November 12th, 2012

I headed westward to San Diego this past weekend to traipse through strangers homes and quickly snap photos of all their modern modernism. Photographing interiors during events like this always turns into an awkward creepy shuffling experiment in social timing to avoid photographing random tour attendees, which I’m happy to do because I’m a fucking nice person. Nothing is worse than ending up in the background of some strangers photo looking all wild-eyed and barely passing as human.

Sorry strangers, that’s how I look for everywhere. I ruin your photo memories.

Of course taking photos in any sort of tour situation requires the ability to radiate powerful creep energy that gently shuffles people out of the cameras frame. Lucky for you guys, I’m creepy and made a few DHTSD12 photos happen. *I abbreviated Dwell Home Tours San Diego 2012 to save time because I respect you.

You’re welcome.

Hot Tip Time: To be modern at home you will need some wood, hot rolled steel, concrete poured or formed, drought tolerant stuff, decomposed granite, feather grass, fescue, plywood, pavers, succulents, cacti, a couple gabion walls, bathrooms that are off limits, no screens, ocean views, assorted rocks or pebbles, giant windows, vintage furniture and a shit ton of money. Coolio, now everyone get right on that.

I’m clearly jealous because my landscaping is made of dirt and sadness.

Some day? Something might happen to the exterior. Well, that’s if the local ‘pros’ would stop setting the fence on fire and being terrible at doing anything, ever. Also, it might help moral and motivation to keep improving the exterior and landscaping if certain dirtbags stopped stealing stuff off the porch.

YEAH. YOU. I know who you are.

Bring back my vintage bullet planter + cactus and Acapulco chairs you cowardly dicks. I hope that giant cactus tore up your stupid face you weirdos. Oh, and FYI, the cat hoarder neighbors gross cats peed all over that, so enjoy it you turds. It took me eight months to find those chairs and months of nurturing the crap out of that cactus.

I don’t nurture anything! I never even had a chance to post about the chairs! This is madness.

Looks like we’ve veered wildly off topic. Sorry.

Blah blah, the Dwell tours pumped me up to tackle outdoor projects, blah blah the next morning its discovered that someΒ  scummy dickbags crept around the house and stole a few outdoor pieces we’d invested a good bit of time and funds into. This pretty much killed all project excitement and I freak out on instagram and at my neighbors. So now it feels silly to throw a bunch of energy and funds into landscaping a house in this crappy town that will ultimately have things snatched or trashed by idiots, get covered in feral cat pee or continue to host the nightly cat orgy.

You win, Hemet. Dirt bag is the new modern.

Just guessing that being full of rage might make me cloudy in terms of reasoned thoughts, but I’m stuck wondering at what point do we give up and quit? I mean, quit working on this general house fixing up project? Do folks just go screw this, it ain’t worth it and stop?

I’m no good at breaking up, even with a house. I miss my chairs.



Ugh. My cactus and chairs boo hoo, I’m such a tool. There’s Sandy and real problems that matter so I’m donating Red Cross style here so I feel like less of a tool. The real charity is for my feelings.

Oh! Also, a nod to the surprising number of unrelated people complaining about the lack of foul language around here – I made the effort. YOU’RE WELCOME.

Be Sociable, Share!


  1. Pippa on 11/12/2012:

    Sorry to hear about your chairs, that’s crap but the bullet planter and cactus as well, that’s appalling! Don’t let it undermine what it is your trying to do! πŸ™‚

  2. miriam on 11/12/2012:

    Don’t feel bad because you feel bad. You don’t have to take on the world’s tragedies, just your own. I love your blog, and I’m really sorry about the chairs. It’s awful to have something like that happen.

  3. Simone on 11/12/2012:

    “Don’t feel bad because you feel bad” a pretty enigmatic thing to say, do you mean “Grin and bear it” with that?

    Anyhow, Morgan, really sorry to read about this. I have heard that mixing lion-poo through your compost deters cats, ofcourse that leaves you with the following questions: “Where can you find that?” “What does that smell like?” and in your case: “How do small dogs react to it?” and “Would it work a double bill and deter thieves as well?” I feel for you.
    Have a wonderful day (despite all this)!!!

  4. Jenni Bailey on 11/12/2012:

    These are great and you’re great and I’m very sorry to hear about your chairs.

  5. Christine on 11/12/2012:

    Oh shittt. I’m sorry. Damnit, that is so frustrating. I think the worst part about thefts is that you don’t see it happen, so you’re left to just rage against this idea… there is nothing concrete to rage against.

