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Open house or pop-up shop? In Highland Park, it's both

May 22, 2012 | 11:13 am

5656 Aldama Street 90042There’s thinking outside the box, but what about selling outside the shop? Sarah Brady and Alex Cole’s Highland Park home decor store, Platform, is turning the art of staging homes for sale into a shopping experience: The open house is a pop-up store.

5656 Aldama St. 90042Platform, known for mostly locally handmade house wares, attracts what Brady calls “a pretty decent stream of customers.” But Brady, a former trend forecaster, says she was looking to sell the store’s linens, tablewares, decorative accessories and artwork beyond the perimeters of the 900-square-foot shop. Opportunity came calling in the unexpected form of the neighborhood's home flippers.

“Highland Park is one of the areas where flipping has continued, and one day, one of them asked us if we would stage a home that she was looking to sell,” Brady says.

5656 Aldama St. 90042
5656 Aldama St. 90042Brady and Cole mined Platform’s trove of goods to outfit every room in the 1,300-square-foot bungalow at 5656 Aldama St.

What the store didn’t have -- primarily large pieces of furniture -- they sourced from the local LA Box Collective, which makes furniture out of reclaimed wood, and Art Craft Homes, which carries vintage pieces such as sofas and desks.

This isn’t Brady and Cole’s first foray into retail staging. Brady has worked with other local flippers, providing linens and bedding. This is, however, the couple's first head-to-toe makeover. For those who attend an open house and are inspired to buy, Brady has assembled shopping albums that detail every item in the house with descriptions and pricing. But there is a catch.

“It’s like a gallery installation where you can purchase the items, but you can’t take them home until the show is over,” Brady says. Or in this case, until the house is sold.

-- Alexandria Abramian-Mott

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Photos: Martin Rusch

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