This past middle of the week, Matt and I found ourselves unexpectedly in the middle of Hollywood, which luckily meant parking was quite easy to find. Sunset Blvd. was practically a ghost town, giving us the opportunity to discover all kinds of cool design treasures from the sidewalk to inside a cheesy souvenir shop. At first, I wasn’t too thrilled to be traipsing around this part of L.A. at night sans my pepper spray…but there were no hassles and it ended up being totally awesome.

We had a few hours to kill, so we stumbled into one of our favorite Thai restaurants called Toi. I had performed there many times several years back and those memories were still embedded in the multi-layered, crazily painted walls. This place had a classic Hollywood vibe: 60s, 70s and 80s rock posters, a hanging tin dragon with red light bulbs for eyes, and graffiti just about everywhere. I then noticed these amazing lamps:

Mermaid lamp shade.

Woman and Man lamp shades.

Hand-painted and whimsically designed, these lamp shades caught our attention immediately. Their retro and, dare I say, on the cusp of being really ugly bases upped the eclectic and artsy energy of this restaurant; they left us feeling like we were in a really special place.

After the delicious satay and yellow curry with “dirty” brown rice, we plodded next store to this kitschy souvenir shop called popKiller (once again, classic Hollywood!). We thought we’d be rifling through plastic glasses and vintage Hawaiian shirts, but surprisingly, I uncovered a couple of very cool finds.

Vintage Aquatron 8-Track tape player.

Inflatable deer head.

Way up on a shelf I saw this vintage Aquatron 8-track player. I said to myself, “Wow! That would look so hip in my writing room!” Unfortunately, it was $110…a little too hip for my wallet. The inflatable deer head was also so very unique and PETA friendly. I think I’ll have to make a trip back to Tinsel-Town for this baby.

The Rolling Stones.

Just outside The Horn Connection music store, we stumbled across this well-drawn sidewalk graffiti…something about it was really appealing. Street art is even more fun when you can walk on it.

Waterfall fountain.

Our last stop was the Arclight Dome Theater, where we found a waterfall fountain that was almost two stories tall. The uplights, river rocks, and sheet of rain were both Zen-like and playful.

Rock light chair.

Matt sitting on rock light chair.

These fun and funky rock lights did double duty as art and seating…they intermittently glowed green, blue and red. These would be outstanding in our backyard garden.

Four hours in Hollywood and so much more to discover. With all these inspirational and unexpected design elements, it’s no wonder I love L.A.!

All photographs by Skaie Knox, HomeJelly

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