Book Review and GIVEAWAY: the cottages of Venice California



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I just finished reading this amazing coffee-table book which profiles 28 of the historic bungalows in Venice, California.

My blog has featured Venice homes in the past including Nely Galan’s colorful house and Lynn Hanson’s coastal cottage, so I was thrilled to find a book that gathers a whole bunch of Venice house goodies all in one place.

Venice – west of Los Angeles right on the Pacific Ocean – is of course renowned for its famous canals and walk streets. The community was conceived and founded by tobacco millionaire Abbot Kinney in 1905. In the early 1900’s Venice California became a popular tourist attraction and weekend destination. It quickly filled up with small vacation cottages on tiny lots.

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Due to public health concerns (swampy water in the canals) most of the canals were tragically paved over in 1929. The community fell into disrepair and became known as “the slum by the sea”. Starting in the 1960’s and right up to the 1990’s, artists and creative types began buying up the tiny cottages and revitalizing the neighborhood. Today Venice is a desirable, pricey real estate area that is a mix of vintage bungalows and contemporary new builds.

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Cottages in the Sun: Bungalows of Venice California written by Margaret Bach and photographed by Melba Levick, takes an up-close look at some of the remaining historic cottages.

The photos are vivid and plentiful; the text is rich and detailed. I read this book cover to cover and savored every moment of it.

The homes featured were all small historic bungalows (heavenly) but the book also highlighted the cottage owners and their personal decorating styles.

Creativity and eclecticism are on full display in the homes of Venice. The exterior spaces – gardens and decorated patios – were also prominently featured.

Cottages in the Sun is a visual buffet for the cottage-loving reader. The homes (and their peaceful lifestyles within) are – dare I say it – inspirational. Maybe even transcendental.

A credo carved on a sign outside one of the Venice cottages:

This house is a Temple engaged in the celebration of life.


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Here’s the giveaway part:

You can win a copy of this gorgeous book simply by leaving a comment on this blog post!

I will randomly choose one lucky winner and notify you by email. I’ll mail the book directly to the winner!

You have until next Wednesday – one week – to leave a comment. Good luck!



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