londonurchin's Profile

Display Name: londonurchin
Member Since: 4/20/07

Latest Comments...

Firstly kudos on the lovely place....you've done a wonderful job with it. Super neat, too...an inspiration to us all on that front alone.

If you really want comments, I'll throw my view into the nitpicking ring.....

1/ I think this issue is that this place lacks wit. That's why people are saying it's anodyne/charmless....too much like a furniture showroom. You want a place to envelop you warmly but subtly in charm, wit, and a point of view. I feel this space, though perfectly lovely, doesn't quite achieve that.

The way you get there, in my view, is through more personal touches as people have mentioned, and things that are less safe. (It's not just about, say, the idea that your pictures are simply too high. Put them on the ceiling for what it's worth.) That spirit of wit and distinction that I am describing can be achieved in many ways...it's kind of an intangible, creative, instinctive thing. It shouldn't hit you over the head, but should be subtle.

2/The tv side of the room...that whole side of the room is being sucked into blackness with the bookshelf, the stereo/tv system and the fireplace all in a row overpowering everything. I would definitely make the fireplace more of a feature and downplay the a/v setup. Can you get those speakers out of there? What about moving the sofa to that side of the room to make use of the wall depth, or closer to the fireplace, maybe on an angle? The angle of the fireplace is tricky with the window right there, but it's possible....

3/The planes of space...there is way too much open flatness going on, which is what's causing it to feel kind of modern vanilla. The place needs more visual texture, dimensional balance..again the idea of clustering comes up...see how your poor little coffee table is being dwarfed by the a/v setup? It's like all the other features and furniture are ganging up on it, about to attack it.

4/Mirror over fireplace. Once again...I hate to sound too traditional, but some kind of large mirror over the fireplace could possibly liberate that wall and the windows even more...it's a little hard to tell how it would work since in the photos the shades are down, but it's worth a try.

5/Although there's nothing wrong with it per se, I don't really like the stainless bar table because of how it plays against the fridge. It looks matchy matchy...again, no visual texture. The kitchen cabinets are a hard color to work with, but if you could get an interesting colored table in there, that may be cool. Or like a stoney or concretey thing.

6/This may hurt, but: brown. I personally am very anti brown unless it's wood wood wood. I hate that whole West Elm retro 70 school of thought that brown is okay. It's not. It's barfy. It's compromising your bedroom. (Brown is second only to pea green on that front.) Don't be seduced. Camel, however, is just fine when used well.

Please forgive any offense and bravo for your bravery!

Good luck to you and thanks for the peek.


Apartment Therapy San Francisco | House Tour: Anonymous's Potrero Hill Loft
1/9/08 06:45 AM

my view, for what it's worth:

whatever you do, retain some sort of mantle/shelf situation since those are super useful, and then put a big tall mirror over fireplace.

Mirror over fireplace is very trad and almost quintessentially French, but you could do it in a modern translation.... anyway, a mirror will give a burst of light into the room..it looks dark in the interior...you could create a really nice lighting affect using the mirror.

Whatever you do, dear god move the painting. It's very charming but it competes now and will compete more afterwards...what's over the couch? maybe put it above there and then it would be relected nicely in the mirror...

or you could just ignore these ramblings. good luck!


Apartment Therapy Los Angeles | Good Questions: Updating This Fireplace?
1/8/08 09:30 AM

Thank you! Amazing! I've never won anything before. So sorry I couldn't be there in NYC.

I'd like to thank the "Academy"--apartment therapy team, judges and DWR, as well as all the rest of you out there.

To my fans, I say thank you for the good vibes and support and... excellent taste!

[To my detractors, I say, nothing. I ice you out cruelly and ignore you in my inflated, wicked glory -- despite the fact that yes, it’s true I cannot hold a camera to save my life and yes, of course the other entries were fantastic!]

Congrats to all the other winners -- formidable adversaries all, and people with great eyes and much can-do. I was definitely sweating this. [Ron, I look forward to seeing your new show ‘Lamp Tramp’ on Bravo. Someone sign this man to a deal!]

Thank you so much to everyone who weighed in and also special thanks to Parisian grande dame France Faver, a woman now well into her 80s and onetime enemy of the 'smelly, drunk' Edith Piaf (her words, not mine) who gave me the black basalt Wedgwood collection in my current possession, and who, as a former couturiere (google her) and art and antiques dealer taught me everything I have ever learned about style and the art of living including the proper way to cut a steak, a woman who has befriended a girl from the Midwest whose mother she accidentally once met at a flea market fifteen years ago, and shown her what it takes to have an Eye, and a woman who assured me Roche Bobois would 'suffice' for my couch -- thank you for personally approving my own Cligancourt finds, and may you and your dog Moushka forever entertain me in your Parisian salon with stories of the good old days! Like a movie plot but actually real.

And now…I dedicate this award to all those of you out there who have lived in miserable, dark, dank, loud, lead paint-filled, walk-up, ill-conceived, crappy, miserable rented apartments belonging to yet another slumlord and populated with furniture from college or worse, high school....in New York or elsewhere...to those who have moved around year after year and have found themselves sobbing in Ikea when they realized that for the fifth year in a row they are buying the Very Same Spatula AGAIN (same Spatula, different Ikea)…

...those of you who have toiled for the Man for years with only a vague dream of home ownership on the horizon...

