“I’d Rather Be Me” — L.A. Mags Talk to Tami

Independent Woman — California Real Estate Magazine

“Pardee is also seeing a definite trend in what people want from their homes. “They want housing with a soul,” she said. “They don’t want cookie cutter houses.” As to why, she added, “People are spending more time in their homes and are so isolated on their phones. They at least want comfort when they’re at home.”

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TAMI Halton Pardee, owner and principal broker of Venice’s Halton Pardee + Partners, has sold more than $2 billion worth of residential and commercial real estate since launching the business in 2005. But when it comes to her workspace, the “residential” side of her personality wins out.

“I wanted it to be like a little house,” Pardee said, enjoying a recent sunny morning at an airy office the company has occupied on Abbot Kinney Boulevard since 2011. Halton Pardee also has an office in Santa Monica and is opening a Mar Vista outpost later this year.

“We sell homes, so I didn’t want it to feel like an office,” Pardee said. “I wanted an open vibe. I wanted people to be in communication. I did not want a corporate feel.”

Pardee, 45, said she shudders at the word “corporate.”

“A corporate environment gives me major anxiety,” she said. “I feel like my creativity is totally stifled.”

Her energetic manner and ready laugh belie the fact that she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis just over 16 years ago. The diagnosis is a big reason Pardee tries to “enjoy every moment,” which to her means working in a friendly space where employees feel free to bring a pet, cook lunch, relax after business hours with wine or beer, and dress for comfort.

“When people start feeling comfortable, they let their guard down,” she said.

The family-friendly vibe is also evidenced by the frequent appearance of Pardee’s four children at the office, where she puts them to work serving coffee and answering phones. The young entrepreneurs also set up a lemonade stand outside the office in the summer, donating the proceeds to charity.

While much of the office is designed to look like a home, its white oak ceilings hold a special place in Pardee’s heart.

“When I was little, I had wood ceilings like this in my room, so I wanted them in my office,” said Pardee, who also made sure to include “big, sparkly” light fixtures so the space would feel “girly and feminine and glamorous.”

“I’m a woman. I’m not a man,” Pardee said. “I’m not trying to be a man. I’d rather be me.”

– Diane Haithman

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