Bohemian Modern-Living in Silver Lake

Years ago, I got a phone call from a family member who’d moved to an exciting neighborhood with steep winding roads like rollercoaster hills. It climbed and plunged, with a scenic hill top reservoir and clinging trees, and was an area that was full of beautiful mid century and newer designed homes by many well known modernist architects. Though not a rich area with mansions and gated palaces, it resembled hills and basins of design and thought, all nestled amongst the green valleys and scenic views.
It only took me one visit to fall in love with the small part of Los Angeles that is called Silver Lake. We marveled at the houses and shops, the modern meeting the traditional. It was a contrasting area that didn’t clash, an area that was rich in color and visual artistic history.
Until now, there hadn’t been anything published that really brought the whole Silver Lake experience into a cohesive package. But with renowned modernist architect Barbara Bestor’s book, Bohemian Modern, Living in Silver Lake, the highlights and tales of a colorful past and a burgeoning future are told and shown in a well presented and beautifully illustrated book, with drawings by well known artist Geoff McFetridge, who weaves the book together with illustrations that complement the overall richness of photography and design throughout.
As the Bohemian Modern title suggests, Silver Lake’s roots were laid by the artistic, fringe and ethnic groups that fled the more conservative neighborhoods of Los Angeles, to be amongst like-minded people, laying the groundwork for the area that would one day be considered ultra-chic and a desired destination.
True to the neighborhood’s roots and ideals, the houses, designers and stores that are featured in Bohemian Modern (each with their own individual write up) are dedicated to complimenting the areas history, and to its endless artistic future through stunning design and basic uncomplicated usability.
Bohemian Modern is more than a coffee table book; it is a case study into the preservation an area’s history, living amongst the naturally occurring elements of a neighborhood of changing topography, and an overall guide to smart and well-designed living.

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