An L.A. fixer-upper gets a fresh look with the help of salvaged and vintage finds
Joe Karnes is no stranger to tenacity. Since he joined the band Fitz and the Tantrums in 2010, he has been steadily building a massive fan base. But when it came to buying a house, Karnes and his wife, Samantha Scharff, a Fox executive, were running out of patience. They had looked in Los Angeles for more than a year, hoping to find a midcentury home that was move-in ready for their family, including their 3-year-old daughter, Rilo Pearl. Unfortunately, it seemed everyone else was looking for the exact same thing. So when the couple heard that the design team behind many of their favorite properties, ReInhabit (re-inhabit.com), had bought a 1,650-square-foot house five doors down from the couple’s rental, their curiosity was piqued. Scharff and Karnes liked the firm for the way it rehabbed homes using salvaged materials. “We could see the love and care they put into bringing new life into old structures,” Karnes says.
With its low ceilings and awkward layout, the 1966 house was tough to love, but with ReInhabit behind the renovation, Karnes and Scharff made an offer. ReInhabit accepted but asked to retain design autonomy. The couple agreed, and four months later came the reveal: a midcentury charmer with an open floor plan, high ceilings, and rustic-meets-industrial touches that meld with the couple’s collection of vintage furniture and colorful textiles. “It took a year and a half,” says Scharff. “But we found our ideal house.”