I Bought My Miracle Mile 4-Bedroom House For $500,000

In Refinery29's Sweet Digs, we take a look inside the sometimes small, sometimes spacious homes of millennial women. Today, 44-year-old Angela shows off her four-bedroom house in Los Angeles.
When Angela Rockwood first walked into her Spanish-style home, just outside of Los Angeles’ famed Miracle Mile, she knew she had to have it. Then, shortly after purchasing it, she was in an automobile accident that left her paralyzed from the neck down. From that point forward, she became a wheelchair user. Luckily, she says, her house has wide enough doors and hallways that she was able to get by with minor renovations to make it accessible.
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Once her initial accessibility needs were addressed, Angela partnered with friends who are artists to turn her home into a sanctuary. From hand-painting a bathroom door to making her living room walls look like the interior of a castle, no detail was ignored. “I’m truly ecstatic, decorating my house the way I want to, putting my love, my energy, my essence into everything I’ve been wanting to do for a very, very long time.” With four bedrooms, a breakfast nook, a ramped driveway and a guesthouse, she has plenty of space to get creative.
But she still has two major projects planned for the future. The first involves making her kitchen more accessible with a stove that can be moved up and down at her convenience. And the second includes a friend who will cover her bedroom walls in murals to transform the room into a lush, natural retreat. Another friend is even building a tree to arch over her bed so she’ll be “sleeping outside in a forest.”
Ahead, Angela shares more about her dream house, the DIY projects that make it feel like home, and the one splurge that’s become her sacred space.
What is your favorite part about your home?
“The feeling of it. Immediately when you come into our house, you feel this calmness. When people come in, they say it feels really good. I love the fact that it has this vibe; it’s my sanctuary. I’m very specific about who I invite to my house, who stays the night, and the specific energy that comes through. Of course, I sage when I feel bad energy to keep it clean and just feeling good. The thing that I love the most about my house is the decor. It’s not typical. Most homes in LA have white walls.”
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Did you do anything specific to your home to make it more accessible?
“The crazy thing is, when my therapist came into the house before I transferred back to my home after the hospital, they stated that I purchased the house as if I knew I was going to be in a wheelchair. All of the doors and hallways are extremely wide—very accessible. The main thing my ex-husband did [to make it accessible from the entrance] was to knock the wall down on the front porch and build a beautiful tiled ramp into the driveway. In the living room, I just put down a ramp to get from there to the dining room. And in my bathroom, I pulled off the cabinet so I can roll underneath the sink and have my own vanity area. With the shower, my ex and a few friends built a little lip creating a ramp to go into the shower area.”
What was your biggest splurge in your home?
“Believe it or not, that would be the fountain that’s outside on the patio. That is one of my favorite places; that’s my sacred space. Every Sunday, me and my little bear [my dog Kenzo], go outside around 12:30 p.m. or 1:00 p.m., and we sit out all day on the front porch. I just love it.”
Why do you love the neighborhood?
“A majority of people in this neighborhood have been here over 50 years. When you come rolling down the street, the streets are enormously wide. It’s a good vibe. Everybody watches out for each other, but [aren’t] nosy. Once a year, we have our block party. Everybody knows each other.”
Read more stories from our Voices of Disability series. Edited by Kelly Dawson, a disability advocate who was born with cerebral palsy and has a master's degree in media communications.
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