Monday, April 30, 2012

SHOP WATCH: RELAXED ELEGANCE REIGNS SUPREME AT BRENDA ANTIN IN LOS ANGELES! (AND HOW I RAN INTO SANDRA BULLOCK THERE)

All photos in this post by Coco of COCOCOZY
Brenda Antin store in Los Angeles with a reclaimed wood bench with a large clock sitting on it, zebra skin rug, a wood horse, windows

This story ends with me running out of a store after meeting Sandra Bullock and her son Louis this weekend...just so you know.

As usual, I'll make a short story very long...so if you can stand it, read along...if not, just look at the pretty pictures and cut to the end...

The story started on Friday night as I was driving home from work but decided to take a detour onto Beverly Blvd to look for possible office space (that's a whole other story) for COCOCOZY. 

As I was stuck in a crawl of Friday afternoon traffic, I passed by the gorgeous home furnishings shop named Brenda Antin.  "OOOOOH", I thought to myself, "Must remember to stop in again to that Brenda Antin store and take some photos tomorrow...love that store but I've only been in once."

That was Friday.

Saturday morning I woke up and I thought..."I must get my eyebrows done". (There's this co-worker at my day job that I can tell keeps looking at my eyebrows as if to say "you need an eyebrow wax...desperately").  I might have thought a few other things too but sometimes I just keep it simple. Eyebrows. Eyebrows. Eyebrows.

After a midday walk down and up Runyon Canyon, a stop off at Starbucks for tea with steamed soy milk, a call to the washing machine repair guy, I donned my afternoon errand running outfit and hit the road...headed off to get my brows done at Damone Roberts in Beverly Hills (have been going to Damone for probably over 10 years now).

On the way down the hill from my little tiny cottage in the Hollywood Hills, I had another thought...besides the eyebrow wax.  I remembered that I was going to stop by that Brenda Antin shop on Beverly and pop in with my camera to take some photos.

I spotted the Brenda Antin store but twirled around the block several times to find a parking space.  Why walk one inch if you don't have to...right? (I am a true L.A. native)  Then I saw some showroom space on Martel and Beverly and tried calling and looking up how much it was...remember I am not at all strategically looking for office space for COCOCOZY...then my phone died temporarily. Once the phone was back up, I realized I was getting closer to my brow wax appointment time but I wasn't leaving that block until I went into Brenda Antin.  Just as I made the brave decision to park a few blocks away and walk (oy...who does that?), a space right in front of Brenda Antin opened up. Score!  My luck (for once).

When I walked into Brenda Antin, a bright, beautiful shop with a collection of important well curated antiques, vintage and original furniture, I heard the clinking of glasses and saw a few people standing around.  I pulled out my camera and asked the man in the back if I could take a few photos.  He said, "No photos allowed but I can email you some tear sheets".  Uh oh.  I have this thing that comes over me when I see beautiful home furnishings or decor...I start to twitch and I must take photos.  Rules are rules though so I just gave the man my email address and name and decided to still look around the gorgeous store filled with wonderful furniture and accessories.

I got around the back and noticed there was a whole set up for a party but I kind of ignored it again and continued my browse - a true furniture geek.

Then all of a sudden I heard a woman's voice with a British accent saying "Coco? Coco? Where are you Coco?  Coco?"  I raised my hand and said "Here I am".  As it turns out the lady was Brenda Antin herself. 

I walked over to Brenda and said, "I love your store.  I have this blog..."  Brenda cut me off and said in a lovely British accent, "I know who you are...I don't like photos being taken here...but...I can tell, you seem like a nice person, so go ahead take some photos.  We're having a party here today.  We're normally not opened on Saturdays you know." 

Brenda was immediately warm and welcoming.  She shuffled me around the store and then took me around back to see her extensive and impressive vintage textiles collection and then took me back out front and then this where the story takes a turn into a show business type Hollywood story...

