Joan Currie’s condo makeover
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Joan Currie’s condo makeover

Joan Currie’s condo makeover
Wanting a break from the predictable rhythms of her job at a grocery store, Joan Currie longed for a home that was vibrant, colorful and a little chaotic. She got it. With the help of a designer/builder friend, Currie revamped her 640-square-foot condominium with a look that rebels against textbook decorating. The result? “It makes people happy,” says Currie, shown here in her den, a.k.a. her “green room.” (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
Joan Currie’s condo makeover
The tiny entry way is defined by a utility hanger from Restoration Hardware. For a window treatment, opaque Plexiglas was cut with a router to create a polka dot pattern; it provides some privacy but still lets in light. The cutouts were placed on the inside of the door, left, which is lined with aluminum sheeting. The electronic sign scrolls the message, “Welcome to Joan’s. Feel free to make yourself at home.”
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 (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
Joan Currie’s condo makeover
The living room’s imagery includes the Statue of Liberty, Billie Holliday, Rosie the Riveter, Dale Evans and candy icon Mary See.
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 (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
Joan Currie’s condo makeover
Currie spotted an ottoman made of plastic-encased hay in an issue of Elle Decor. She ordered it by phone, but the piece was held up at the post office because it was thought to be contraband.
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 (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
Joan Currie’s condo makeover
The living room lamp is actually two pieces merged together: a Crate & Barrel light fixture attached to a vintage cork base.
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 (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
Joan Currie’s condo makeover
Well, it’s one way to recycle: Currie’s riff on the classic George Nelson sunburst clock uses 12 recycled juice bottles. The orange ceramic pendant lamp is from the 1950s.
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 (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
Joan Currie’s condo makeover
In her party corner: A martini-shaped neon sign from Big Lots rests in front of mirrored panels from IKEA.
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 (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
Joan Currie’s condo makeover
Dale Chihuly on the cheap: It may not be one of the renowned glass artist’s original works, but Currie’s vision just might be more entertaining. Inexpensive vases from Big Lots are attached to a metal pipe, which hides the lamp’s wiring.
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 (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
Joan Currie’s condo makeover
A pair of orange boots from the Out of the Closet thrift store in Venice adds a splash of color to the den. Currie installed them like a piece of Pop Art, placed in a custom shadow box with fluorescent tube lighting and a Plexiglas cover. “Those shoes have a history,” she says with a laugh. “I just know it.”
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 (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
Joan Currie’s condo makeover
Also in the den: two chairs from Levitz that got a colorful paint job.
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 (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
Joan Currie’s condo makeover
Currie fell in love with a postcard in Paris and later had it reproduced as the large-scale painting here. In the foreground: lunchboxes.
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 (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
Joan Currie’s condo makeover
Currie demolished the old kitchen and went for an industrial look. Some $99 steel cabinets from IKEA surround the inexpensive stainless steel sink from Surfas in Culver City. To accommodate her height, the 6-foot Currie raised the vintage O’Keefe & Merritt stove on castors.
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 (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
Joan Currie’s condo makeover
A red Craftsman mobile tool cart is used as a kitchen cabinet.
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 (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
Joan Currie’s condo makeover
Silver cars from Pottery Barn are parked on a hallway shelf.
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 (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
Joan Currie’s condo makeover
Currie calls her bedroom “Shabby Chic gone wild.” The mix includes chandeliers, antique mirrors, a bridal gown from the Salvation Army, her mother’s antique bed tray, hatboxes and tangerine silk pumps (size 6 1/2 AAA) that belonged to her grandmother. The dresser is from the sold-as-is clearance area of IKEA. The bedding? The Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic line from Target, of course.
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 (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
Joan Currie’s condo makeover
Flea market lamps paired with shades from Target line a room-length screen that hides Currie’s shoe collection.
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 (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
Joan Currie’s condo makeover
Currie says her bathroom is a “wayward home for all things ornate.” It’s filled with family heirlooms, gold mirrors, sconces, angels and custom frames used as decoration around the window and on the ceiling. The gold-leafed claw foot-tub once sat in her neighbor’s yard. The female statue holds a soap dish.
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 (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
Joan Currie’s condo makeover
A visual backdrop in the hallway: green pegboard with exactly 1,000 screws, and CDs resting on brackets found in the trash outside of a door display shop. For a glimpse inside more unusual and entertaining Southern California homes, check out our Homes of The Times gallery, which has new offerings every week.
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 (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
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