• Inside my Life
  • September 8, 2014



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    It was not supposed to work out like this.

    If you followed my blog last year,  we were moving to LA and were going to buy an ugly house to renovate…remember this video?
    Well I found a house before we even moved here. The day I was leaving a  bid on it Henry, my awesome broker, went to meet with the listing agent at the house to make a deal.  What we hadn’t anticipated was a few blocks away a crazy mad man with a gun started wildly shooting on the street and killed several few people in what is now known as the Santa Monica shooting.
    As Henry pulled in to the driveway, a swat team moved in and cordoned off the neighborhood with helicopters hovering so loud overhead that Henry couldn’t hear a thing the agent said.

    Needless to say. I didn’t buy it. I got scared.

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    I was moving out of the super safe Virginia country side and in to what now felt like a very dangerous neighborhood.  It made me struggle with my decision to move to LA, was I making a mistake?  How could I raise a child there?

    But I had to stay on track. Down to 7 days before moving trucks were showing up I found a cute rental close to Luke’s school and rented it without seeing it.

    Because surely I would just be there while renovating another house.

    Fast forward 12 months, (where did time go??) we are still here. Thankfully the house is so sweet and the landlord awesome.

    With the crazy LA real estate boom with bidding wars and no inventory, limited to a certain geographic area – its been a struggle. All the advice I got was if your kid goes to school west of the 405 live west of the 405, or your life will be hell.

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    It doesn’t always look like this, but it’s “carmageddon” at the wrong time of the day and crossing from east to west or vice versa can be trying at least.

    What I really wanted to find a house by the ocean for a great price that was the perfect makeover project. It had to be close enough to still drive Luke to school.

    At Christmas we found a sweet little place in east Malibu, but the owners countered way above asking, and that was that.

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    We bid on another cute Spanish bungalow in Santa Monica since we love our neighborhood, now smarter, we left an offer well over asking.

    12 bids had come in. And 6 bids were higher than ours, and all cash.

    Yes. ANNOYING, and INSANE.

    In the meanwhile I feel like I’ve seen every  house in LA that could use a makeover.

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    Kind of thought about getting my hands on this one above…I could just see how pretty it could be.

    I love ugly ducklings.

    Thankfully my broker Henry is awesome, and my dear friend Julie has been house hunting with me. We honestly have had such a blast that we’ve even developed some TV scripts around it.
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    This is Julie and Henry at a house in Sherman Oaks.

    We have fun checking the places out. Tons of makeover ideas are being thrown around.

    We’re in LA,  the town of entertainment after all, and you never know whose house it is your are trampling through on a Sunday.

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    In this case not sure you remember them ( I never saw them), but the were the  “plate spinners” on the Johnny Carson show.

    In the spring I was hunting where the ocean meets the mountains, ever the nature romantic.

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    Scott a real estate investor came along and gave his advice. He rescued me earlier from buying a wildly eccentric “castle” type place in Encino, when my ideas were becoming crazy, or perhaps the word is desperate?

    Well in the meantime we have enjoyed our life in Santa Monica.

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    The beach a few blocks away.

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    Doing the Santa Monica steps in the evenings.

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    Walking to the neighborhood  grocery store on Montana avenue.

    But I think, the word is I THINK this long hunt might, and let me say double MIGHT, have come to an end.

    This week could be a big week, and if faith has something do do with it it might be a really BIG week where even hard choices have to be made. I don’t mean to sound cryptic and not give details, but I don’t want to jinx anything, after this long struggle.

    Just PLEASE keep your fingers crossed! I will share as soon as I know.

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  • July 17, 2014



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    I hope you had a good week.

    We are enjoying every minute over here and are not ready to leave.

    Here are some pictures from our week.

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    Amusing art from lots of vintage shopping.

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    Monogram carpet-Lavender.

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    The old stone bridge in the town I grew up in close by Karlstad. The main who built this beautiful old bridge committed suicide before it was used in fear it wouldn’t last. If he had only known it’s still being used 200 years later.

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    Only took a year to meet with the electrician to switch the American lamp cords…

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    The daily pick up soccer games with the kids who  live in the village.

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    The boys of Torp village. Forget phones, texting, here you knock on the door and get playmates.

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    My neighbor’s horse.

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    My Yellow Deco bedding launching next week with a Swedish vintage pillow that says “Happiness is to love you”.

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    The TV room is now pink.

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    Downtown Karlstad – enjoying a walk in the town I grew up in.

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    And the endlessly light summer nights.

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  • June 25, 2014



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    This week could not have come soon enough.   It’s my favorite time of the year when we get to head back home to Sweden for the summer.  I work from there for a big part of it, and get to spend quality time with my family on our farm in the middle of nowhere. And Luke gets a chance to experience being “Swedish”.

    On our way there we stopped over for a whirlwind visit to our former home town, DC. It’s been ten months since we moved to LA, boy does time fly! The intense and fun welcome and catching up with some of our beloved DC friends made me realize we’ve been gone far longer than I thought.

    And seeing the size of Luke’s friends….well then you know time has passed.

