Jake T. Galang Loads A Laundry Room With Boho Colors

Nestled in the park-like grounds of the Santa Anita Oaks neighborhood of Arcadia, California is an historic 1937 Federal-style home—Locke House— designed by architect, Gerard Rae Colcord, known as “Hollywood society’s architect.” The home is modeled after an East Coast country estate.

In 2020, Locke House was chosen to be the Pasadena Showcase House of Design. Now in its 56th year, the venerable showcase is one of the longest-running house and garden tours in the country. The 6,700 square-foot home was reinterpreted by 17 interior designers and four exterior designers and was an opportunity to completely reimagine what the home could be, more than 80 years after it was built.

In our recently released aspire design and home Showhouse Issue, we sat down with Jake T. Galang to learn more about his creative process in designing the upstairs laundry for this project.

Laundry by Jake GalangInside the Showhouse with Jake T. Galang

aspire design and home: How much time did you have to complete this room, start to finish?
Jake T. Galang: We were lucky to work with an efficient and generous team. We finished our room prior to the original April opening—roughly around two-and-a-half months only. Since I knew we had a quick turnaround, we preordered everything, kept track of ETA’s and worked with our GC, subs and sponsors closely.

aspire: What was your biggest challenge? Did you have a “Eureka!” moment during the process?
Jake: Our biggest challenge was the limited space and transforming a former sewing room into a laundry. My “Eureka!” moment sparked as I walked the space and was mesmerized by the classic dormer window. Vintage colors and a built-in bench for personal space came to mind. Existing symmetry and working with barely 140 square feet, paved the way to bespoke cabinetry design, filled with secret storage, and the search for a compact size washer and vent-less dryer. Every inch was utilized.

aspire: What did you and your team accomplish that you thought would not happen in time?
Jake: With due diligence, we managed to finish ahead as all the subs and sources followed the projected schedule from our GC’s Project Manager. Everybody worked together. Craftsmanship and attention to detail were our priority and we achieved that even with the short time frame.

Laundry by Jake GalangSeeking Inspiration and Finding Cohesiveness

aspire: What was your inspiration for this room?
Jake: I was inspired by the architectural detail of the Locke House [which led to the] vintage mixed palette and custom inset Shaker-style cabinetry. Nods to sustainability, Boho geometric patterns, ethnic prints on tile, lighting, wallpaper and fabric was also introduced. The room was re-imagined with unexpected colors and style, bold but with restraint.

aspire: Did you step out of your comfort zone for this project, and if so, why?
Jake: Not at all. I actually loved the experience, working side by side with my peers and the camaraderie. We all have the same goal: to come up with a stunning showcase house.

aspire: Despite the fact that there were so many designers involved, there is an inherent cohesiveness to the home. Did you all converse/collaborate? Or was this a completely individual process?
Jake: We all have our individual designs but we were given parameters—on color palette and to incorporate sustainability. All presentation drawings and material board were reviewed by the design committee and the homeowner. Design never ends, and after absorbing all the feedback we fine-tuned to create a striking aesthetic.

aspire: Is your preference for a showhouse a small space or a large space? Does one or the other provide a better opportunity to stretch your creativity?
Jake: Small or large spaces pose the same challenge for me. They are both a perfect canvas, where I can self-express and create a fusion of edgy and traditional interiors.

aspire: Describe the town of Pasadena in one sentence.
Jake: Pasadena is rich with culture, arts, events, period homes and beautiful people.

Laundry by Jake Galang“This or That?” with Jake T. Galang

aspire: Paint or wallpaper?
Jake: Both.
aspire: Hardwood or rug?
Jake: Hardwood.
aspire: Beach or Mountains?
Jake: Beach.
aspire: Saturated color or black and white?
Jake: Saturated color.
aspire: Brunch or Dinner?
Jake: Brunch.
aspire: Mid-century or 18th Century?
Jake: 18th Century.
aspire: Draperies, shades, or nothing?
Jake: Draperies.
aspire: 2001: A Space Odyssey or The English Patient?
Jake: The English Patient.
aspire: Week at the spa or week of Broadway shows?
Jake: Broadway shows.

Laundry by Jake GalangWant More Good Design?

Click Here to view more interviews with the designers of Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts.

Photography by Peter Valli.

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