A note from our editors: 

It’s time for one of our favorite traditions! Each year, we spend the holidays reflecting on the stories and articles you loved most. It’s the “Best of Rue” and this is one of 2019’s top stories. Enjoy!

Previously published on September 24, 2019:

Shanty Wijaya’s boutique design and building firm ALLPRACE Homes takes run-down homes in the LA area and breathes new life into them for new owners. “We put design, artistry, and workmanship ahead of the business perspective,” she explained to us when we asked her about what her company’s focuses on. “Our number one priority is to create a home for the new owner that is well designed with high-quality materials in any neighborhood regardless of the price point, so everyone in any socioeconomic background can enjoy the custom home living experience.” In fact, Shanty’s company does more than just rehabilitate homes, they also work with non-profits such as Humble Design that provide housing to veterans and families emerging from homelessness. The work and design she puts into her projects have soul.

Shanty wasn’t looking to take on another space when this home in the up-and-coming LA neighborhood of Jefferson Park was offered to her. An acquaintance of hers had told her that his best friend was selling his childhood home after his mother moved to an assisted living residence. It was an emotionally important space for the family and they wanted it to be in the right hands. Dated with many small rooms and in dire need of some major fixes (the roof had to be completely replaced), Shanty took the opportunity to give it a complete renovation.

“To the exterior, we added almost everything,” she said, “a front blockwall and custom wood gates, overhang clay tile roof to the driveway creating the illusion of a porte cochere, as well as a brand new porch in front of the master bedroom and kitchen.” They also transformed the garage into a multifunctional room with carriage doors. For the landscaping, Shanty was inspired by Marrakech’s Hotel El Fenn – she incorporated olive trees, Italian cypress trees, bougainvillea, grass tile, a Moroccan solar lantern, chimney, and hammock.

The interior was influenced by Shanty’s travels around Europe and Australia. The kitchen, for example, was inspired by rustic French farmhouses with a zellige backsplash, limewash paint, and a high oak table in the place of an island. “We took a risk by putting design, quality, and the future homeowner ahead of our business perspective and budget,” she shared. “For example, we put a La Cornue range (that retails for about $10,000), normally only seen in multi-million dollar homes, in this kitchen and many other things.” She incorporated imported multi-size Limestone floor with an aged look for the kitchen floors to create a separation with the dining room and living room even though they are all in one open space. 

Shanty also transformed the home’s three bedrooms and two bathrooms. She incorporated black and white marble tile along with a black clawfoot tub into the guest bathroom, giving it a classic European feel. For the master bedroom, she had custom doors with a cremone bolt and leaded glass made giving the room architectural character. A Brass Rhombus Pendant from L’Aviva Home hangs over the layered bed serving as a statement piece for the space. Finally, she turned the second guest bedroom into a nursery using Chasing Paper wallpaper and a monkey wall-light that she picked up while traveling to Australia. “We love this Spanish Colonial house and knew that we can make something amazing with it, it just has so much history,” she said.