    Give yourself a good month to cool off before you think of moving though. Maybe you’ll feel better… or maybe this will take you on the path to Brick House 2.0, somewhere else. Either way you will rule it.

  6. Furpants on 11/12/2012:

    Whoa, I am pretty pissed off right now too. How dare they? Grrrrrr. I wish I could find them, give them a bitch slap, and return your chairs and planter/cactus. Or deliver a ginormous barrel cactus to you (I have a few to spare). Good luck stealing that one, a-holes. You’ll lose an eye for sure.

    Don’t give up though, that just lets the jerks win. I’m thinking a thick wood beam bench with metal legs that are bolted to the porch? You can weld something. That’s one way to burn off your anger.

  7. Claudia on 11/12/2012:

    Alarm System may be a consideration or motion detector lights around the house.
    The tour photos are gorgeous and I am completely filled with envy on the landscaping solutions. Maybe a DIY on formed cement in the garden could be a future post.

  8. Frances on 11/12/2012:

    It really is a gross feeling you get about humanity and your neighborhood when someone steals your stuff. Cultivate some really condescending pity for the people who did it–they are very sad and desperate and they live in a dark world and someone probably did something terrible to them as children and they might never know real happiness. Does that help?
    You could also install a motion detector sprinkler. It will keep the cats away and at the very least humiliate any thieves.
    Don’t let the bastards get you down.

  9. Heather on 11/12/2012:

    Plant thiefs are the worst! Don’t worry, they save a particularly humid section of hell for them, where they have to run through stinging nettle. I’m sorry for your loss, all the same.

  10. Gaidig on 11/12/2012:

    I think that what Miriam meant to say is don’t feel guilty that you are upset that someone stole your stuff. I have to agree. It’s one thing to be a victim of nature’s wrath, and another thing to be a victim of your criminal neighbors. Not only is what they did totally un called for, but it makes you feel less safe in your home. Yuck.

    It makes me want to go beat on them for you. I have to agree with Furpants on this one. Build a sheet metal planter and a bench, and attach them both to the porch, so they can’t be stolen.

    As for the cats, I don’t know what you can do to keep them off of your property, but I might try to capture them and take them to the vet to be fixed. There are vets in my home town that will do strays for free. As for the pee, it does kill a lot of bugs that attack plants, so you could think of it as pesticide. That might make you feel a little better about it.

    So go ahead and start planting drought-tolerant plants and making your walkways, etc. Nobody’s going to dig your landscaping up to steal *them*.

  11. mary s. on 11/12/2012:

    I’m so sorry about your chairs, cactus, and planter. I hope you find the thieving bastards..and sic your dogs on their toes and ankles!

  12. LOCZIdesign on 11/12/2012:

    The simple elegance of it all is really inspiring! I absolutely love the landscape architecture.

  13. tamoto on 11/12/2012:

    I second Gaidig..I also feel your pain. We are in a similar position, feeling like our neighborhood sucks. With low interest rates and stuff its a good time to rethink..stuff. Its hard when you feel your house is a gold ring in the nose of a pig. Getting your belongings stolen and having to literally nail everything down is a gross feeling. Sorry for you

  14. Sketch42 on 11/12/2012:

    Listen, as someone who lived through Sandy, I can tell you, Sandy was a natural disaster and that super super sucks, but THIS is malicious and just awful. Someone coming onto my property and stealing my things while I slept would eat me up too.

  15. Sketch42 on 11/12/2012:

    Btw, you are such an amazing photographer. Its really awesome. The photo of the bare wall, and windows, only you could make that look so gorgeous and interesting.

  16. maureen on 11/12/2012:

    Your chair thieves must be related to my “newspaper grabbers”…distant relatives but inbreeding is rampant among cactus/newspaper thieves…..:)

  17. julia wheeler on 11/12/2012:

    sebastian never uses screens. duh. i mean FUCKING DUH. thanks for incorporating more cussing. the offer stands for #teamchambray to pistol whip those asshole thieves if you find them.

  18. TheRachelSyn on 11/12/2012:

    People stole stuff off your porch?! Lame! Karma will get them in the end – hopefully via that cactus to the face or similar. Goodness. No screens? How do you let in the fresh air? Or…is that not a thing in modern homes?

  19. Great pictures! Loved your shots and angles and perspective. I saw the same things on Saturday and am posting one house at a time starting today. I don’t think I have perfected the photographer glare that gets them scurrying out of range. I HAVE to work on that.

