8 Questions With…
William Howard Studio!

000-PORTRAIT 1We are stoked to have had the opportunity to get to know William Howard from William Howard Studio. NELA is lucky to have his many talents and we are excited to share them with YOU!
Q. What inspired you to get involved in architecture and design?
A. I transitioned from Landscape Architecture.
Q. Who or what inspires you right now?
A. These days i am looking at the iconic California Case Study Houses from the 1950’s. So is everyone else I know, for the style, but I embrace the intent of the movement which is about good design being accessable to everyone. I believe that good architecture is about space making, and using affordable materials to achive great spaces and design is how I am working on residential projects.
Q. To you, what is the best “secret spot” in Los Angeles, and why?
A. It’s too secret.
Q. What’s your favorite L.A. Neighborhood?
A. I have a couple. Larchmont Villiage is one that comes to mind. The food is great, celebrity watching is greater and there is free parking by CVS. Also, Silverlake keeps changing too. Downtown is pretty awesome too although intimidating. Check out Bottega Louis at 7th and Grand then walk to LA LIVE to the west or to MOCA to the east.
Q. What is your past favorite project?
It’s a toss up between the work we did with SWORK COFFEE in Eagle Rock and the Craftsman Bungalow in Pasadena. Our office received a 2014 Historic Preservation Award from The City of Pasadena for our restoration work we did last year.
Q. What services does William Howard Studio provide?
A. Architectural Design, Landscape Design, Permits, Engineering and Construction Support.
Q. Do you have any exciting things/projects coming up?
A. We have an ambitious Mid-Century Modern project in Eagle Rock. A complete remodel will remove the ceiling and interior walls to create a spacious vaulted space and a more open floor plan. The project will feature exposed post-and-beam ceilings, globe lighting, hardwood finishes througout, a large kitchen, restored fireplace and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors. Were using SEMIHANDMADE for the kitchen cabinets. They use IKEA cabinet frames then offer some nice hardwood veneers for the doors and cabinets. We are also transplanting portions of the existing drought-tolerant landscaping.
Q. What makes William Howard Studio unique/special?
A. We take the client through the whole process from concept design through the end of construction. We also help with budgets, deadlines and selecting finishes which, in my experience can be the trickiest part of pulling off a great design.
William, it was such a pleasure getting to know you better! We are a big fan of you and your work, and we look forward to keeping ACME readers updated with your future projects!
If you are interested in learning more about William Howard Studio and their services, visit www.williamhowardstudio.com

8 Questions With: Gift of Garb!


We are beyond stoked that Gift of Garb is open in Eagle Rock! This fab designer resale store specializes in reselling women’s designer clothing, shoes and accessories. They also offer closet clean-outs and organizing to assist you in de-cluttering (we might need to take them up on this before we step into Fall). We were honored to talk to the owner, Abby McLucas, and feature Gift of Garb on our NELA favorites interview blog!

1. What is the concept behind Gift of Garb and what services do you offer? 

We started as an e-commerce shop about a year and a half ago. I wanted to take riff raff out of the consignment market by offering an across the board curated selection of current names such as Alexander Wang, Phillip Lim, Chanel and DVF.

2. Who or what inspires you right now?

Other female friends that took the risk and opened up their boutiques this summer on the east side too– Mixed Business, Collection, and Top Knot Vintage.


3. To you, what is the best “secret spot” in Los Angeles and why?

It’s not really a secret anymore, but I love Monte 52 for their deli subs and the fact that there’s never a line.

4. What is your favorite LA neighborhood?

My “one day” plan involves either Mount Washington or Topanga Canyon.

5. Who are some of your favorite designers?

I love COS and I’m never mad at a Zara steal, but if I’m going to splurge it would be on Sandro, Helmut Lang, and IRO.

6. What makes Gift of Garb unique? 

I think the concept is unique to the East side considering there aren’t many shops to find the brands we carry, let alone at 50–80% off the original price. I’m lucky to have clients with insane closets that have taken extremely good care of their pieces (with over half never being worn to begin with). I also feel like most resale shops cater to brand name alone and possibly favor an older demographic, so I think our customers are into the thought we put into the selection we carry.


7. What is your favorite item currently for sale in your store? 

Alexander Wang Rocco bag– Classic cool girl bag that never goes out of style.

8. What inspired you to open up Gift of Garb? 

My mom inadvertently inspired the business. I would help her weed through her closet seasonally and saw that there was real money in this, so I began approaching her circle of friends who all had great taste and with word of mouth it really took off.


Thank you Abby and Gift of Garb!!!


WHERE: 1615 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock, CA 90041

WHEN: Tuesday through Sunday, 11AM-7PM

PHONE: 310.909.2291



8 Questions With…

Screen shot 2014-03-07 at 1.36.51 PMWe are thrilled to share our interview with our clients (generally amazing architects/designers) Undisclosable with ACME readers! 


On the one hand we’d grown a bit tired of what felt like the tyranny (or curse) of the starchitect: buildings predominantly as expressions of the architect’s brand, more so than an embodiment of the client’s sensibility/brand. Ultimately, we are a service industry. Our purpose is to articulate and concretize the desires of our client into the “built environment” through the lens of our expertise. Certainly our work has common threads running through it particularly as it relates to quality, detailing and experiential sensitivity, but our goal is to push our client’s agenda.1D0BywjqdUw9ksS8sH791SQCvVHdOJ1dC0yVxTdEkE0,EBg9r4zaEJKOqIH-zG5P-HWH4nTNC6_4omzFygR9IL8

Secondly, in the office, we often discuss the origin of design concepts and find word-based articulation of such, a verbalization of that “ah-ha” moment, extraordinarily difficult to identify/disclose. Intuition is a powerful design force, allowing for the connection and collation of impossibly large amounts of information. Relevance lies in direct experience.


