My LA: Joan Barton of Dirty Girl Construction

This year, we’re introducing My LA, a recurring post that invites some of our favorite Angelenos to share their favorite aspects of the city, and we’re starting with Joan Barton, founder of Dirty Girl Construction, who exemplifies the multi-hyphenate talents found in our design community. At the moment, the composer-turned-builder is starting a 5,000-square-foot, ground-up modern home in the Palisades, finishing a remodel–addition in Brentwood, and breaking ground on a new home on the Westside. And in the coming months, she’ll be kicking off projects that will take her up and down the coast, from Malibu to Mar Vista, and as far east as Hancock Park. She was also just interviewed by the Los Angeles Times for a feature on jaw-dropping bathrooms—a must-read if you're looking for a little extra inspiration.

The Broad

Arts & Culture

“My parents were kind enough to immerse me in the arts growing up and I am always seeking out new cultural experiences. The Broad is wonderful, and I spend a lot of time down at the Brewery checking out the latest creations by local artisans. The Loft at Liz’s is always a fun night but my favorite gallery space to hang out in is Slete in Culver City (and not just because I built it!) I’m also a big fan of theater. I had the chance to see Hamilton a few months ago and then meet the cast backstage afterwards—an amazing show, so if you get a chance to go, GO! And most years I buy a season of shows at the Taper, which also gives me a chance to check out new restaurants downtown beforehand. As far as music, just point me in the direction of sounds being made and I’ll go check it out—I don’t care if it’s in an arena, your living room or the studio. Being that I graduated from music college, it’s obviously in my blood and, on occasion, I can still be found sitting behind my piano writing a new song.”

This Minty Moment

Feeds to Follow

“I like feeds that transport me so, hands down, my favorite is @thismintymoment. Minh Tran is beyond talented, and he’s beyond humble. Balance, structure, peace - his art is the personification of grace. He could be the only feed on Instagram and I would feel completely satisfied.” (You can follow Joan @dirtygirlconstruction.)

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Finding Wellness

“I practice Kundalini yoga and meditate every day—I do yoga at home but my guided group practice is done at Ra Ma in Venice—and I’m deeply aligned with my holistic wellness, from diet and supplements that boost and reboot my immune system, to getting assistance with cleaning out environmental and occupational toxins from my system on a weekly basis. I also garden because I think it’s important to connect with the earth by physically putting our hands into the dirt and grounding ourselves.” 

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The Perfect Meal

“My list of favorite restaurants is endless—there are so many places to get beautiful food in L.A.! Right now, I’m loving Felix’s Fiori di zucca, Hatchet Hall’s yeast rolls and spoon bread mushrooms, Lodge Bread’s avocado toast, the Dover sole at Amici, and (always) omakase at Mori. But when I feel like I need a bit of Mom’s cooking, I go to Dulan’s and get myself the best soul food in the city. I’m also really lucky because my husband, Dan, is an amazing chef, so eating at home is always a treat.” (Felix, seen above, is the Venice restaurant of Chef Evan Funke, who tapped Wendy Haworth for its design.)