People mingling inside Brenda Antin
Inside the Brenda Antin store in Los Angeles this weekend. (above)

More people started to come for the party. Brenda and I were still chatting and all of a sudden she was introducing me to her daughter Robin. After Robin walked away, Brenda said to me, "Did you recognize my daughter Robin? She founded the Pussycat Dolls". Ah yes. I did recognize Robin Antin, founder of the Pussycat Dolls brand.   I didn't know she was related to this furniture store I've been wandering by for years, but yes I know who she is...oh...wow. Where am I? Then Brenda said in her cheerful voice, "There's my son over there...Jonathan".   Jonathan waved at us from across the room.  Her son is celebrity hair stylist Jonathan Antin who was on the former BravoTV show, Blow Out and now is a host/judge on Bravo's Shear Genius. Oh. Huh. Ah yes. Yes, got it.  Then she pointed out her other son Steve Antin, who is a producer. My eyes were wide as saucers as I was trying to understand how I landed in the middle of what seemed to be a family party in a gorgeous store....but the people in the family had all been on television at one point or another.

Then Brenda dashed off to change for the party...and that's when I put 2 and 2 together. Brenda Antin is the mother of several celebrity adult children. It was/is Brit Week in Los Angeles, Brenda is British so she was probably throwing a little store party to celebrate. Not clear what Brit Week is but I know there are parties and openings all around town.

It took me a moment to figure this out and then I thought, "I need to take my store photos and leave...I'm not dressed to see anyone and this is totally freaking me out...and my brows...my eyebrows are not done...yikes...note to self...wear cuter clothes when wandering around town on Saturdays...I just came in to take pictures of furniture and I'm meeting the store owner and all of her famous kids.  Oh dear."  So I started to snap photos furiously.

Here is the stunning collection I found while doing my quick photo tour of the store...

stone lion statute on a wood table inside Brenda Antin
A carved stone lion is placed casually on a table but makes an regal impression. (above)

A long farmhouse trestle base dining table with a reclaimed wood top that seats at least 10 is surrounded by black wood chairs and an upholstered host chair with nailhead trim
A long farmhouse trestle base dining table with a reclaimed wood top that seats at least 10 is surrounded by black wood chairs and an upholstered host chair with nailhead trim. (above)

vintage brass table lamp in the form of large leaves on a wood table
Love this vintage brass table lamp in the form of large leaves! One of my favorite pieces in the store. (above)

Table lamp with brass base on a round wooden side table
More brass lighting - this table lamp has an art deco look and sits atop a metal side table with a wood top. (above)

Close up of the stacked, circle base on a brass table lamp

Carved wood screen is backdrop for a wicker sofa with pillows made out of vintage linens on a striped rug
A carved wood screen is the perfect backdrop for the wicker sofa with pillows made out Brenda's extensive collection of vintage linens. (above)

 sleigh bed is with plaid, stripe and buffalo plaid/oversized gingham check pillows and bedding
A rustic looking sleigh bed is properly dressed with custom plaid, stripe and buffalo plaid/oversized gingham check pillows and bedding. (above) 

Old mirrored doors are part of a living room display in Brenda Antin
Old mirrored doors define another living space in the store.(above)

Vintage fabric is draped over a stunning carved ottoman
Vintage fabric is draped over a stunning carved ottoman. (above)

white couch with striped pillows on a vintage rug with a glass coffee table holding two green glass jars and a bust of two dogs

Bronze sculpture of a greyhound
A bronze sculpture of a greyhound dog - a must have! (above)

Two round drum shaped Moroccan style poufs covered in vintage fabrics
Two round drum shaped Moroccan style poufs covered in clearly vintage fabrics - these 2 beauties were not for sale! (above)

aerial view of interior of Brenda Antin's store

I spent about 20 minutes in total taking photos and then I went over to Brenda to say my good byes. She was so sweet...she told me to come back one day and she offered to make me lunch at the store. Then we started chatting again I learned that she was a former VP of Creative from Motown, who years ago gave up her entertainment executive career to open her home furnishings shop. I told her what I did as my day job and we realized we had quite a bit in common.

Just as I was wrapping up my conversation with Brenda Antin near the front door of her store...Brenda says, "Oh there's Sandra.  Sandra helloooo..."

I turned around and there was Academy Award winning actress Sandra Bullock holding her son Louis and walking into the store.  

