Name: Deana Bracken, Interior designer and owner of Green With Glamour
Location: Silver Lake, Los Angeles
Moving from nearly 1800 square feet into under 600 square feet was a considerable design challenge, but the larger apartment was just too big for our needs. So this quirky, teeny 1923 hilltop cabin was a welcome change. Not only did the smaller space force me to purge many unnecessary furnishings that I had amassed over the years, but our energy use has taken a serious and glorious nose dive as well.
I would describe my personal style as vintage-glam-meets-mid-century-mod, with a dash of uptown bohemia (although I adore working with all styles for client projects—from craftsman to super sleek contemporary). My number one design inspiration is my grandmother. Her approach to living is a bit more formal than my own, but the way she makes elegance look easy has always spoken to me.
As for "green" elements, my primary focus is re-use, alhough I do like to trick out the surfaces with décor from Green With Glamour. Just about every element (furniture, lighting, rugs, pottery, even most of the artwork) in the house is second hand, including my grandmother's massive 1971 Chesterfield sofa. I have had amazing luck finding thrift store gems on my many trips to Palm Springs. Whenever a vintage piece is in need of re-upholstery, I look to stylish, sustainable textile designers like Mod Green Pod and Rubie Green for gorgeous fabrics—and of course, my upholsterer works with kapok (upon request).
The bedding is organic cotton from West Elm. The headboard I made myself from a discarded hollow door, organic cotton batting and a wonderful hemp linen I found at Near Sea Naturals. I'm not big on window treatments (luckily the house is incredibly private), but I did fashion the "dining room" drapery from remnant silk and all of the paints are no or low-VOC.
When I first saw the house, every room was painted this horrible dusty pink, so that was clearly the first thing that had to go. Though I'm typically a big fan of boldly colored walls, the cabin is so small and weird, I opted for a bright, warm white for all walls with the exception of a half wall in the kitchen on which I used a metallic Ralph Lauren paint leftover from a design project.
However, I would say the greatest issue with this space is that it's tiny. The bedroom is barely big enough to fit a queen sized bed (leaving only an 18" path on one side), but luckily the built-in shelving and closet spaces are quite efficient... so the overall vibe of the room is quite cozy. The living/dining area and the kitchen are actually fairly spacious, so once I paired the furnishings down to only truly beloved pieces, everything seemed to fall perfectly into place. The bathroom is ridiculously small (including the shortest claw foot tub I've ever encountered). The walls are old and rough, so I upholstered them with a bold-patterned remnant fabric that covered all of the flaws and tried to keep every other element in the room clean and white as to not look "too much." The kitchen has a very late 70s/early 80s vibe which actually works wonderfully with my vintage pottery, heirloom china and glassware collections... and the view is incredible. It actually makes doing dishes way less of a chore. The covered patio is one of my favorite spaces. The view goes on forever, it's roomy enough for about 8-10 people to sit comfortably, but even better for romantic dinners for two.
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(Images: Deana Bracken)