!

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I just love how much brighter and more open it feels now! We wanted it to have a slightly less bohemian feel and have a more modern and streamlined vibe than our primary residence you guys have probably seen on instagram. I think Chay is over all of my colors and patterns haha.

Do you guys like the revamp and if so what part about it is your favorite change? I think the paint and lighting really did it for me! As always, thank you guys for reading and the love! I will see you again in a couple days!

xo, Kim

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