There we were...me, Brenda, Sandra and Louis.  We exchanged some hellos, I asked how old Louie was, Sandra replied but I don't remember what she said, then Brenda pointed out her grand children one of whom is a 3 or 4 year old cute little girl and Sandra said something about Louis liking older girls, I piped in and said "I'm an older girl and available". Sandra laughed and then there were a few more niceties exchanged. Then with my head spinning and thinking, "What am I doing here talking with Sandra Bullock on a Saturday afternoon in between my hike up Runyon and my eyebrow appointment?"  Most people would have hung around.  My flight instincts kicked in. I leaned over to Brenda gave her a quick hug and said I would catch up soon and would be doing a post this week. Since fleeing was top of mind, my manners were nowhere to be found; I didn't even say good bye to Sandra who was standing right there.  As I was running out of the door, I heard Sandra Bullock say "Bye" and I weakly said "Bye" without even turning around.  Oy va voy. Va voy. Voy.

So there it is...a short story that I made long...I really could have just summarized it all in a few words...gorgeous home furnishings store, delightful store owner, lots of famous people and Sandra Bullock. I could have saved you a bit a of time in the reading but I had to get it all out though...it was so surreal and funny at the same time!

If you are in Los Angeles and wanted to stop into Brenda Antin...here's the information...

Brenda Antin
7410 Beverly Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 934-8451

The store is kind of a mystery...no website that I can find...they gave me a card with the email address, but I can't find that. A found jewel of sorts (that has been around for 20 years) and a must stop on my list of top design stores in Los Angeles! I love the casually elegant vibe in the space...very chic furniture and a very warm and inviting atmosphere.

Well that's it for today!  What do you think of this store?  What would you have said to Sandra Bullock if you ran into her at a furniture store on a Saturday afternoon?  Please do tell!

Happy Monday!

xo
Coco

P.S. Oh...as of this morning, COCOCOZY Facebook has 50,147 followers! Wooohoooo hooo hoooo hoooo hooo! Yippeee. Don't know why I'm cheering about this...but I think it is kind of fun to know over 50,000 people are part of the design conversation that goes on here on the blog and on Facebook. Thank you for joining along!!! If you haven't already, please follow along on COCOCOZY Twitter (to hear my daily chitter chatter about whatever pops into my head) and COCOCOZY Pinterest which is just my collection of pretty pictures I like (many of which don't make it onto the blog).

P.P.S. Long post title...I know. I even over share in the titles of my posts! Need to learn how to be succinct. Hmmm...is that possible?



All photos in this post by Coco of COCOCOZY

13 comments:

  1. well, this was just an hilarious and delightful read. I loved every word of it. I had to laugh the hardest when it came to the part about meeting Sandra Bullock, because that's exactly my instinct, too, is to flee in the presence of celebrities. The store is amazing. Every piece is a work of art. And that family! Who has a family like that? Anyway, thanks again for the treat.

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  2. Fabulous store! T'would be even better with your throws and pillows.I adore the tall, gold table lamp.

    Sandra and Robin were darn lucky to meet you.

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  3. Christopher May shared this blogpost on FB...and I'm so glad he did. You're lovely, your writing is lovely and this story is lovely. Made my morning coffee SO much more enjoyable! Merci!

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  4. I want that long long long table! Fun post, glad you shared:)

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  5. You cought my attention on the first line! I could´t stop reading!
    Great story!
    Beautiful blog and beautiful shop!

    www.tatianadoria.blogspot.com

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  6. Such beautiful finds at this store. I could camp out and live there. How fun to meet Sandra! Love life's good surprises : )

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  7. What a morning! So enjoyed the great scoop about an amazing store and family. I'm not sure what I would have said to Sandra, but I know I would have made a fool of myself :)
    Great post!

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  8. I'm very in love with the leaf lamp! Nice feature

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  9. Great story and store! I looove that farmhouse table; almost worth strip across the country! Happy shopping. Lu

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  10. that greyhound statue is beautiful

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  11. Coco at least you Talked to her, I probably would have been tongue tied!!Brenda's family with such extensive background as well!

    A very memorable Saturday indeed! Fabulous shop!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  12. What a dream to be there shopping! Loved reading the post.. (perhaps ill take a little flight there tonight so i can get a peek ;))

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  13. I don't really know how you could possibly transform that magical story into a hort one. It is not often to have a chance like talking to a celebrity on an informal and almost familiar atmosphere! Thank you for the story and for making us believe that Magic happens! Also loved the shop and the feelling of the furniture and other products, they seem to carry memories from fabulous and exotic trips around the world! Just like Brabbu's pieces. Have a look if you don't already know this brand... (www.brabbu.com)

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