Name: Lauren Mizrahi
Location: Marina, San Francisco, California
Size: 500 square feet, Studio
Years lived in: 2.5 years; Rented
Lauren of Live Happy Inspired brings her sense of colorful, stylish living to her home as well as her blog. Walking through her door I was immediately taken with her glossy fiddle leaf fig tree "I polished the leaves with a drop of olive oil" she informed me, which launched us into trading tips for house plants and debating if there is, in fact, such a thing as too many.
Decorating a studio can be a difficult endeavor but Lauren takes it in stride with well defined zones and impeccably styled vignettes drawing your eye around the space. A lesson in style and restraint, every room if perfectly finished with carefully considered, thoughtful touches; as is Lauren herself, on my way out she sweetly presented me with a prettily packaged cupcake from a local bakery.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: I am drawn to classic shapes and cozy fabrics. I have gradually made the transition over the past years to a mostly neutral palate but I like to layer a variety of different textures in so it has personality. I also love flowers and plants—they provide the color in my apartment. Bloom That in San Francisco has the most beautiful arrangements.
Inspiration: I am inspired by flea markets and the studios of Paris. I love things with character that have a story behind them. I have been collecting things from the flea market for a few years now and I like how they add individuality to a space.
In terms of designers I love Windsor Smith, Kelly Wearstler, Miles Redd and Dorothy Draper’s work. They have an incredible talent for mixing patterns and colors. I also think that Emily Henderson is a wonderful designer that provides accessible inspiration. I am constantly looking at her site for ideas and inspiration.
Favorite Element: The classic San Francisco details like the phone in the entryway, the molding, the penny tiles in the bathroom—so indicative of the time period this apartment was built in. I also love that I have so much light from the two bay windows. It makes the space very cheerful and bright.
Biggest Challenge: When I first came into the space, as in any studio, it was hard determine how to separate the living room/bedroom space. Defining the two spaces with an area rug and furniture helps. Now I don’t even notice that my bed is in my living room.
What Friends Say: Whenever anyone comes over they immediately comment on how cozy it feels and how beautiful the light is. I want people to feel at home and comfortable in my space. They also love the trunk that serves as my coffee table because it has so much character. Then they ask me for help with their space!
Biggest Embarrassment: Since it is a rental, there are a few things that I can’t change like the “beautiful” linoleum in the kitchen. I have learned to live with it. No space is perfect—you’ve sometimes got to work with what you have.
Proudest DIY: Im not sure if this counts as a DIY, but I am very proud of my gallery wall. The frames are all from IKEA, which makes this project very affordable. The artwork comes from my travels to Paris, my hometown of Seattle and a few pictures of my own from Italy. It reminds me of some of my favorite trips and memories.
Biggest Indulgence: I have to admit that I can’t stop buying candles. They can really transform a room. My favorite places to get candles are Dyptique (when I am feeling fancy) and Anthropologie (for their incredible selection)
Best Advice: Choose only things in your home that you really love. It is better to take time and build rather than just buy meaningless things. Never buy everything from the same place—it’s all about the mix. I have things from IKEA and Macy’s but they are mixed with flea market and local artisan pieces that provide character to the big box items.
Dream Sources: ABC Carpet and Home in New York is my dream design source. I also love Furbish Home and their colorful mix of patterns and colors. I get inspiration from a myriad of other blogs, online magazines (Lonny and Rue are my favorites) and from classic design publications like Veranda, Traditional Home and Elle Décor.
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
• Rental paint (I actually love the combination of semi-gloss for the trim and matte for the walls, it’s a nice shade of ivory)
• Bicycle: Public Bikes
• Bench: Flea market
• Framed Print (words): Holstee Co.
• Framed Print (silhouette): Flea Market
• Couch: Macy’s
• Trunk, cane chair, magazine rack, bell jar, amethyst: Flea Market
• Flowers: Bloom That
• Gold bowl: Anthropologie
• Knit pillows: Serena and Lilly
• Pendleton pillow: Appetite Studio
• Lambskin – IKEA
• Rug: Joss and Main
• Yellow Blanket: Garnet Hill
• Knit Blanket: Pottery Barn
• Stripped Blanket: IKEA
• Console: West Elm
• Oversize Perfume Bottle: Z Gallerie
• Hand model: Vintage
• Seagrass Rug: Pottery Barn
• Kitchen table and chairs: IKEA
• Hobnail Vase: Vintage
• Salt and Pepper Shakers: West Elm
• Candle: Anthropologie
• Radio: Tivoli
• Console: From previous owner
• Small white vase: IKEA
• Gold frame: Flea market
• Geode: National History Museum
• Self-contained Ecosystem: Eco-Sphere
• Rug: Urban Outfitters
• Vase: Anthropologie
• Cookie Jar: Williams-Sonoma
• Blanket: Pottery Barn
• Duvet cover, sheets, Euro shams: West Elm
• Throw pillow: CB2
• Tray (above bed): Flea market
• Lamp: flea market
• Zebra dish: Jonathan Adler
• Desk and chair: West Elm
• Lamp: One Kings Lane
• Curtain: West Elm
• Chevron rug: West Elm
• Black and white rug: Local hardware store
• Marble table: Flea market
• Antler jewelry holder: Mod Cloth
• Gold tray: vintage
• Diffuser: Antica Farmacista
• Glass canister: Anthropologie
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(Image credits: Lauren's Happy, Inspired Studio; Kim Lucian)