Jeff's Super Small & Stylish Guest House

Jeff's Super Small & Stylish Guest House

Bethany Nauert
Feb 26, 2013

Name: Jeff Garbs and his dog Tuna
Location: Highland Park, Los Angeles, California
Size: 390 square feet
Years lived in: 4 months; rented

Jeff Garbs is a self proclaimed junker and lover of all things vintage. Upon moving his entire life from Texas just four months ago, he has joined Sally Breer and Ellen LeComte of Amsterdam Modern in co-founding Shopclass, the brand new vintage hotspot in Highland Park. Jeff has a wonderful eye for quality vintage decor and a quirky personal style. With a mere 390 square feet to work with, he has created a stylish and colorful home

"I've only been in Los Angeles for a few months but I can't wait for my first summer, so I can really experience the Southern California lifestyle," Jeff proclaims about his new home with such enthusiasm. This house comes with a private front yard and back yard, where he plans to garden, offer outdoor seating and possibly install a washing machine and clothes line.

Jeff believes that the most important thing about designing a home is making it warm and inviting, not pretentious. "I can admire a sparse design but at the end of the day, your home should be a reflection of you and what makes you happy." To this end, he has designed a home filled with artwork, memorabilia from friends and family, and custom built furniture from artist friends. He really took the time to redo the kitchen, and though it's a rental he says it's greatly improved his outlook on the home! And though the whole house is adorable and well styled, the life of the party is his amazing dog Tuna! Enjoy!!

Big thanks to Sally Breer for introducing us :)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Mid Century modern mixed with a bit of Pee Wee's playhouse. I have been trying real hard to be more sophisticated, but it's not not entirely working.

Inspiration: All things Mid Century.

Favorite Element: The hooks in my bedroom keep all my clothes and junk off the floor.

Biggest Challenge: Being a collector (hoarder) and living in 390 square feet.

What Friends Say: Everyone is amazed by what I've done in such a short amount of time on such a tight budget.

Biggest Embarrassment: The hole above the fridge that I still haven't patched up.

Proudest DIY: The kitchen backsplash. There were holes in the 1930's ceramic tile from old plumbing that had been covered with funny little fat chefs cut out of wallpaper and pasted onto the tile. It was the bad kind of DIY. I used left over floor tile, liquid nails and plastic ceiling tile trim. Did it all for under $20.

Biggest Indulgence: Redoing a house I don't own and buying a new fridge simply because the other one was too big.

Best Advice: Don't be afraid to make a small investment in your rental. I love this place so much more now. Money well spent.

Resources of Note:


    • Behr- Silky White


    • Eames shell was scored at a garage sale someone had painted it purple and I repainted it black.
    • The industrial shelf is from Home Depot.
    • Vintage Nelson clock was scored from an estate sale.
    • Knoll sofa from Reeves Modern in Houston.


    • Dining table is Paul Cadovius scored at the PCC flea market in Pasadena for $150!
    • Vintage Eames DCW's garage sale in Austin


    • Butcher block counters from IKEA


    • My buddy Jack made the bed B&B Steel in Houston
    • The art is from an old counter at Uncommon Objects in Austin
    • I scored the hooks at Uncommon Objects
    • Sock people were all gifts from friends

Thanks, Jeff!

Images: Bethany Nauert

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