Never A Dull Moment, WE’RE MOVING!

Photo by Heidi Ryder

Photo by Heidi Ryder

I alluded to some major changes on the horizon for our family and I’m still reeling about all of it. Exciting, no doubt, but change is always a bit unsettling for me. And we are in the midst of a slew of it! I thought today would be a great day to start filling you in.

I guess the best place to start is at the beginning. It’s not secret to anyone that knows me that I’m a bit of a real estate junkie. I’m always looking and exploring and there are very few projects that I don’t get excited about. A couple of months ago I got a listing for a property in need of some major reworking and TLC, but it was situated on a beautiful piece of land in a really special pocket in Los Angeles. I snuck over without telling a soul (except my realtor) and was genuinely struck by the dream that I could help create for my family if this were to become our home. I immediately called Nick and he cruised by after his morning meetings. I’m POSITIVE he thought I was nuts, but this kind of emotional real estate ride is nothing new for me...so he indulged the vision I had as it came pouring out of me. I took this as a sign he might be up for the journey!

Riding that wave, I called my trusted construction and design experts and we visited the property about 6 times to ensure we could create the dream home that I saw so clearly. I estimated the project would take a little over a year. So selling our current home (THAT WE LOVE SO MUCH) wasn’t something we were even thinking of until we got closer to the completion of the property. That was until I got a call from my real estate agent telling me about a potential buyer that she was sure would love our home the way we did. Not thinking much of it, I let her come by for a look...three days later we were in escrow!

Trust me when I tell you that there were many nights I woke up in a cold sweat wanting to pull out of the deal. One curious stop at a property in a neighborhood I have always loved put into motion a MASSIVE change for my family. Sure we have lived in different cities during baseball season or rented charming homes in places I have been shooting on location, but this felt very different. We had just settled into our dream home in Hancock Park and began immersing ourselves in the lovely community surrounding it. And suddenly we were on the move and STILL NOT EVEN IN ESCROW on the new property! Am I nuts??? Wait...don’t answer that!

I will say that I have never been more thankful for my husband that truly meant it when he promised to always be along for the ride. He was/is my rock. And as we hunted for a great rental, he dried a lot of tears. Finally, we found ourselves walking into a quaint Paul Williams home and we knew this would be the perfect place to call home as we built our forever home.

For those of you who are architect junkies like me, Paul Williams, was and is a hugely renowned architect in Los Angeles. Born in 1894, he became an orphan at the age of four. He was raised by a close family friend that nurtured the idea he could be anything he dreamed of, but cautioned him that becoming an architect would be difficult for an African American man at that time. Paul wanted to design family homes and was told that his own people couldn’t afford his work and white people would never hire him. Not only did Paul buck that notion, he became hugely responsible for what glamorous Southern California living looked like to the world. His signature spiral staircase is a trademark to his work and he also was really the first to make indoor/outdoor living a thing. As if I wasn’t already a fan, Paul, privately designed St. Jude Hospital for his friend Danny Thomas free of charge!

So with what we thought would be our forever home sold, the relief and excitement of our special little rental in the hills, plans to build our dream home bubbling in our minds, and a few really exciting work projects on the horizon...it’s safe to say I have my plate full! I promise to share the journey with you all if you are interested in coming along for the ride. It will no doubt have its ups and downs, but The Happy Place started because I was eager to share what that meant for me. As we embark on our year anniversary (omg!), I can honestly say I didn’t think we would be in this spot, but here we are! Carving out and shaping The Happy Place for me and my family and hoping to inspire you all along the way!,

Xx

Jo