....may you too someday experience a small windfall (ie in my case some freelance work) that makes you so giddy with the glow of employment and a positive bank balance for once that you recklessly, ill-advisedly thrown it all into a down payment for your first teeny tiny micro apartment in the world's most overpriced real estate market...despite the chorus of friends and family who think you are insane...

and that you too decide to, say, gut this space to build a sleeping loft and other whizz bang features so that you can turn it into a place that's truly nice -- a small, really lovely place that's finally your own, rather than a bigger, more mediocre, place -- a place that you aren't embarrassed to bring your friends toddlers into [lest they encounter a varmint and contract something], a place that has the floors you yourself have picked out, a place with real furniture, a place that lives like a treehouse, a place that finally feels like home though far from Home, and a place that-- even when you are having the most horrendous of days --still manages to make you smile and feel proud – smug and self congratulatory even – a rare privilege in this urban world.

I'm just a girl from Milwaukee, living the dream in the Big Smoke. Thank you for the honor.

[sobs of happiness…London Urchin collapses and faints, quite rightly, on selfsame couch]


Small Cool 2007: The Winners!
5/18/07 12:02 PM

Thank you so much for the supportive comments...I am surely no videographer, but I've put my heart and soul into this place, so it means a lot to be able to share it with the world!!


East Semi-Finalist #4: London Urchin's Jewelry Box
5/17/07 03:06 PM

This is so fun...love the video...such a steady hand! It's like you shot it with a steadicam...

More importantly, great job on the space and congrats! Love the color of the wall behind the bed. Love it.


Southwest Semi-Finalist #1: Laura's Fresh Start Studio
5/15/07 09:54 AM

Congrats on an awesome place and a cool video.

This may be inappropriate, but I want to become close friends! (Especially if I can come to dinner sometime.)

Is that weird?

Anyway, good luck on the move...and as for leaving this place, look at at this way -- there's a new apartment to conquer! Don't rest on your laurels...

London Urchin


East Semi-Finalist #2: 42anderson's Love, Eat, Party
5/15/07 09:49 AM

Ron! Congratulations!

I have to say that your video is absolutely fab, and really fun and interesting to watch. I am truly impressed with what you've done to the place. You've got a great eye. You've also got a lot of heart, and that comes through in what you've done to the place. I hope you are hosting a party there to celebrate your achievements thus far.

Bravo,

London Urchin

(ps: thanks for the props!!)


East Semi-Finalist #1: Ron's Hotel "Sweet"
5/15/07 09:36 AM

Thanks for the kitchen comments..I have been waiting to post more about my apartment to see if I get into the finals.

[I didn't enter the kitchen contest because the prize was wine and it's too hard to cart it to London!]

If I make it to the next stage I will post more about this place...am crossing my fingers.


Open Thread #89
4/30/07 08:57 AM

ps: the counter pushes in completely to form a false wall...it's just extended in the photo to show that you can have extra counter space..all the white doors slide closed to hide everything away. just for claritication..i sense it's confusing..you need to see in motion!


#20 - London Urchin's Jewelry Box
4/20/07 02:00 PM

[Not sure if this is allowed, and may disqualify myself but then again these apartments are all so great I am not holding my breath...]

Thank you for all the nice comments, it's very affirming when you've risked it all to gut a studio in a foreign land...the carpenter will be also delighted since it's all about the carpentry...aka 'joinery'.

In response:

-apt is in "gritty" Bayswater, on edge of rather ridiculous Notting Hill...only gritty by comparison, in truth.

-rubber floor from dalsouple..wears/cleans excellently..this is dark grey

-table is Danish, Hans Wegner, found on ebay. ...four-legged chair version rather than tripod chairs which are less comfortable...take note if you are looking for this table on Ebay!!

-there is art above the sofa...Cusco school painting from 1600s of archangel with arquemada [for those who care]...bought at Paris flea market...could easily be fake but it's cool

-only three photos allowed, but on plans you can see aqua study, also in custom laminate, that serves as prison/office, with keyboard tray, shelves/drawers etc...

-mattress is on floor of loft but ceilings are high enough so as not to feel like coffin, and mattress is a hastens which i got at a mega floor sale so it all worked out in the end ... although one side is 'soft' and one 'medium' which is charming if strange when you roll over

-there are window shutters but i can't afford to renovate them yet...they have been painted over by decades of previous slum lords..right now heavy simple white linen curtains are hanging

-sofa is roche bobois, modular, dark grey linen, can sleep three if you lay out the cushions for visiting friends

-the little circle on top floor plan is a laundry chute into the hamper below in the 'laundry room'..yes, i am that lazy

- the pots are Cristel, the handles come off for easy storage and they are GREAT, highly recommended.

-also not pictured, the custom cat flap that goes into the utility closet downstairs..the litter box is in there so it doesn't intrude on the rest of the flat..they have a little hatch they crawl into...yes there are two cats living in this flat as well

Thanks again for all the nice words! Project of my life....how sad is that??

London Urchin

s: I'm American, not British...just average New York refugee who really wanted to be able to have a garbage disposal...


#20 - London Urchin's Jewelry Box
4/20/07 01:46 PM