  20. CourtneyOutLoud on 11/12/2012:

    Seriously? Who steals porch furniture? I will tell you, punk-ass mofos. Honestly, I hope they tripped and in divine twist of fate, they ended up with an ass full of cactus.

    That said, I need to go to the Dwell units up here and look.

  21. jessica kraus on 11/12/2012:

    I’m super sad about your chairs. That’s awful.

    But I really stopped in to say that you’re a damn Good Writer. Do the fucking book already.

    And, it was nice to meet you.

  22. Amy on 11/12/2012:

    Love the photos! I’m sad to say that I love how you express your feelings. I had a similar experience while raising a young child. 14 years later I still get pissed thinking about what we gave up but we also found a new place I could enjoy peace. You rock and its a bitch about the scumbags! Feral cats don’t help-who wants to garden with nasty cat remains? Best of luck finding your way-you have the drive to make your decision work!

  23. Kirsty on 11/13/2012:

    I say; be sad set traps! Hidden mouse-traps, pits dug in fury, lined in sharpened sticks, suction cup arrows to the depraved-forehead. Kidding aside, your home is downright-unqualified amazing… and your description of photographing the tour is hilarious, as in righteously, thank-god- hilarious.

    ( I’m dying to know about the off-limits bathrooms….)

  24. Kirsty on 11/13/2012:

    I personally think feral cats make some great David Attenborough-style wildlife watching. I fed mine and made them a feral cat shelter… As for the scumbag-types I read a quote today that pertains: ” I think of you very day….
    ……….. assholes.”

  25. Lisette on 11/13/2012:

    I am a huge fan of your blog and also in the very s l o o o o o w process of getting my flat the way I like it to be, so I am gutted for you about those chairs and cactus you’ve put so much effort to find, clean up and were ready to finally enjoy… Those people who did that to you SUCK!

    Don’t give up (or so I tell myself when I’m in the doldrums) it’ll be worth it!

  26. kristine asta on 11/13/2012:

    I’m so sorry about the thieves! Maybe you could get some NRA bumper stickers and a camera for the porch? But that brings on another frustration, why should you have to shell out money for this stuff when all you want is to be able to safely leave a plant and chairs on your property? It’s not like you’re leaving your door unlocked or your keys in your car and wondering why they took something much more valuable. It’s completely reasonable to feel like you should be able to have nice things outside and not worry about assholes stealing them.

  27. Claire LM on 11/13/2012:

    noooooooooo, so sad to hear about your chairs!!!!! make sure to watch craigslist like a hawk and call local furnature dealers to alert them that the chairs are stolen. Also make a police report so you can get them back if they turn up at shop or online. πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™

  28. eliza on 11/13/2012:

    that sucks. so really super badly. like a ton. all i can think to do is feel entitled rage on your behalf… which i do. i guess really the only way to stop it would be security? like a front gate? which already sounds expensive. is the back more secure? could you, for example, no worry about the front so much and focus on the back?

  29. Paul on 11/13/2012:

    Funny, I also noticed the magazines never mention the money part. Sorry about your losses. Don’t give up. Yet.

  30. melinda on 11/13/2012:

    I know this will not be popular but move!. You are too good for those scumbags you should be able to relax and enjoy your amazing talents… while sitting in any damn porch chair you please.. that will still be there in the morning. OK you have made your house spectacular but you will carry that talent with you. Best post ever

  31. Susan on 11/14/2012:

    I’m so sorry to hear this. I almost feel guilty. I saw a photo you posted of the chairs on your front porch (on tumblr?) and thought ‘wow, out the front and nobody takes them?’ Feel like I jinxed you. I live on a busy road, near a pub and a stadium that channel assholes by that destroy every public planting that the council attempts, carries heavy garden furniture away to damage and dump in someone else’s yard and once, memorably, blew up our building’s brick mailboxes. I feel for you. If you plant, go crown of thorns, let them try and pull that out πŸ˜‰

  32. Tami on 11/14/2012:

    Crap. I know exactly how you feel. One Easter we woke up to discover the containers with tulips on flanking our front door had been stolen. Within a year, someone – maybe the same asshat – came along and severed both the street trees we had planted. In fact, now that I think of it, shitty neighbors have done shitty things to our property in all four homes we’ve owned. So know that you’re definitely NOT alone in your misery.

    Keep moving forward – those garden pictures you’ve posted are fabulous. Any one of those elements would look righteous in your landscape. Just settle on a plan and install it over time. (Oh, and think seriously about a privacy fence w/locking gates across the front.)

