A 350-Square-Foot L.A. Tiny House Makes Living Small Look Easy

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bedroom with bed with velvet frame and shag pillows, rattan drawers, large ficus tree, andy warhol marilyn framed print, white walls, angled ceiling
Credit: Ariana Govan

Ariana Govan has been renting this ADU in Los Angeles’ Cheviot Hills neighborhood for six months: After living with roommates for many years and subletting family friend’s lovely homes, I finally wanted a place to call my own.

After finding the listing of the guest home/studio unit on Zillow, I immediately toured it and fell in love with the neighborhood, the charming young couple who lived in the larger home on the property, as well as the high ceilings and skylight! It had everything I needed — parking, washer/dryer, and located in a safe central neighbor close to a freeway and tennis courts! It’s only downfall was its small size.

Credit: Ariana Govan

On top of a hill in Cheviot Hills neighborhood, the ADU unit was too lovely to pass up. Originally from New York, I figured I was crafty enough to make the small space work and make it feel home-y and cozy.

After hanging my art and finding a spot for my plants, and researching a few small home hacks — the studio is now a lovely, cozy place to call home. I have small outdoor table, gorgeous morning light, and the family in the larger home let’s me use their pool when they are away — what more could you ask for!

Credit: Ariana Govan

I work in the art world and identity as a creative individual who loves art, fashion, and design. For my home, I love to incorporate fun colors and patterns, vintage pieces, and special, pre-loved collected items.

Many of the pieces and furniture in my home are second-hand pieces from Facebook Marketplace or vintage finds from flea markets. Many are also hand-me-downs from family members. I love mixing minimal, newer, contemporary pieces with more bohemian, whimsical, and vintage pieces. I have tons more art in storage that I would hang if I had the space!

Credit: Ariana Govan

Most of my art prints are from my favorite travels, artists, and museums. The Willi’s Wine Bar poster from Paris lives in my small kitchen, Andy Warhol’s Marilyn print from the original The Andy Warhol Museum (a hand-me-down from my step mother many years ago) is displayed over the bed as well as two Yoshimoto Nara “sleeping girls” prints over my headboard, bought from the artist’s studio in Japan. The Michael Heizer Levitated Mass poster from LACMA is signed by the artist and displayed above the TV in the living room. There are a few other prints from my favorite artists from LACMA’s collection in the bathroom and entryway.

Credit: Ariana Govan

I have trinkets, matchbooks, art books, decorative boxes that my grandmother collected on her many travels, as well as a pair of my baby cowboy boots displayed around the house. There are many little treasures, decorative boxes, trays, and dishes around the space from various estate sales, vintage markets, and family collectibles.

If you rent, what is your rent per month? $2,250 (All Utilities included)

Credit: Ariana Govan

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Charming, colorful, artistic, warm, cozy

Credit: Ariana Govan

What is your favorite room and why? As this is a small studio, I would say my favorite space (not room) is the kitchen table under the skylight. The round wood table is where I eat, read, cook, and work on days that I am here. I enjoy the light from above and the high ceilings over the space.

Credit: Ariana Govan

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? Upon moving in, I ordered many of these natural baskets from The Container Store to hide clutter and miscellaneous items.

I also found this very narrow glass console table to act as my tiny desk. Because it’s clear it doesn’t feel like it is taking up any space at all.

I also ordered these magnetic fridge metal spice racks from Amazon — they are such a useful space saver hack!

Credit: Ariana Govan

Any advice for creating a home you love? My advice would to be to collect your favorite things from your travels, go to local and foreign estate sales and vintage markets to find unique and special items that no one else has. You can then mix these second-hand or vintage pieces in with your own belongings and newer pieces that are classic and you will love for a long time.

I am throughly addicted to Facebook Marketplace! Other places like The Rose Bowl Flea, Ebay, vintage stores and estate sales (if you live in LA) are your friend for creating a fun and special home that carries memories in every object.

Organic, natural, wood furniture and and plants are my favorite way to warm up a space and making it feel home-y, cozy and not sterile or basic. I love a good rattan piece!!

Thanks Ariana!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.