Never were moms more courted and catered to than in the 1960s when ad agencies and their clients sought homemakers’ opinions on everything from soap to soup to shoes.
So it seems only fitting that on Mother’s Day, Up the Street visits the home of Nicole Thomas and Rob Staley in Mount Washington West, the mid-century development featuring houses lauded by a “Los Angeles Times panel of housewives”. (See accompanying brochure for the Mount Washington West development).
Thomas, formerly a senior wardrobe stylist at E!/Style Network, and Roy, a live television director employed by the NFL Network, started looking at houses when their boy-girl twins were six months old. Their search took them to the "island in the sky" community constructed by "Ray Watt builder-developer" whose mission was to give “232 fortunate families ... a lifetime of pride and comfort."
Thomas remembers the day they saw the Mount Washington West home. "Roy went in first and when he came out, he said, 'You should go take a look,'" Thomas said. “He downplayed it but as soon as I walked inside, I knew we had to have it.”
It makes sense that Thomas, coordinator and co-founder of the and a founding member of the Mount Washington Elementary Garden Committee, was drawn to the home’s indoor-outdoor flow, which epitomized the ideal in mid-century suburban living in Los Angeles.
Inspired by the home’s original accoutrements, including a black, rust, and orange “rumpus room” couch that belonged to the original owner, Thomas has furnished the Thomas-Staley home with the help of her life-long passion for finding thrift store treasures and abandoned curbside collectibles.
Thomas is well-versed in the design aesthetic of the Sixties. She notes, for instance, that the expanse of wall above the fireplace was designed to showcase art and is similar to one seen in the upscale apartment of Don Draper, the protagonist of AMC’s popular Mad Men.
Almost fifty years later, Thomas and Staley are the newest generation of families who can look forward to a “lifetime of pride and comfort."
Happy Mother's Day!