Name: Laura Taylor and Megan Kain
Location: Los Feliz — Los Angeles, California
Size: 1,250 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year 9 months — rent
I have been a fan of Laura Taylor's photography, also known as The Darling Life Photography, for years. Floating around on her blog I saw a snapshot she took of her kitchen table, which piqued my interest for a house tour.
Laura and her roommate, Megan Kain, share a two bedroom, one bathroom apartment in Los Feliz. Complete with tons of vintage furnishings (and homemade pies!), their home is much like Laura's photography — whimsical touches of nostalgia, interesting color choices throughout, and bathed in amazing natural light.
Megan is a dancer and also loves to surf, so while there are some wonderful antiques spread about, there is also a surf board and a bedroom wall full of bikinis. Growing up in the South and the Midwest, both roommates have established a very simple style that has evolved around collected artwork and eclectic accessories.
The roommates negotiated the space — Megan took the master bedroom with a walk in closet, while Laura took the much smaller bedroom. "My bedroom is tiny" notes Laura, "but I didn't mind because I get the parking spot and a huge walk in closet in the hallway." Laura notes that one of the biggest setbacks of renting is not being able to change out certain things like a "hobbit hole" of a shower/tub or an outdated kitchen. However, the apartment's charm relies on some of the original features such as the beautiful glass doorknobs, a spacious floorplan and plenty of built in storage. My favorite feature of all is their small breakfast nook, for which they found the ideal picnic bench style table, in a perfect shade of yellow.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: I grew up in Georgia, so I'm very keen on old southern charm. That combined with my idea of California in the 50s
Inspiration: This apartment has a very farmhouse feel to me, I wanted it to maintain that lived-in comfort and airiness.
Favorite Element: I love all the windows and natural light we get.
Biggest Challenge: Hanging curtains! Such a pain!
What Friends Say: Warm, bright and welcoming.
Biggest Embarrassment: That poor, poor kitchen. If we owned this place, we would replace the countertops, floor and repaint the cabinets. When you rent, you just have to work with it. We painted the walls mint green, which freshened it up a bit.
Proudest DIY: The magnet photo ropes in the breakfast nook. Took a surprisingly long time to find all the materials and assemble.
Biggest Indulgence: We've kept a pretty tight budget. The picnic table in the nook was probably our biggest splurge. I just had to have it. It was the first piece of furniture we bought for the apartment, and definitely our favorite. It's the heart of the home.
Best Advice: Collect over time, don't worry about having everything perfect from the get-go. It's fun and less daunting to gradually find all the pieces that fit the puzzle.
Dream Sources: The Fort Greene flea market in Brooklyn, Design Within Reach, distant forgotten farms
Resources of Note:
• Coffee table found at antique store in Silverlake, we added old photographs under the glass.
• Wonderland candleholders by Stephen Johnson for Artecnica
• Fun old cameras collected over the years litter the bookshelves
• Antique chest from yard sale and old suitcase found on side of road act as side table
• Wooden bird on mantle found at an antique store in Georgia years ago. I thought it was so cute. My dad took note and surprised me with it for Christmas.
• Most favorite vintage butter yellow picnic table found on Craigslist.
• Magnetic rope displays photos from the early 1900s I've collected from flea markets.
• Megan found "Congregate" print at Reform School in Sunset Junction
• Giant hamburger steals the show and also hides napkins and such.
• A lot of vintage kitchenware, utensils, bake ware was passed down from Megan's grandmother in Kansas.
• Antique wrought iron bed found on Craigslist
• Desk and office chair from an antique store in Silverlake. The chair squeaks incessantly, but I loved it too much to pass up. It's starting to get to me though!
• Airplane Prints on wall were found at the Chelsea Flea Market in New York City. They're from a museum and include fun little captions.
• Dutch modern desk, given as a gift from a mentor. The chair didn't come with it, found it at Berdas Paradise thrift store on Sunset in silverlake.
• Nautical artwork tryptic from CHEAPART/Max Schumann show at Maxfish 5 years ago.
• Collage art pieces around the house are my creation (including the big one in the hall with the salvaged frame that was across from my surfboard.
• Above my bed are three pieces of art from some of my favorite artists: One is a Swoon print that I bought at an emergency art auction for my friend's brain surgery bills. The surfer photograph above it was taken by Laura Taylor, she gave it to me for my birthday last year. The woman's face drawing on wooden plank is Taylor McKimens. I found it, miraculously cheap, at a vintage furniture store ... it's from 12 years ago.
• Yellow large polka dot print on my wall was sold at Iko Iko, with proceeds benefiting Japan. It's like my personal sunrise when I get up in the morning.
• Vintage quilts next to my bed and on my bed, made by my grandmother and great grandmother.
• Vintage quilted pillow sham from my secret farmhouse antique shop in Kansas City. I visit it every time I go home and come back with so many treasures
• Sailor trunk from the crazy old lady's farmhouse antique shop across the street, •Yellow Mercantile Company.
• Side table in the corner of my room, from the street.
• Vintage bakelite transistor radio, gift from my dad. He found it at the fairfax/melrose flea market when he came to stay with me this year. It's one of the only tangible presents he has given me ever and it was spot on.
• Wooden necklace hanger from Germany found at Melrose & Fairfax flea market
• Megan's surfboard in the hall way is a fun addition to the home
• I live feet away from my best friend. Her apartment is the mirror image of mine.
• Built-ins in hallway are a huge perk. The more storage, the better!
Thanks, Laura and Megan!
Images: Bethany Nauert
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