  33. Rosie on 11/14/2012:

    This makes me incredibly pissed. But I must say, out of frustration and anger rose a truly funny post. Cold comfort, I know. People are jerks, and t’s hard to shake it off.

    I put a bowl of candy out for trick-or-treaters on Halloween and they stole the orange plastic bowl. I was pissed for a week…so I can only imagine how you feel. Dicks.

  34. Susan on 11/14/2012:

    That sucks. Friends of mine in Long Beach had thousands of $$ worth of planters, plants and overall creative energy stolen from their front porch as well. Spirits dampened, they reinvested and literally screwed everything down – please note “flexibility” was tossed right out the window once the drill was pulled from the tool shed.

    Maybe those exploding bags of paint (ie Raising Arizona style) could be installed in the next front porch installation. Or those bags could be filled with, to quote your eloquence, “feral cat pee.”

  35. Danny on 11/14/2012:

    Soo sorry to hear about your chairs. Karma will inevitably find those dirtbags. In the mean time keep the search going, check craiglist regularly and local shops. I live in the inland empire also, as a Mid century Dealer I will keep my eyes open on craiglist for you. I wish you the best. Keep up the fantastic blog and don’t give up on your beautiful home just yet.

  36. samara on 11/15/2012:

    What kind of grass is that??? I love it.

  37. Lani on 11/15/2012:

    Sorry won’t fix it but I am quite sorry to hear about your unfortunate event. Apparently, stealing outdoor furniture is all the rage these days. A few weeks back someone took our chairs, table, and all of my china that was kept in the outdoor storage. Mind you, this happened in a freaking gated apartment community. -__-

    Anywho, don’t throw in the towel just yet. I’m sure there’s a reason you chose that particular house in that particular town. If that reason is good and still holds true, “just keep swimming.” (Yes I just referenced Finding Nemo, and yes you sort of loved it) I’d love for you to blog about solutions to some of the problems you’re having.

  38. Mike on 11/16/2012:

    You have a hell of a narrative voice in addition to being an F.N.P. (Fucking Nice Person).

    After I stopped laughing (not at your plight but at the way you described it) I lit a candle to Nemisis (the goddes of revenge)
    in the hope that the thieves that stole your high falutin’ crap get a taser blast to the ball sack.

    P.S. Thanks for the cussing more and stay “Hemet Strong”

  39. Laurel Canyon on 11/16/2012:

    This post made my day. We’ve all been there. And sadly I think you know the answer–if you want to have anything nice outside in a thefty nabe, you are going to have to bring it in after dark. Sorry.

  40. Jamie Herzlinger on 11/16/2012:

    What a gorgeous space…so sleek yet comfortable. Thanks for sharing.

    Love, Jamie Herzlinger

  41. sarah on 11/16/2012:
  42. Rivka on 11/17/2012:

    I hope this doesn’t sound mean. Why do you live in Hemet? You make it sound awful. I am so sorry about people stealing your front porch stuff.

  43. Jen Hughes on 11/19/2012:

    I met you once through Jamie Street- I was born and raised in Hemet….

    I often lurk on your site, and marvel how you capture the beauty that is my home town. You give me genuine hope that it is getting better.

    On behalf of the scum bag (probable speek freak) who stole your cool stuff, sorry. On behalf of a town in need your aesthetic, energy, committment, and hard work-THANK YOU.

  44. Genna on 11/19/2012:

    Man, Hemet is a rough place. I’ve been working there since March and while it has its chaaaaaaaaaarms…….. it seems to me that it needs a lot of work and a couple generations of care, maybe some San Diego mod dollas if it’s going anywhere. Wherever you live, I will be reading and loving your blog : )

  45. Andrea on 11/24/2012:

    You have amazing style and it sucks that random thieves are undoing your work. Outsmart those jerks and start using poured concrete pieces for outdoor furnishings. How happy would it make you to find a would-be thief immobilized from a hernia or strained back after trying to steal an uber cool cement chair?

    I Love your style, and especially your humor. Thank you for sharing your talents!

  46. modernhaus on 11/27/2012:

    Sebastian would know what to do…

  47. Cindy on 11/28/2012:

    Aww, Morgan, I’m so sorry to hear this. You have a right to be pissed. You put so much thought and love into your house and some jerk comes along and takes your amazing chairs and bullet planter. πŸ™ But I don’t think you should give up on Hemet.

