Name: Simran Winkelstern
Location: West Hollywood; Los Angeles, California
Size: 750 square feet- 1 bedroom + 1 bath
Years lived in: 1.5 years; Rent
Simran's home is a one bedroom in a gorgeous triplex right in West Hollywood, filled with welcoming charm. She's placed plenty of importance on comfort and livability, but her design talent and personal style are what bring this space to life.
Simran believes that, when designing a home, you need to consider both practicality and style. "I want furniture that I can sink down into, spaces that work with my lifestyle and schedule, nothing that is too precious or difficult to maintain." She loves that her table is an old farm table and that she doesn’t need to put down placemats or coasters. "I don’t want to spend 10 minutes turning down my bed before I can get in. My sofa is probably the most comfortable thing ever—I removed the back pillows and it is exactly the size of a twin bed!"
There is plenty to feast your eyes on in Simran's home. She has put together a great art collection and has accomplished the art of mixing textures and patterns, as well as the modern plus vintage look. She can tell you the story behind every single item in her home. "The framed prints in my bedroom were from books (with inscriptions from almost a century ago) given to me by a woman who was having a garage sale. The reproduction Mouille lamp was bought off of Craigslist from an actor on one of my favorite TV shows. I somehow managed to fit my dining table in the back of my hatchback and drive it back across town. I picked up the 24k gold pencil sharpener at a garage sale for $10."
As a designer who's worked with a reputable design firm for many years, Simran has a taste for varying styles of decor. I asked her if living in Los Angeles, has specifically affected her personal design style and she said, "I don’t think that LA has affected my design aesthetic so much as it suits it. I grew up on the East Coast, but I am a California girl at heart." She really loves the relaxed lifestyle here and works to create spaces that support an easy going, informal way of life.
"Of course, the climate is also amazing. Having warm weather year round really opens up the possibility for creating outside living spaces. My next project at my place will be fixing up my garden—I am in the market for an outdoor sofa so I can lounge outside as well as inside!"
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: I don’t subscribe to a particular style—I go with my gut most of the time. My style derives from mixing eclectic pieces that I love and incorporating the bright colors and cozy textures that I am drawn to. I usually gravitate toward clean lines and pared down profiles. I don’t like anything too fancy or frilly.
Inspiration: I am so lucky to work in the field that I am passionate about. I gain a lot of inspiration from my day job—working alongside other designers, visiting gorgeous properties around Los Angeles, shopping on La Cienega, browsing Pinterest and generally being fully immersed in the industry.
Favorite Element: The sense of peace and tranquility that I feel while at home—the quiet location, the natural light, seeing the gardens outside my windows, my supremely comfortable sofa and bed.
Biggest Challenge: I would love to paint my walls, but I am not allowed to per my lease. I have paint colors picked out and ready to go if my landlord ever changes his mind!
What Friends Say: “How do you always find such great stuff on Craigslist?”
Biggest Embarrassment: There are a lot of extra holes in the walls where I’ve hung things and then changed my mind (or just been off in my measurements).
Proudest DIY: Most of my house is DIY. My mom and I installed the light fixture over the dining table. I put together my bed by myself. It is really heavy!!
Biggest Indulgence: My set of Josef Hoffmann Bentwood dining chairs. I bought them off Craigslist at a relative bargain, but they were still an indulgence.
Best Advice: Buy what you love even if you are renting—you will have the pleasure of enjoying it as long as you are in your current location and a quality piece will most likely fit in at your next place.
Dream Sources: 1st dibs for vintage and antique furniture. Fabrics at Holland and Sherry and Kneedler Fauchere. Wallpaper at Walnut and Harbinger. Charles Edwards lighting. Ralph Pucci furniture and accessories. Marc Phillips rugs.
- Baughman Étagère: Craigslist
- Mirror: Craigslist
- Frames: Pottery Barn
- Brass Lamp: Alameda Flea Market
- Westnofa Chairs: Craigslist
- Sofa: Restoration Hardware (via Craigslist)
- Jens Risom side table: Craigslist
- Rugs: Overstock.com and Anthropologie
- Westnofa Coffee Table: eBay
- Pillows: Urban Outfitters, John Robshaw, Custom
- Mouille Lamp (Reproduction): Craigslist
- Bench: Craigslist
- Campaign Chest: Craigslist
- Neon Sign: neonandmore.com
- Antique Farm Table: Craigslist
- Light Fixture: L’Aviva Home
- Mirror: Anthropologie
- Bar Console: Blu Dot for Target
- Josef Hoffmann Chairs: Craigslist
- Jars: Container Store and Weck
- Vintage Menus: From my grandmother’s friend, the chef Pierre Franey
- Magnets: Dollar Store
- Bed: Restoration Hardware (via Craigslist)
- Side Table: West Elm
- Dresser: Ikea fitted with Anthropologie hardware
- Rug: Restoration Hardware
- Curtains: Urban Outfitters
- Jewelry Box: Handmade by my father
- Bathmat and Shower Curtain: Anthropologie
- Towels: One Kings Lane and Lost and Found
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Re-edited from a tour originally published in 2015 -- AB
(Image credits: Bethany Nauert)