My First Apartment: Micki's California Dreamin'

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Location: Marina Del Rey, California
Size/Type: 1 Bedroom 1 Bath, approx. 800 square feet
Length of Residence: 1 year

I moved into my first apartment one week before college graduation with (gasp!) my boyfriend. Hey, it was LA and I was on a Production Assistant's salary which meant I couldn't afford anything on my own! After searching every inch of LA to find something within our budget we had almost given up when we found an older complex in Marina Del Rey that hadn't remodeled and raised the rent sky-high. Want to take a peek inside?

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What I loved about the home: Even though the kitchen counters, cabinets and popcorn ceiling hadn't been updated in about twenty years, everything was beige and white which was the perfect blank slate! We got permission to paint one wall in the living room and I went with Tiffany blue (which you can see in the picture), my absolute favorite color. I promised my sweet boyfriend, now husband, that I wouldn't make it too "girly." The brown and black accents were my way of adding "masculinity" to the place... although the Tiffany blue wall probably didn't help! The view was to die for. We still talk about how we paid so little for that million-dollar view.

What changed when I moved to my next home: I started experimenting with my style and stopped trying to copy what I thought I liked from magazines. I stopped reading books and articles and started following my own interior design senses. I also discovered Craigslist and all the wonderful things it had to offer.

Best bit of advice for people moving into their first home: Plan a party. This gives me a deadline and motivation to get moved in and organized. Invest in a couple of pieces that will go the extra mile with you but pull from what you already have. Sketch a floor plan with furniture placement prior to moving in. Having this plan as a jumping off point will speed up the move-in process. Oh, and take pictures! I wish I had more than just this one!

Images: Micki Howl

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