Neighborhood Renovation: Echo Park shack reborn as a welcoming studio

Echo Park, homes, renovation

Before & After: A new glass door and windows make for a more inviting entry.

By Marni Epstein

ECHO PARK — Yoga and meditation instructor Joslyn Lawrence  of Echo Park was looking to create the perfect space for her clients. A clean, beautiful environment to help facilitate the practice. When she looked out into the lush terraced backyard of her hillside home, she saw potential in an old, run down building that served as a painting studio.

Joslyn and her partner, Brian, were able to transform their space into the ideal yoga studio, which also serves double-duty as the family’s dedicated quiet space for resting or doing homework. They drywalled, installed new flooring, painted and added some new, much needed windows. In about a month’s time their desperate backyard space was transformed into an intimate wellness studio.

Challenge:  Dry Rot

  • It is a very old building and the problem with old buildings is that once you get into the walls there’s often more dry rot  than you bargained for.  With a problem like dry rot, it made sense to set a limit on the time  and effort to devote to the project in order to make it work within your budget. Otherwise,  it may be worth it to tear it down and start all over.

What Went to Plan:

  • The fact the space is right in their backyard made it very easy to put a few hours in here and there when possible to get it done – even late at night. The whole project felt natural and came together easily.

What Did Not Go to Plan:

  • The amount of dry rot and the ensuing decision of when to stop spending money on it.

Point of Pride

The front door on the studio. It is a ten-pane windowed door that lets in the morning light and really defines the space in a welcoming way. The old door was heavy and kept out the light. Joslyn went to salvage yards, looked online, and eventually found an obscure ad on Craigslist. She drove out down a ten mile dirt road on a ridge in Topanga Canyon and there, in an airstream trailer on 20 acres, was a guy with a whole pile of doors for sale. Her beautiful, airy door was among the pile. It was an epic adventure which paid immense dividends.


Echo Park, homes, renovation

The new glass door and window brightened up the interior

Want to share your home, apartment or storefront make-over? Contact us at hello@theEastsiderLA.com

Marni Epstein Epstein is an entertainment, music, and lifestyle Journalist and resident of Echo Park. She has previously worked in the film and digital media industries with FOX and Sony Pictures Entertainment. She is currently also pursuing a Masters in Historic Preservation.

One comment

  1. I have used Little House of Wellness yoga space many times and it is the perfect space for zoning out with yoga, mediation and relaxing alone. If you have not experienced a class with Joslyn – you should as it is the best. Enjoy all.
    A great article by Marni.

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