I have had the pleasure of getting to work with Bridgid Coulter Design on a few projects and I always find her design ideas fresh with an eye for detail.
The following are images put together from our recent project in Venice Beach CA. I also had the great pleasure of interviewing her about it as well.
to view more of Annie’s work visit her tumblr site
Thank you for taking the time to interview with me for avajane.com It has been such a pleasure working with you and seeing your vision come to life.
1. I have worked with you on a few design projects in the Los Angeles area, is there something that draws you to a specific site that you hope to see a positive change in. How do you first encounter a space and then visualize its potential.
Bridgid Coulter: When I started looking for a space I was curious to see what was out there. I like the Venice area and I wanted something that would be manageable, something that did not have attention or care that I could bring up to be. When i saw the bungalow that was a rental for a decade and it was awkwardly configured it was built 50 years ago and it was very different from how people live in their houses now. I was intrigued by the possibility of taking this very traditional micro bungalow and making it into a modern family home. The lot was smaller then I had hoped for, but I saw it had a lot of potential and I wanted to explore what I could do to the space When I first encountered the space I didn’t know I would go up to a second story I liked the challenge of how do I deal with this 25 foot wide lot and how do I make a home that feels spacious and lofty
avajane: I really like this concept of Modern Traditional Living that you talk about
Bridgid Coulter: Yes I like that too. I don’t know why I am drawn to these little bungalows, I really like them but then I convert them to something so different. It is important to me that the essence of the project still have an echo of that original structure and to bring it up to todays standards
avajane: You create environments for living. When selecting materials for construction and renovation do you feel a commitment to environmental impact? For instance paint selections, reclaiming wood, using natural materials. Do you feel a sensitivity to products and their place in the world around?
Bridgid Coulter: That is really important to me. I don’t want to sacrifice it feeling or looking good I don’t think you have to. There are so many products that are concerned for and respectful to the environment, so I try to choose them and assemble them in a way that is ascthetically satisfying, but still recycle, reuse or with as few chemicals as possible. Then I will use it in a color palette that is soothing to me and essentially the client. I also like to be brave and just really go with who is the modern Venice Resident. Who would live in this house, who would want to walk through this space, and what materials would be used to make it feel warm Having a warmth and a homeyness to a modern product is important to me so using Corten siding is important to me because I considered it a living finish where it is constantly reacting to the environment and the colors get better with age (it kind of drips I like to embrace it) it feels very artistic to me and then placing it in contrast with a smooth traditional stucco a finish that has been used for centuries in building. Taking a very old use of a material like stucco/plaster and then using Corten that isn’t new, but I am really interested by architects that are using it and I am inspired by people who use it as an exterior material.
It is very interesting to me to think about what is green, what is eco, for instance I used a wide European Oak Floor and I consider this to be sustainable because this material is so beautiful that the wood would live with this house. I can’t understand why someone would ever pull that out. It is such a beautiful material. If the house lives 100 years and the floor stays then that is the most sustainable material I can find for that longevity. Or it could get pulled out and be used for furniture or exterior finishes. That material, since it is a natural pure real wood it can be reused, it would never have to be down cycled so that was a fun way to reunderstand materials and when I am designing or furnishing things I also find the highest quality because I know that can be handed down or reused It will be worth passing on.
avajane: From the work you do locally in regards to design, do you also contribute globally to any projects that help aid the world and create positive change?
Bridgid Coulter: I’ve done things in the past but I am not currently involved in any global projects at the moment . I am mostly doing things through out the US
avajane: I know you have been very involved in Africa in the past maybe we can discuss this in a different interview.
avajane: Is there one small way people can contribute to positive change in their home that may allow them to see their immediate connection to the environment around them. Maybe something that they are unaware of? (example: toxins in paint, materials, how objects are placed)
Bridgid Coulter: I think there are a lot of small ways you can do it that add up to a big impact. Kind of like I was talking about before for choosing finished furniture. Choosing things that are classic and refurbishing them, they are not coming from a factory, its something that is maybe 20 or 50 or even 100 years old it has a lot of value and use that is a huge impact to me Paint is important for breathing, I always specify 0 CFC paint. Not all painters are excited about this because it can be a little different to work with, but it can become any color and your not breathing in these chemicals that last for up to 15 months or more. I personally just get a head ache and feel really bad around freshly painted rooms. If you are doing a new paint project really taking care to using materials that are as minimal or without CFC as possible. Another interesting thing if you are changing a surface or adding paneling or choosing light fixtures.
When we did this project we were starting fresh so were able to use all LED lighting Lighting has gotten so much better and they use such a small fraction of what an incandescent bulb uses that that is a huge impact Even if you have existing fixtures there is a way to convert them to use more energy effecient types of fixtures, and that is a way to make a huge energy impact not only in keeping your bill down, but you will be using less impact on the energy companies.
Thank you for your time Bridgid!!
cover photo from Lonny Magazine shoot
to view more of Annie’s work visit her tumblr site
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