lockers are used as a dresser are reflected in the mirrors on
the door in the Eagle Rock/Highland Park home of Mark and
Melinda Fay, in Los Angeles, March 10, 2013.
ANGELES — When Mark Fay heard that the F.P. Fay Building was about
to be demolished, the "True Blood" sound engineer drove to
downtown Los Angeles to see the building named for his
great-grandfather. That day, Easter Sunday, he discovered the building
had already been knocked down, with little left but some ironwork and
Fay Building signage he found on a piece of marble.
years and one trip to the welder later, the silver F-A-Y lettering now
stands out against a living room wall with matte black chalkboard
paint, hung above a treasured turntable. In the Eagle Rock home where
Mark and Melinda live with their two boys, Boon and Haskell, the
rescued sign represents not only a piece of salvaged family history
but also the decorating mix of the moment: a playful blend of vintage
great nostalgia for things and an appreciation for vintage," said
Melinda, a psychotherapist who specializes in art therapy. "I
love midcentury, but I believe in comfort. I like to mix it up."
The heirlooms go
beyond inherited pieces (those Emmy Awards on the shelf belonged to
Mark’s father, Sheldon, a cameraman). For regulars at the Rose Bowl
and Pasadena City College flea markets and aficionados of Etsy and
EBay, the couple has amassed their possessions through a combination
of kismet and determination.
Case in point:
After his grandparents’ house in the Hollywood Hills was demolished,
Mark jumped the fence and found "The Archer," a large tile
originally mounted outside the pool house. He snagged it from the junk
pile and hung it on the exterior of the brick fireplace at their Eagle
Rock, Calif., house. "The Archer" now oversees his children
at play, just as it did when he was a child.
surplus of artworks, including outsider art and thrift store finds,
chronicles the couple’s life together. In the master bedroom hangs a
painting by street artist Becca that Mark bought to woo Melinda. Over
the couch in the family room, a snake is rendered on a vintage map by
Lynn Hanson. "Our house is right on the bottom above the artist’s
signature," Melinda said.
The artwork is
as diverse as the home’s decor. Melinda, who is launching a gallery
show May 11 at Curve Line Space in Eagle Rock, called it "such an
emotional and personal thing." But the couple also has had to be
pragmatic, adapting the rooms of the 1948 home to accommodate their
During the last
two years, the couple worked with South Pasadena, Calif., interior
decorator Tamara Kaye-Honey to add layers of texture and color and to
create separate gathering places inside and out. What used to be a
large, difficult-to-arrange living room has been divided into a
central area with leather couch, a more intimate nook by the fireplace
and a station for spinning LPs. The family room for kids inside is
balanced with a "chill space" for grown-ups outside.
creating a space for my kids where they can be free and have
memories," Melinda said. "As a therapist, I think I wanted
to create intimacy by establishing both grown-up spaces and kid
furnishings are paired with budget finds. In that fireside nook, an
antique settee covered in floral Schumacher fabric sits alongside
chartreuse chairs from a thrift store. A dining table — bought from
Goodwill and refinished — is surrounded by classic chairs from
Midcentury L.A. And in a surprising move, decorator Honey chose a
patterned black Christian Lacroix wallpaper as a backdrop for a
Salvation Army dresser, refinished using a bleached pickling process.
Adding to the
sentimentality that permeates the home is a ceramic whippet statue,
once belonging to Melinda’s aunt. Placed next to the fireplace, it
is one of the first things you see as you enter the house.
greeted me when I went to her house," Melinda said.
"Nostalgia plays a big role in both of our lives and our memories
growing up with the things that surrounded us. We have tried to infuse
those elements into our home and imprint those memories onto the next