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    Luke with his old buddy Diego. Hard to believe these tall dudes have only just turned 13!!

    Is it only me or are kids HUGE these days?

    While the visit was a lot of fun, it was also very difficult. This was the first visit back since we moved to LA, and DC is a reminder of Luke’s dad who passed away two years ago from brain cancer.

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    The two dogs (Butterball and Midnight) Luke had at his dad’s house are still living with the caretaker there. We made the difficult decision that they would stay with her, since she took care of them every day when his dad was sick. And we already have two rescue dogs and a cat. They have a great life staying there in the country side with her (who loves them dearly), where they can run around on several acres of land.  And Luke can visit them whenever he wants to.

    But it was bittersweet.

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    I got to spend time with my good buddies ( also design clients).  We hiked and toured some land one of them recently purchased and will build a new home on.

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    We stayed at my dear friend Patty’s house. Her home was the very first house outside of my own I ever designed. A classic English/American look. This is her dining room.  I design mostly modern homes these days, but classic interiors are timeless.  We’ll do chair upholstery updates, but this room is still hanging in there many years later!

    After DC we flew in to NY to of course stay with Dan.

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    New York from Dan’s apartment on the 22nd floor.

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    Seriously is there really a place cooler than Manhattan?

    I’m not so sure.

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    Central Park is a magical oasis right among the high rises.

    But the best for last.

    I live for this view below.

    I love waking up after an overnight flight and look out the plane window as we land in Stockholm. And now Luke shares that same joy with me. Down below is a little green fairly tale country filled with lakes and rivers….

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    After we land, I have the best latte at the airport Seven 11. Yes people Seven 11. You would be shocked to know how fancy that chain is over here, so is Mc Donalds!

    After the 8 hour plane ride from NYC,  we take a 5 hour bus ride.

    But it’s so worth it when we arrive here…

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    Sooo peaceful, and the best place ever to SLEEP!

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    The rain has not stopped for three days.

    But we absolutely love the 55 degree weather, rain, and family dinners by a crackling fire.

    Think we’ll stay a while.

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    (P.S. To our DC friends we didn’t get to see. We missed seeing you and we’ll be back very soon!)

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  • June 10, 2014



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    Do you love or hate Instagram?

    When life gets super busy, parenting, working, meetings, doctors appointments, sports games, graduations, staying fit, whatever it is that makes life so stressful when you’re a “grown up” — it’s so easy to just sprint through your days, and not take in what’s around you.

    You just go, go go.

    SO THANK GOD FOR INSTAGRAM!

    While many have a love hate relation ship with Instagram, it has made me take in my surroundings in a way I didn’t before (of course the move to California helped…) I’m one of those annoying people, who will be driving down the street and suddenly see a fantastic tree, and pull over to take a picture because -IT’S JUST THAT INSTAGRAM MOMENT !!  It drives Luke nuts, and I’m now forbidden to share his picture without permission. And although I REALLY HATE  wasting time picking out just the perfect instagram filter for my picture I really appreciate that it has made me see beauty in everyday things.

    I really SEE the beauty around me.  ( Too old for the selfie thing..)

    Whether I’m…

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    …biking to the park to work out, and see this charming house entrance.  I have to stop and take a pic. That bougainvillaea covered front door is insane!

    Or….

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    ….if I walk the dogs and see this stunning Jacaranda tree with the most amazing purple that stops me in my tracks.

    I just need to share it!

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    Or I if I see this adorable Spanish bungalow with Kobalt blue windows in Santa Monica.

    It needs to be on Instagram!

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    Sweating at the top of the famed Santa Monica stairs, where you go up and down 200 or some steps to try to stay fit with the LA crowd,  you are greeted by rows of Aloe vera plants and bougainvillaea.  So pretty!

    So my workout time gets minimized because it’s just an Instagram moment…and damn what filter makes the flowers look the best?

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    My annoying hunt for a home is documented. Because if the house is in an undesirable area, over our budget or just plain unpractical. there is always a magical moment from a back yard with a very Hollywood view!

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    With the fantasy element  of living on a cliff which is something I don’t want to do in an earth quake prone state.

    But I need a picture!

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    Going to meetings in Beverly Hills who can resist photographing these old charming apartment buildings? Seriously all that is missing is Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart sitting on that balcony.

    That red door, really I need to Instagram it.

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    Driving down a palm tree lined street in I have to pull over because these palm trees are just SO COOL.

    I love palm tress, I’m a palm tree addict. Admit it.

    If I was more selfish I would post Palm tree pictures every day, but I spare my friends there.

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    Passing a church in Brentwood and loving how it looks.

    Yep Instagram maybe everything is just prettier on Instagram?

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    Or capturing that magic moment when we found the house of my dreams over looking the Pacific with a swing hanging from a magical old Coral Tree.

    Sadly we could not buy it… I was heart broken, but you know what….I could Instagram it!

    So of course you can find me there JILLSORENSEN@INSTAGRAM

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    P.S.  (Apologies for tons of previous comments being deleted by faulty plug in!!! It should be fixed now as I always love to hear from you.)

     

     

     

     

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