    We are in a similar boat, fixing up our MCM rancher and some a-hole has been oddly targeting us for two years dumping trash in our driveway every few days! We love our house and don’t want this to drive us away because we’ve put so much of our soul into fixing up this dump. But when I come home and find a fresh batch of guacamole slopped onto my driveway, some days I wonder if its worth it.

    Last week I resisted hoarding and put out a great campaign desk onto the street with a “free” sign, and some b-hole comes along and just swipes all the drawers to take the awesome brass hardware, leaving the 50+ year old desk useless. What is wrong with people?! We ended up having to chop up the drawerless desk so it would fit in our trash can. Grrrr! πŸ™ Anywho, I share your pain. Don’t give up.

  48. vieves on 11/29/2012:

    ugh! and i was super pissed that someone stole my favorite belt from the airport security lineup the other day!
    stupid asshole thieves. i hope they got a face-full of cactus thorns.

  49. Niamh on 12/01/2012:

    Chin up buttercup. Maybe it is time to move on if you can. I had the same happen to me when I moved into my first house in a very crappy neighbourhood. Spent what little money I had in prettying up the front with some shrubs and flowers only to have them all dug up one night. It’s a shitty feeling for sure. Have since moved to a smaller house a bit more rural and couldn’t be happier. If a move isn’t possible than focus your attention indoors and when you shut your door you’ll be shutting out that scum bag energy too. Your space is amazing enjoy it and don’t let the dirtbags get to you.

  50. kelly on 12/04/2012:

    I had a crazy lady neighbor stealing plants out of my yard, planted in the ground not in pots, and then planting them in her yard up the street. Crazy fuckwad! Me and my neighbors got her to stay away from our yards. I am sorry for your loss

  51. John on 12/05/2012:

    Damn you! Every picture. Pure perfection.

  52. Elaine on 02/05/2013:

    Hi, this might not be an option for you, but homeowner’s insurance should cover the chairs, etc. minus a deductible. Now for me to put my detective hat on and find those bastards…

  53. How To Create A Blog on 06/12/2013:

    If you are going for most excellent contents like me, only visit this web site every day
    as it presents quality contents, thanks

  54. Full Brick Homes on 06/15/2013:

    i really appreciate with this wonderful post….

  55. GoDaddy Promo Code on 06/18/2013:

    If you desire to improve your familiarity just
    keep visiting this web site and be updated with the most
    recent news update posted here.

  56. It’s in reality a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m happy that
    you just shared this useful information with us. Please stay us informed like this.
    Thanks for sharing.

  57. Asking questions are genuinely pleasant thing if you are not understanding anything fully, except this paragraph offers pleasant understanding

  58. Fat Cow Hosting on 07/05/2013:

    Ahaa, its fastidious dialogue on the topic of this paragraph here at
    this webpage, I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting at this place.

  59. Webhosting on 07/05/2013:

    Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let
    you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but
    I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same outcome.

  60. Bluehost Coupon on 07/15/2013:

    hello there and thank you for your info – I’ve definitely picked up anything new from right here. I did however expertise a few technical issues using this website, as I experienced to reload the web site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I am complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and can damage your quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this
    RSS to my e-mail and can look out for much more of your respective interesting content.
    Make sure you update this again soon.

  61. Bluehost Coupon on 07/15/2013:

    Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!
    Very helpful information specially the last part :
    ) I care for such information a lot. I was looking for this particular information for a very long time.
    Thank you and best of luck.

  62. Go Daddy Coupon Codes on 07/24/2013:

    Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is fundamental and everything. However just imagine if you added some great photos or video clips
    to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with
    images and clips, this site could undeniably be one
    of the best in its niche. Great blog!

  63. tomsamy on 07/25/2013:

    I came across your website by chance as I was looking for that designer armchair black leather and wood structure that we see on the 2nd picture.
    Are you know who is the editor or designer? Thank you for your help.
    sorry for my english language; I’m French πŸ˜‰

  64. Mypc Backup Reviews on 08/02/2013:

    I visited multiple websites except the audio feature for audio songs
    present at this site is really superb.

  65. Mypcbackup on 08/02/2013:

    Wonderful post! We are linking to this particularly great content
    on our site. Keep up the good writing.

  66. Fat Cow on 08/07/2013:

    At this moment I am going away to do my breakfast, after having my breakfast coming yet again to read additional news.

  67. piknu on 09/15/2017:

    So inspiring~ I love all the details of the house <3

Comment It Up!