Thirdly, we are involved with projects, the particulars of which we are legally bound from disclosing (literally, undisclosable!). There are also projects within which we operate as ghost designer, a condition which necessitates zero public disclosure of our presence/influence. At the time of our formation, inspiration for our name was taken from a truly invigorating project that we could not tell anyone about due to non disclosure agreements. The client was (and remains) brilliant, generous and truly inspirational.


Our clients first and foremost. We have had the good fortune of producing work for rare and idea catalyzing experts in their respective fields. Each project has been unique and eye-openingly educational.


We also look to industries adjacent to architecture for inspiration, such as music, fashion and film. We find the overlaps between these to be rich arenas. In 2011 we collaborated on a large scale installation art piece for The Creators Project who enabled a fantastic collaboration between film director Jonathan Glazer, UK band Spiritualized, UK based audio visual studio One of Us and ourselves to produce an immersive experiential physical manifestation of the song Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space. The piece was first showcased at Coachella 2011 and later that year in New York for a limited two week engagement. The resonance of that piece is one of the most fragile and powerful projects with which we have ever been involved.




Currently, to us, the best secret spot is our backyard, the Garden of Edenhurst in Atwater Village, which we designed and built as our wedding reception venue and for continued entertaining and enjoyment of California’s enviable weather. It is within walking distance of a very beautiful, tranquil, walkable, wildlife laden stretch of the L.A. River.

We also thoroughly enjoy the Largo at the Coronet. The venue’s intimate atmosphere makes it feel like a secret. We are huge fans of stand up comedy and have seen some tremendous performances there: Louis CK, Patton Oswalt, Sarah Silverman, Zach Galifianakis, Janeane Garofalo, as well as great music performances like Aimee Mann and Andrew Bird.


We love Atwater Village where we’ve resided since 2008. It is a very pedestrian friendly area with beautiful mature trees at the base of Griffith Park. There are lovely restaurants, great coffee and pastries, a healthy selection of bars, neighborly (community), ethnically and generationally diverse, well-vegetated, river adjacent, and logistically well positioned for accessing the rest of LA. Our offices are located in the Arts District, and we are absolutely loving it there. There is a rich concentration of creatives, development capital and consequent growth. It is also quite walkable, close to SCI_Arc and a fantastic urban counterpoint to tranquil Atwater Village.


First and foremost, meaningful interaction with good people. Family, good friends, our beloved animals (Linus and Lulu our goldens and Winston our gray tuxedo cat). A job well done, efficiently produced, aesthetically potent, programmatically enlivening that is both profitable and beyond the expectations of the client. The success of our clients and friends. Good food and libations. Good music. Each other.


We are attracted to architects and designers who on the one hand combat the ephemerality of trend, people who are in it for the long haul, and yet on the other hand produce work that is of our time, that relishes our time. As far as tried and true are concerned: Herzog and DeMeuron, Enrique Miralles, Toyo Ito, Kazuyo Sejima. As far as newer folks go, we absolutely love Cerre’s work in fashion.



Our team. Our clients. Our approach. Our approachability.


Definitely. We are pretty deep in the design of a ground up single family home in the Pacific Palisades that we are very excited about. We also have a few new LA hospitality projects on the horizon that are positioned to be extraordinary. We recently finished up Bucato in Culver City where Chef Evan Funke serves up the truly best pasta in Los Angeles.


How To Shop At Flea Markets:
Tips From bettershelter’s Steve Jones


bettershelter homes are known for their bohemian coastal chic styling. The man behind that styling has an addiction to flea markets, and he took a moment to tell us how to work it at the flea!

1. Do you have any tips on how to bargain at flea markets?

I think the best tip is to BE NICE. A smile goes a long way! Remember this is how a lot of these people make their money and to be respectful of that. Do your homework and offer a price that does not insult the vendor. Everyone wins.

2. What is your favorite flea market?

I love the Rose Bowl! Even with the internet and eBay, etc. it is amazing what people STILL pull out of Rose Bowl! The granddaddy of them all for sure.



(image via privatelosangelestours.com)

3. Do you have any flea market shopping techniques?

I make a list on my phone of what items I am looking for and then review that list every 20 minutes or so to keep me on track. It is VERY easy to get distracted! I usually drag a cart around with me and I pick stuff up as I buy it, then I don’t have to run around at the end trying to find all my purchases. For larger purchases I have a van to haul stuff back. Bring food. The food at the flea is not very good.

flea 1

4. What are you usually looking out for when you are browsing?

I am constantly looking for architectural salvage stuff; windows, hardware, anything to add to the homes that will give it charm and authenticity. A lot of our staging furniture comes from the fleas as well. I also have been known to pick up a few personal things for myself as well, my crammed home is evidence of that. Did I mention watches? I have a few of them too.

5. Are there any current popular flea market items/trends?

The whole steampunk industrial trend still pretty strong! After you go to the fleas for a while you will see that different vendors have specific points of view; I have lots of favorites who I can depend on to deliver the goods! My eye is so trained now that I only see what I want to see and I edit everything else out of my brain, it can be overwhelming the first few times.

flea 3

6. What should we watch out for when buying from flea markets?

Sometimes vendors are selling reproductions; it is OK to ask and typically they will tell you. With furniture you should sit on it and wiggle it slightly to make sure it is structurally sound. Look for hairline cracks on pottery. Other than that, have fun and enjoy the hunt! I certainly do!


(image via baskmagazine.com)

LA Area Flea Markets:

Rose Bowl Flea Market: 2nd Sunday of every month.

Long Beach Antique Market: 3rd Sunday of every month.

Melrose Trading Post: Every Sunday, rain or shine.

The Roadium Open Air Market: Open 7 days a week.

The Ventura Flea Market: Check schedule for dates.