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deLab Home Tour: Our Top 5 Design Moments

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Yesterday, deLab (Design East of La Brea) held its first ever home tour of architecturally interesting examples of infill construction - taking the typical and atypical small lots of Echo Park, to build contemporary single family homes. We made it to all four homes, searching for some inspired design and decorating ideas. Here's what we found:

1. Put a Bird on that Lamp: The smallest of the homes was a 495 square foot bungalow tucked away on Clinton Street, west of Echo Park Lake. Despite the small size, the house was surprisingly uncluttered and functional, requiring every item in the house to serve some function or be forcefully evicted. This owl lamp next to the bed did double duty as quirky decor and reading lamp.

2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: From the smallest house, we made our way to the largest house. Designer and owner Jerome Pelayo's 2,000 sq.ft. home reused pieces of wood from the previous house on the site into various design elements of the new house, including this vanity in his wife's bathroom. Pieces of the old house show up in everything from the kitchen shelves to the backyard garden.

3. Multi-Purpose Stairs: The designer of the Dick + Jane duplex on Echo Park Ave realized that with such a tight lot, every space had to be used. In most houses, the space under the staircase is just a dark, scary cubbyhole where you put your kids when they're bad. Right? We don't have kids. In the Dick + Jane duplex, the staircase acts more like a piece of furniture, providing a wall of shelving and storage, and creating a focal point on the first floor.

4. Crafty Hands: In Simon Storey's Eel's Nest, the highlight may have been the rooftop deck, but as we discussed with him, it can be a bit hard to capture the feel in pictures unless you can do a 360-degree camera pan with smell-o-vision and stereo sound to capture the hum of Echo Park below. Instead, he pointed out the interior design/decorating ideas he was most proud of - specifically, the stuff he made himself. The handcrafted speaker system in his living room was one of our favorite pieces.

5. Closet? What's that?: Back to Jerome Pelayo's house, and not just because the docents were all smoking hot (good job deLab!). In lieu of closets, the homeowners had instead decided to go the old-school loft route with pipes. In both the master bedroom and guest room, clothes hung in full view on non-functioning plumbing pipes. It's a lifestyle choice.

More pictures from the deLab Home Tour will be published this week.

Sunia Homes

915 Rosemont Ave., Los Angeles, CA