If you follow me on Instagram… (and you should, because there are sneak peeks and BTS galore on Stories!)… then you now know that the Murphy crew has a new home!
Warning: this will be a LONG post, because there is some major back-story involved and a drawn-out description of how the universe works in mysterious ways (and works FOR you), if you are VERY open to it!
Here I am at the entrance to our old home (and I’m feeling a bit emotional just looking at it). This was a few months after giving birth to my daughter Avery, now almost three!
In this exact spot, my husband proposed to me fourteen years ago. A year later he carried me across the threshold. Five years later we brought our firstborn, Parker, through this door… and three years after that, our daughter Avery.
There was a WHOLE lot of living in this house… EPIC parties, lots of interpretive dance (you know who you are), a spare room for roommates looking for a respite between relationships, tears, laughter, pain, and most importantly, love.
We really got lucky with this house. Found through a friend of a friend, we caught it at a time when duplexes were still very reasonable to rent, and of course they have built-in charm (this particular building was constructed in the 1930’s)… and we lived under rent-control for our entire stay!
Pico-Robertson was still very much strewn with auto-body shops, and not very many cafes or cute shops to walk to… but BOY have we seen it grow over the last fifteen years!
… and speaking of that… it’s this growth that is the reason for our big move!
(Ok… now I’m crying).
A developer bought our building, as well as the two next to ours, and he is going to tear it down and build a massive apartment complex.
Unfortunately, the whole area has fallen prey to this condition (in fact, the LA Times wrote an article on our exact neighborhood, and the demolition of these beautiful old homes). You can walk a few blocks in any direction, and you will see these houses fenced off (check my Insta Stories for a little tour ).
On the upside… we’ve been ready to move out and move on…
… but I think we needed a little kick in the butt to push us through the door and down the stairs!
Flashback to TWO years ago. Parker is in pre-school, and he makes friends with two adorable little twin boys, and I get to know their mama Deanna. Deanna happens to live in West Adams, and tells me I should start to look at properties out there, because it would soon BOOM. She also told me to look into a Spanish Immersion Charter School called CLIC (also in West Adams), of which she was a founding family member.
I honestly packed this information towards the back of my brain and didn’t give it much thought because we weren’t informed about our impending move until a year later, and when we were, we had SO much going on (including a three month business opportunity for my husband that moved the family to NYC for the fall!).
I had even OBSESSED about the apartment above (which is TOTALLY my jam in that it feels like a NY or Paris apartment)… and we almost got it… but by some strange stroke of luck (because now I see it that way)… we lost it at the last minute before we took off on our trip!
Meanwhile in NYC… we learned that we would get an extension on our move out date (HALLELUJAH)… and ultimately this would happen two more times, giving us an entire YEAR from the moment we learned about the building takeover… until we actually had to find a new place!
Are you still with me?
I was NOW back on the house hunt… and here’s where things get juicy!
I remembered what my friend Deanna had told me aboutWest Adams, so I began to research the area, and I was referred to a realtor who has lived in and owned property in the area for twenty years (and has been a GODSEND to us).
He told me about a unique building on a gorgeous street, lined with beautiful single-family homes. This building, in particular, was built in the 1920’s, and would be split into four condominiums for sale.
I walked in (this photo was taken almost a year ago while the building was still being restored)… and I knew in my gut that I had found my home.
It was New York mixed with Paris, on a big, wide, dead-end street (where our kids could ride their bikes and scooter), with palm trees and the Hollywood sign in clear view from the top of our road. It was like all of the separate parts of my life came together and told my story in this one spot. And it was still so centrally located… I could get to the beach in 18 minutes (something I cannot live without!).
… but of course this would not be easy (as those of you on the house-hunt know)!
For various reasons… including finding the right type of lender for two individuals who own their own businesses… we would “sort-of” give up on buying this home over the past ten months.
It was also not designated to be ready by the time we now had to move out (October 1st.. YES… THIS October 1st).
So we found a lovely duplex to rent by August 15th, and I reluctantly began to process the fact that we would wait for another year to buy.
… but my gut just wouldn’t give up on this special property (and neither would our realtor).
A week before we were to sign our lease, he found us a lender who wanted to work with us!
But wait! The property wouldn’t be licensed to sell yet… and they couldn’t give us an exact date as to when it would be!
But wait! Our super-realtor had another idea!
Maybe the owner/developer would let us rent (totally legal), until the unit would become available to buy?!
And just like that… it became OURS (with a very lengthy contract involved). I notified the owners of the duplex (the day we were supposed to sign the lease!) that plans had changed …
… and a little over two weeks ago we packed up (and PURGED) almost fifteen years of our life and moved to West Adams.
This was our first morning waking up to the INCREDIBLE light we get (no shades on the windows yet… we’re working on that!)…
And although I’d love to show you MORE…
I can only give you some sneak peeks…
Because we’re pitching to get this baby published!
But I’ll be asking your advice along the way…
Like do I paint these stairs black? Line them with vintage rug runners? Wallpaper this massive wall space? Leave it white and do a crazy gallery wall? SO. MANY. OPTIONS.
But first up…
The living room.
I’ve got an inspiration board to show you later this week about where I’m headed… and I can’t wait! I have so many vintage pieces I’ve collected over the years that can now take center stage, but I’ve also got my eye on some modern pops of furniture and lighting (made in LA) that will make this room SHINE.
Oh… and “side note”… that Spanish Immersion Charter School also located in West Adams? Parker is now going there too… but that is a WHOLE SEPARATE STORY (and one my mommy friends have been asking about, so I promise to bring it to you, because the school search/drama in Los Angeles is no joke!).
Are you excited to go on this journey with me? Because I can’t wait to take you!
Patrick and I found ourselves at a neighborhood/school party this past weekend… that we WALKED to (in LA… whaaaat?), and we looked around at the people and friends that we had already made, and Parker jumping on the trampoline with school buddies, and we felt like we had arrived in some sort of alternate universe…
… and it was…
but it was the universe that had conspired to get us here all along…
and we were finally “home” again…
after a wonderful, bumpy, colorful trip 🙂 .View Next in Series: Home Sweet Deesign... Living Room Inspiration Board