La Casetta, a mini compound in Highland Park

La Casetta—’ the cottage’ in Italian—occupies a beautiful position near the end of a coveted no-through street in Highland Park, blending a bohemian chic aesthetic with period details within a mini compound.

As the home hits the market, owner Katharine Goodenow, a Kundalini yoga and meditation teacher, shares her love for the property at 1041 Milwaukee Avenue and reflects on why it was a dream to live here during the pandemic.

The living room of La Casetta in Highland Park
The fireplace
The living room

“I lived in West Hollywood for quite a few years. I love trees and outdoor space, and I wanted a garden. 

“Highland Park is a great mix of so many things LA has to offer; you’re near the mountains, and being in the hills here is great, but you’re also in a neighborhood where you can walk to everything, so it’s just the best of everything LA offers. 

“I loved the energy of this house. The minute I walked in, I felt peaceful in the house, especially in the backyard. The first time I walked in and out of the studio, I thought I’d like to be here every day.”

From the street, the house is partially hidden and shaded by mature trees. The interior flow of light and life begins in the living room with original hardwood floors at your feet, tray ceilings above, a statement fireplace, and a picture window framing the scenery of the trees and an array of lavender bushes, flowering palms, and a birdbath in the front garden. 

The living room looks onto the dining room, connecting to a single-line kitchen fitted with a vintage stove and laundry. A center hall connects the two bedrooms, with a bathroom in the middle. The primary bedroom features double-hung windows and a roomy closet, while the rear bedroom looks out to the backyard.

Dining table
The kitchen room

Who named the house?

“My Italian friend showed up and said, “Oh, it’s ‘La Casetta,’ and I just loved it. And that’s what I’ve called it ever since.”

What’s your favorite room in the house?

“I really love the living room. I’ve decorated the fireplace for every single holiday … the fireplace is so festive to me, and there’s no holiday I wouldn’t say I like to decorate for: Valentine’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, etc. I also love the studio so much. I’ve worked up there, slept up there, meditated up there—it’s like a magical treehouse with AC. If you leave the door open, there’s a cat that isn’t my cat. But it’s here. The cat comes to see me all the time and hangs out.”

How did you adjust to the stay-at-home order? 

“This compound is a work-from-home dream. My sister and her fiancé were here at one point, and we had plenty of space for three adults. We each had our workspace. It was such a blessing to be here during the lockdown. To be here and have scenery changes, it turns out that you never really need to leave this place (she says with the biggest smile.) And if you want to, you can walk to York to get a coffee. There’s an incredible zero-waste grocery store, and they do farm boxes, and you walk there to refill things. It was perfect living here during the pandemic.”

The kitchen opens to a gently terraced yard offering flat levels for entertaining. Two separate structures sit on the property; one is a detached garage currently used as a home office and yoga studio. The other is a studio used for meditating. Both are great for overnight guests and have access to the bonus bathroom.

Bedroom book shelf
The bathroom basin
The bedroom and wooden floor

What’s one thing you’re glad you added to your home?

“The Heartland stove … I had no idea I would cook three meals daily. So the stove was such a good addition. I loved the look of it and did not cook before the lockdown. I’m so happy I added that cause not only do I love the look of it, I love using it. Adding the whole house water filtration was a convenient thing for sustainability. I also loved adding the lemon tree and herb garden. Again, being home and cooking, having all that there is fun and useful.”

backyard sitting place
La Casetta in Highland Park
Side yard sitting place of La Casetta in Highland Park
La Casetta in Highland Park
The main entrance of La Casetta in Highland Park

What’s your favorite thing about the neighborhood?

“A nice discovery I had during the pandemic was the hiking trails by Occidental College. It’s a beautiful campus and walks. Residents can join the gym and use the pool. 

A new natural wine bar opened down on York called Holcomb; they have an outdoor patio and tapas. Café Jane is at the end of the street. I love walking down York and picking up a coffee at Collage Coffee or Kumquat. I also love the zero-waste grocery shop and Sip Snack. And there’s also the Barcade, an arcade for adults from Brooklyn.”

The asking price is a tad under $1.2 million.

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