Like any great city, Los Angeles is a melting pot—of cultures, styles, industries, and contradictory ideas. Fashion-forward yet old-school; glamorous yet grungy; brimming with natural beauty, yet at times unabashedly artificial. It’s these contradictions that make Los Angeles the vibrant and fascinating place that it is, a city that has captured not just our imaginations, but the hearts of the creatives that call it home. We recently asked one such creative, artist and west elm LOCAL maker Kim Baise, to share her own favorite things about the region. What we received was a colorful assemblage of some of the best things LA has to offer, crafted—wait for it—entirely out of papier mâche. Captured through the lens of photographer and stylist Jonathan Lo, these miniatures perfectly encapsulate the electric and undeniably fun energy of this iconic American city. Check out all of Kim’s picks below + shop her work on westelm.com!
A beachfront neighborhood on the Westside city of Los Angeles
I like to meet up with a friend on Rose Avenue for lunch. It’s always been a cool bohemian neighborhood off the beaten path of Abbot Kinney and the Boardwalk. After lunch at Rose Café, Moon Juice (507 Rose Ave.) is my #1 go to for raw, organic pressed juice. Roots Rock, with green apple, beet, lemon, ginger and turmeric is a healthy digestive and kick start for a full day of strolling.
The corner of Windward and Pacific Avenue is the gateway to the Boardwalk. It’s lined with column structure buildings on both sides of Windward and Mollusk (1600 Pacific Ave) is the raddest surf shop around! They carry small, local up-and-coming brands, as well as their own and a unique line of beautiful boards designed in modern colors and shapes. I always like to support small business and Mollusk brings a breath of fresh ocean air to our city.
A neighborhood in the central region of Los Angeles
An early morning canyon hike to the Hollywood Sign is a great way to start the day. There are lots of different trails from Griffith Park, but I prefer the Hollyridge Trail (off Beachwood Drive). It’s always fun to run into celebrities in their sweats!
The Capitol Records Tower (1750 Vine Street) is truly a landmark located on Hollywood and Vine at the ‘Walk of Fame’. It was constructed in 1956 to look like a stack of records on a turntable. When you’re in Hollywood, go see this building up close, it’s breathtaking.
Hungry? Head for Pink’s Hot Dogs (709 N. La Brea Avenue). In 1939, Paul Pink and his wife Betty bought a pushcart for $50 and began a hot dog business. This place is a Hollywood legend! I’ve been going there since I was a little kid. The chili dogs and onion rings are the best things you’ll ever taste after a long day of hiking and sightseeing.
The Whisky a Go Go (8901 W. Sunset Blvd.) has been an anchor to the Sunset Strip LA Rock scene since 1964. It’s hosted lots of important bands and if there’s a good show, I’ll be there. I recommend Pamela Des Barres tour of Hollywood… she’ll even show you the back door, where she used to sneak in with bands like the Doors and Led Zeppelin!
A city In Los Angeles County
The Rose Bowl (1001 Rose Bowl Drive) is a classically stylish stadium surrounded with the backdrop of mountains, dotted with beautiful homes and green open space. It’s mostly used for college football but I like to take the kids to summer reggae concerts and picnic on the grass.
My favorite venue is the Old Time Flea Market held on the second Sunday of every month and loops around the exterior of the Rose Bowl. It has the best and largest selection for vintage everything – furniture, homeware, jewelry, clothing and anything else your heart desires. It’s a little like a museum and also awesome for people watching.
A 2.12 square mile neighborhood in South Los Angeles
Start the day with brekkie at LocoL (1950 E. 102nd St). It’s genius chef Roi Choi’s latest healthy fast food restaurant. The ‘Egg in a Hole’ rules and the home squeezed tangerine agua frescas are divine.
Complete your day by paying homage to Watts Towers (10727 E 107th St.). Take a tour of the towers close up (Thurs.- Sun.) and learn about Simon Rodia and how he single-handedly built these amazing and inspiring structures over 34 years (1921-1955). They are made from a collection of concrete, wire, discarded tile, glass, shells, mirror and figurines. Everyone should see the towers at least once in their lifetime. Put it on your bucket list!
Printmaker and sculptor Kim Baise is inspired by everything from bright colors and bold shapes to Picasso. With her company Jikits, she creates modern mobiles made from papier mache that really brighten a room. We love her succulent strands, which are an easy way to bring the outdoors in (no watering necessary!). Shop Kim’s work on westelm.com!
Photography, backdrops, and styling by Jonathan Lo.