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Karen Kilgariff’s Midcentury LA Home Gives a Fresh Take to ’70s Decor


Back in 2019, when Karen Kilgariff was regularly on the road performing My Favorite Murder live shows with her podcast cohost Georgia Hardstark (editor’s note: of course I’m a from-episode-one Murderino!), she would often come home and think the hotels she stayed in were much nicer than her dark little Burbank A-frame. “I thought, This is bad for my brain if I like my hotel room better than my own house,” says the writer, producer, and podcast host. So she reached out to her cousin Pete Castro, a real estate agent, and told him it was time to start looking for a new place to live. “The second I walked into this house, all of my muscles relaxed.”

From the built-in bench beside the fireplace to the plush sofa in the living room, every bit of the house is filled with soft upholstery and room to breath—especially paired with the Los Angeles views and outdoor pool and patio area. 

Originally built in 1951, the home was not only a beautiful midcentury gem, but it also had an impressive history. It was designed by renowned California architect Henry C. Burge (a teacher of Frank Gehry at USC) and had been meticulously restored by its previous owner, an architect. Plus, when Karen first looked at this house, she was blown away by the windows. “The fact that you’re in Los Angeles, but you can see trees and you can see hills and all these things that I personally have just never seen. Those weren’t ever the houses I’d ever looked at,” she says. Although she was drawn to the home’s intimate proportions and rich design history, Karen was also eager to personalize the space and create a home that suited her needs. 


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