Name: Caitlin McCarthy and Levi Ogner
Location: Haas Building — Downtown Los Angeles, California
Size: 875 Square Feet
Years lived in: 1½ years
Caitlin and Levi are a fun young couple who have learned how to truly share a small open plan loft, even figuring out a set up that allows for two separate home offices. Recognizing the importance of maintaining their own space, they partioned off an area to create Levi's office, tucked away to the right of the dining table leaving his work area out of sight.
What I love most about Caitlin and Levi's home is that there doesn't seem to be strict rules when it comes to decor. For example, their chalkboard paint wall in the kitchen was supposed to be used for grocery lists. However when they had a party, their friends starting drawing self portraits of themselves on the wall and Caitlin and Levi decided to keep it up as a remembrance of friends who have visited their place. When shopping at an antique store, Caitlin found two identical vintage bar carts, which they decided to use of bedside tables. Their outdoor garden chair in the bedroom serves as a side chair.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Our style is a youthful combination of classic and modern. On a budget, you have to "make things work." Sometimes you don't have the luxury of designing entirely within a specific style. We've had to make Danish Mid-Century modern work with French Rococo and English traditional work with American contemporary.
Inspiration: We moved from a bungalow to a loft. In reinterpreting our furniture to work with the space, we looked at elements such as the exposed brick and developed a kind of library feel. It worked really well since I have so many random books. I also get really inspired by living downtown. The culture is full of artists and designers living and working in buildings that have elaborate architecture, but have been neglected for decades. As in my district, I have pieces of furniture in my home that haven't been touched in 50 years and furniture that was made yesterday and they live together in this off-beat space.
Favorite Element: I love that our space allows for both Levi and I to have our own offices. The way the loft is partitioned, he gets his own space and I get mine, which is incredibly important when you are sharing such small quarters.
Biggest Challenge: Space. Storage is such a nightmare. Our vacuum, Christmas supplies, and snowboards are actually hiding behind that turquoise and gold painting. I don't know how we are going to hide our eyesores when I figure out what to do with that huge canvas!
What Friends Say: They say it's cozy. I've painted and decorated with autumnal colors and I think that's why they say it's such a warm space. The colors worked perfectly for a Halloween party I had. A lot of my neighbors who live in the building haven't even painted, so they are usually surprised how far we've gone to make this place our own.
Biggest Embarrassment: The paint job - don't look! I made the big mistake of thinking I could do it myself. My arms were so sore after just one coat and now I cringe ever time I notice any unevenness.
Proudest DIY: I recently scored a super cool decorative headboard on Craigslist, which is just sitting in my dining room right now. I am going to send it to an upholsterer and have it recovered either in a black silk or something vibrant. Not sure what I'll do with it then. My ideas for it excites me, but maybe in the end I will sell it.
My kitchen was painted a really bright yellow when I moved in that I didn't like. Instead of trying to paint over it, I decided to attach cardboard wall tiles from Mio Culture using a removable tacky. When we move out, cleanup will be a cinch.
Biggest Indulgence: I'm saving up for an Eames Lounge chair, but my biggest indulgence so far would be my Chesterfield Sofa. It was my first major investment and is completely indestructible.
Best advice: My favorite quote is by William Morris. He suggested to, "Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." I try to design by this rule, but Levi makes it difficult sometimes. I don't understand why he needs to keep a toy robot made of cardboard. That's why he has his own office though.
Ideally I could afford to have every piece custom designed and I would love to shop at Moss, Roost Home Furnishings, and buy truly unique furniture from abroad.
Resources of Note:
RUGS & CARPETS
TILES AND STONE
All lamps and chandeliers were gifts. The rest was installed before I moved in.
Most of the paintings I painted myself
Original tile from 1919
I find a lot of craft opportunities by going to Michaels and buying tree branches, rhinestones, gold paint, etc.
Thanks Caitlin and Levi!
Images: Bethany Nauert
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