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Interiors

A Forever Home in Downtown Los Angeles

by Annie Werbler

When jewelry and fashion designer relocated from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, she sought out a neighborhood offering a sense of urban density and some level of public transit to forgo dependence on a car. The Arts District in Downtown LA provided an instant sense of comfort and familiarity after moving around many times throughout her life. Born in Korea and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Victoria landed in the United States for college to pursue architectural degrees at Seattle and Berkeley, with a one-year stint in Paris between them. After graduating she moved to New York, where she continued architecture professionally before disillusionment set in a few years later. In 2011 Victoria took control of the situation. She quit architecture, began to pursue fashion with her family’s business, and started the jewelry company with friend and fellow former architectural designer, Astrid Chastka.

Before moving into her open-floorplan loft two-and-a-half years ago, Victoria did some minor finishing work. She had two closets custom built for storage in the 1,000-square-foot raw space, and polished the original concrete floors. When it came time to decorate, her love of furniture allowed the process to unfold naturally. She didn’t have a clear picture of what the space was going to look like, preferring to collect various pieces and parts for an eclectic aesthetic. The Rose Bowl Flea Market, Craigslist, and eBay have been her go-to sources for finding great vintage pieces.

About a year ago, once Victoria felt settled, she adopted her terrier mix Bobby Cho, who has proven himself an attentive roommate. She can be superstitious at times, and believes that animals have an extra special sensibility – or a sixth sense. Because the 1923 building’s history began as storage facility, she suspects that Bobby sometimes alerts her to remaining ghosts! She doesn’t mind the additional tenants so long as they are good spirits.

Victoria has bounced around quite a bit in her own life and never got to develop a permanent sense of place, so she’s grateful to have finally created an environment where culture, work, friends, and family all come together in her forever home. —

Photography by

A Forever Home in Downtown Los Angeles, on Design*Droits-Humains
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In Victoria Cho's Downtown Los Angeles loft, natural wood finishes contrast the concrete floors, columns, and ceiling.
A Forever Home in Downtown Los Angeles, on Design*Droits-Humains
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Colorful details such as collected textiles, handmade ceramics, and plants layer personality into the wide-open space.
A Forever Home in Downtown Los Angeles, on Design*Droits-Humains
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Victoria wanted to establish definition in the spatial organization without using walls or partitions, and sketched several layout options before she even bought a couch.
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Concrete blocks and plywood make for an impromptu table surface.
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An abundance of books, objects, and lush plantlife on display.
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A tailored midcentury-inspired sofa and vintage world map in the living area.
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Homeowner Victoria Cho with her pal Bobby, a terrier mix.
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An architectural bookcase holds reading materials, audio implements, and decorative items.
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Because it is south-facing, the loft gets a lot of natural light. As the neighborhood continues to develop, there's more automobile and people traffic, which makes for a noisier experience inside the home.
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Victoria wanted her workspace to feel separate, comfortable, and functional, and to have sufficient ventilation beside a window.
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The studio area of the loft where Victoria tends to pieces and other projects.
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The designer tinkers with brass jewelry pieces.
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A mood board contains ideas as well as their end results.
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"What I love most about my home is the openness." - Victoria Cho
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A sketchbook explores human and equine movement.
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Vintage Herman Miller shell chairs are paired with a dining table built with salvaged legs.
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The dining area runs flush with one of the closets Victoria added to her open space.
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Custom closets were made with 10' tall sheets of maple plywood. They didn’t fit in the elevator, and Victoria isn't quite sure how the woodworker was able to get them into her unit.
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The bedroom is set up as a semi-private corner without feeling secluded from the rest of the home.
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Blue paint defines the bedroom area.
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Architectural jewelry from on display in the bedroom.
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A vintage printmaker's drawer makes for ideal jewelry storage.
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The floorplan of Victoria Cho's Arts District open loft.

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