House Tour: Kana and Sam's Less is More

Los Angeles

082108_kana3.jpgName: Kana and Sam
Location: Venice, CA.
Size: 900 sq. feet
Years lived in: 2 1/2 years, Rent

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Kana and Sam live downstairs from my boyfriend and I have always wanted to see what their apartment looks like. Kana, an owner of AT favorite Bahay Home has impeccable taste and is always way together. And with 900 square feet for two adults and a baby, I knew I'd learn a thing or two about living large in a small space. Let's just say I was not disappointed. Kana has been able to make something small feel very big...

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Given the restraints of space and baby I expected at least a little chaos. Maybe it's because they've taken the route of less is more, but nothing about their home felt cluttered, stuffed or small. Even the smallest space, like the 1/2 bath underneath the stairs, has an airiness and lightness to it. And still their space is far from sterile: there are toys, books, a few tchochkes and some artwork from friends that adorn the walls. They've truly taken to heart the idea of only filling your home with the things you love and use.

And since Kana has access to all the furniture she wants, I also expected to see more furniture, but found careful restraint. The living room contains a comfortable modern sectional and a credenza with a media center. The built in book case houses baby books and coffee table books. In a room that could have been crammed full of furniture and decor, they took the simple route and the result is a space that feels comfortable to move around in, and somehow, large. The same goes for their front porch which runs the length of the living room/dining room and couldn't be more than 4 feet wide. Because of her potted plants and Sam's lemon tree, the porch is inviting and becomes a small extension of their main living space.

All around their house I found empty surfaces, carefully chosen art and objects and a sense of having room. And I felt jealous, in a good way. Great job Kana, thanks for giving us the tour!

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AT Survey:

My/Our style: Modern, organic

Inspiration: Mostly nature

Favorite Room: Genevieve's room. I love the light in there...the coral wallpaper, and all her stuffed animals looking down on her as she sleeps.

Most Talked About Element of the House:It's very small, but designed well. Each bedroom has an attached bathroom. And there is also a powder room (1/2 bath) for our guests.

Biggest Embarrassment: Hard to say as it's always changing.... At the moment, I can't stand the green rug in the living room, but it has been great for the baby as she needed a lot of tummy time as she was learning to crawl, and now that she is starting to walk it's great padding for her little tush when she loses her balance. When we bought it, I was having a sort of " I need an outside space" moment, so the grass effect helped with that. In in our new place, we'll probably put it in the play room or Genevieve's room...we'll see how it all works out.

Proudest DIY: A built in shoe-rack in the closet, and Sam put together all the Ikea closets and dressers.

Best advice: Buy things that make you happy, move your art around every so often, and rotate your furniture from one room to the other so you don't get bored.

Dream source:Well, it's just a teeny bit biased,....but my favorite store in LA is Bahay. We have a really great collection of furniture and art, and our prices are really affordable....In regards to dream pieces, most currently, I am coveting the Togo collection from Ligne-Roset. And some new dining chairs, but I just can't decide which way to go, yet...

Cleaning or Organizing Tips: What works for me is having the garage as a storage, ....we park on the street....Also, having as many cabinets and drawers, and pretty boxes and places to hide things like all our papers, mail, magazines, and junk that is not really junk so we need to keep it....

Oldest Thing You Own: My grandmother's jewelry

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Resources:

Furniture:Bahay. I wonder why....but I usually can get a pretty good deal there. Design Within Reach, Twentieth, B & B Italia, Ligne-Roset, (and of course, I think Ikea is just great....I definitely have a secret obsession with it...or maybe not so secret....)

Accessories: A + R design shop on Abbot Kinney, Moss

Lighting: Design Within Reach, Craigslist, Ebay

Rugs and Carpets: Bahay, Hollywood Love Rugs, and my friend Kim
Jordan makes the most beautiful fur throws....

Tiles and Stone: Manhattan Stone & Tile

Window Treatments: Ikea, Hunter Douglas

Beds: Bahay, Ligne-Roset

Artwork: My dear artist and photographer friends - Chad Attie, Peter Tunney, Britt Michaelian, Andrew Cramer, Kevin Ancell, Kwaku Alston.....and I like to support the artists down on the strand in Venice and check out who the local galleries are showing...

(Thanks, Kana!)

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Photos by Laure

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