Urban Design

Designing an Industrial Modern Los Angeles Loft

Peek inside a TV and film producer's 1,200-square-foot industrial modern loft in Los Angeles and steal his best design secrets.

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Man and Dog in Bed

Mark Taylor moved from New York, where he was born and raised, to the West Coast in 1995 for his first producing job. His first L.A. home was a 1920s bungalow that had been renovated by a friend who is trained as an architect and works as a production designer for film and TV. "The timing was impeccable because he was leaving town for three months to work on a film and asked me to housesit. It was incredibly small, but everything was so well thought out that it never felt cramped. Living in that space was inspiring because there was so much thought behind everything."

Living at the beach makes everyday life feel like a vacation, but the amount of time spent driving into Hollywood for work and a social life for someone used to riding subways, buses and taxis was unappealing. Mark notes: "The biggest difference between New York and Los Angeles, aside from the weather, is the car culture. In New York everyone carries a bag stuffed with umbrellas, books, water bottles and whatever else you'll need in the course of a day. But in L.A., your car is your purse." After three months of housesitting in Venice, he packed up and moved 18 miles east to an older Jewish neighborhood known as The Fairfax District, which was slowly being gentrified. "No matter where you live in L.A. there's a lot of driving, so I decided that I wanted to live as centrally as possible. Whether I'm going to the beach, the valley, downtown or the airport, it usually takes half an hour. Also this is one of the neighborhoods in L.A. with strong diversity. There are old people, hipsters, Hasidim, gays, families, Russian and Ethiopian immigrants, all living side by side. It's a bit of NYC on the West Coast!"

After a few years renting a one-bedroom in a historic 1936 courtyard building, Mark decided to look for a home of his own. "I spent a year looking at houses in the hills and then my office moved from Century City to Santa Monica. So I looked in Venice, but the area had become too expensive, and I didn't know how long I'd be working on that side of town. After seeing so many houses in so many neighborhoods, I realized I didn't want a house and all that comes with it. I was traveling a lot for work, so an apartment that I could simply lock up and walk away from for weeks at a time made more sense."

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