Name: Brenna Egan, editor of Refinery29 and Founder/Creative Director of CHIC & you shall find
Location: Mid-City — Los Angeles, California
Size: 2 bedrooms, 1200 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years
Brenna's long time boyfriend proposed to her a few weeks ago, so she is giving the final farewell to her apartment and the single life. She wants to show off her space one last time before she departs for this new journey and new home.
Like most young professionals, Brenna had to make the most of her budget while still creating a design that represented her style. She spends a significant amount of time working from home, so the space had to be comfortable as well. I love how you can see that Brenna's space evolved over time, piece by piece.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: My aesthetic has always leaned towards off-the-wall, bonkers, eccentric. I never buy a piece that doesn't have a quirky sentiment to it or at least evoke some sort of emotion. I like to joke that my overall style is like Anita Pallenberg meets Phyllis Neffler (of Troop Beverly Hills), but I don't think I could ever truly categorize my look because it's ever changing depending on my gravitational pull towards a specific piece! That mantra has always worked for me with my outlandish fashion choices, but as I get older, I think it's high time for a bit more buttoned-up cohesion in the interiors department.
Inspiration: To be perfectly honest, I've never been that girl devouring tear sheets and décor books (well, I love to ogle, but the implementation never happens with my insane schedule). I like to just do what moves me in all aspects of my life. My whimsical approach would probably make a decorator go insane! Up to this point, I've worked backwards — I've just bought items that I felt passionate about and then attempted to make them all blend (or purposefully not blend) together.
I recently got engaged and this is the last hurrah to the post-college pad days of yore — it's really time to adult-ify my abode in a major way. I will obviously keep some of the more prized possessions and statement pieces, but I'd love to see some of the sophistication that I've grown into since buying my furniture at 22 reflected in my dwelling.
Favorite Element: I hope my vintage chandeliers will hang in my granddaughter's home someday! The dainty turquoise (they're real stones) fixture in my bedroom was a purchase made at the Long Beach Flea Market the day after I had a yard sale. (So typical, I purged, then I went and made a large purchase). I used every cent from the sale on that baby! The gilded chandelier in the TV room cost $150 at the Rose Bowl. I was so smitten, I didn't even try to argue with that price!
My custom-made Louis Vuitton day bed is special to me because I purchased it on my 25th birthday and I really couldn't afford it (total Top Ramen times). I find it funny that the posts are these regal Civil War-era beauties juxtaposed against the flashy LV logos (I had a friend who works at LVMH verify that the leather is real). My fiancé calls it my Jay-Z bed for some reason - I guess I could see it in a rapper's home? Make me an offer Jay and Bey, ha!
Biggest Challenge: Even though I've lived in my apartment for five years, I've always had this nomadic sensibility like I could be moving any minute. I guess that's a total twentysomething comment! I've always wanted to be in Venice and troll the neighborhood constantly for little bungalows, and there was even a point when I was moving to Paris for grad school (even after acquiring my Visa, I skipped it when the Refinery29 gig was offered to me). So, needless to say, I just haven't invested the time or money in nesting like it counts.
Well, things have indeed changed with this ring on my finger! I can't wait to create a new space that's still indicative of my penchant for flea market finds and odd art, but that feels clean and inviting, too. (Of course, my hubby-to-be's opinion will count, too. Well…)
What Friends Say: I think my friends get a kick out of it and say that it's "so me". (I'm not sure what that means for me, since I'm not over the moon about it! I guess that we're always works in progress as humans and as spaces?) Another tougher critic, whose opinion I totally trust, recently said, "Girl, we've got to DE-clutter." He's right. I've already had one yard sale, and another's a-comin!
Biggest Embarrassment: Oh boy, where do I begin? I loathe the fact that the curtains don't drape the floor at the perfect angle. Those IKEA curtains have got.to.go. I can't stand my battered West Elm shelves (circa '04). The art in the TV room belongs next to a five-year-old little gal's bunk bed (maybe mine someday?) The inspiration boards in my office have become such Hoarderville, they do just the opposite of sparking ideas. Panic attack central. But, please don't misread me, I'm so grateful for what I have, and the oddball eye I've been blessed with. It's just finding the time (someone please tell me when?) to make it feel more whole.
Proudest DIY: I work 15-hour days, so I'm actually really impressed that I even planted the Elephant Ears in my Jonathan Adler vase on my porch. It was actually a really liberating experience to get my hands in the Earth. I've sanded and re-painted my coffee table the perfect hue of turquoise about six times and I still love it! I miss the days when I had time to more technically draw and paint, but the elephant/snake paintings I rendered from Le Petit Prince in my office make my heart swell every time I look at them.
Biggest Indulgence: Sabina, my lovely, thoughtful, thorough, SAINT of a cleaning lady.
Best Advice: I need it!
Dream Sources: Kelly Wearstler is my idol. If I ever make beaucoup bucks someday, she will be the first dream ticket designer to construct a space for me. C Project on La Brea is the cat's meow, and I love to bop around the design stores on Beverly and La Cienega. However, antiques will forever be what make my heart sing. Charles & Charles, Inheritance, Wertz Brothers, and Modern One are definitely where it's at.
Resources of Note:
- Desk and white chair from Blueprint Furniture (bi-annual sale baybee!)
- Curtains and comforter from Target
- Beetle pillow from C Wonder in Fashion Island (just opened)
- Globe from the flea market
- White bookshelf from IKEA
- Louis Vuitton chopsticks came in a gift bag from a dinner at the Rodeo store
- Turquoise jewelry box from Plantation
- Unicorn, elephants, horse from flea markets
- White Lamp from 45 Three Modern Vintage
- Black and yellow lamp from Target
- Jonathan Adler girl face vase
- White chair was picked up accidentally dumpster diving while walking my dog a block over. I dropped him off and came back with my car!
- The brown chairs I had shipped from a rattan company in Florida before everyone got on that bandwagon again. They were SO elusive — the shipping costs doubled the price of the chairs!
- Macho y Hombra painting by David Weidman (the nudes)
- Hunter S. Thompson is a print of an actual poster that hung in Aspen, purchased at Jackson Street Booksellers in Omaha, Nebraska (I've gifted so many of these over the years!)
- Zen Companion was my Dad's
- Wastebasket was in my home growing up!
- Golden State Of Mind limited run wood painting by Nicholas Maggio from Pacsun
- Hermes soap came from The Parker Palm Springs (I'm not afraid to admit that I needed to take that home, ha!)
- Bed from Blueprint Furniture (sale again)
- Dressers from H.D. Buttercup
- Flea market lamp and painting of the girl
- My collection of owls are all from Mexico, where I met my fiance. It's a tradition that every time we visit, we come back with a "tecolote." One of them now houses my engagement ring at night.
- Bar cart from Tini
- Mirrored tray from Target
- Ashtray from Palm Springs yard sale
- All vases from Goodwill
- Groucho Marx vase I inherited
- Gun vase from Rose Apodaca's A + R
- Fruit paintings were done by my mom, Colleen Sturgeon
(Images: Marcia Prentice)
• HOUSE TOUR ARCHIVE: Check out past house tours here.
• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour Submission Form.
• Are you a designer/architect/decorator interested in sharing a residential project with Apartment Therapy readers? Contact the editors through our Professional Submission Form.