Wallpaper, Bold Colors, and Animal Motifs Invigorate This Small But Stylish Los Angeles Rental

published Oct 1, 2019

Wallpaper, Bold Colors, and Animal Motifs Invigorate This Small But Stylish Los Angeles Rental

published Oct 1, 2019
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Name: Isabel Muller, Kyle Deven, and cats Fritz and Murphy
Location: Highland Park, Los Angeles
Size: 650 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, renting

Interior designer Isabel Muller of Harte Designs has made it her mission this year to fall in love with her own home. In the past, Muller referred to her Los Angeles apartment as the interior designer’s equivalent of the cobbler’s children having no shoes, spending her days designing homes for other people all the while neglecting her own living space. Luckily she had a plethora of lovely collected pieces from her travels to draw inspiration from, and an eye for pulling them all together in one cohesive mid-mod-meets Parisian design.

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Credit: Jessica Isaac

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Mid-century Modern/Parisian

Inspiration: Travels, travels we’ve been on, travels maybe someday we’ll have. And animals. All the animals.

Favorite Element: 1) The hall wallpaper—you can see it from every room. It’s removable and made of natural fiber paper. 2) My grandmother’s sunburst mirror above the record stand that was in her parent’s home in the ’40s. I’m completely in love with it. 

Biggest Challenge: Bike storage. After much research, we finally found a good vertical stand option to put in our large closet. We couldn’t wall mount them since they’re too heavy for 100-year-old lath and plaster walls. We can stack two bikes on this stand and then lean one against the rack while still having space to use the closet.

Proudest DIY: Kitchen. When I first moved in, it was SO boring (a cream-colored hell). I started by replacing the cabinet knobs… then added decor/art, replaced the light fixture, changed the blinds to curtains, painted the ceiling, painted a chalkboard wall behind the range, and added removable wallpaper to the bar.

Credit: Jessica Isaac

Biggest Indulgence: The wall-mounted sconce (by Rejuvenation) in our bedroom and the headboard (West Elm). We needed a bedside light that had two swing arm lamps that directed at each side of the bed, but was adjustable, and this piece really fit. The headboard is something I’ve always wanted for comfort, and when I saw that West Elm had great options and an “Eco Weave” fabric (made mostly of recycled polyester) it wasn’t hard to select one. The curved shape helps it from obstructing our window too much and makes morning coffee so much more enjoyable! (AKA not leaning against the wall and having the bed slide forward into the dresser.)

Best Advice: Make functional, multi-purpose purchases. Our sofa chaise lifts up to storage and pulls out as a bed. That solved part of our “no second bedroom” woes. We also keep tons under our bed. My suitcase/nightstand has my off-season clothing in it. (I know—what seasons?) For additional storage, don’t be afraid to customize nooks and funny spaces with shelves to accommodate belongings. (Los Angeles apartments are always filled with surprises.) It’s not always more space that we need, but an open mind to efficient solutions! Lastly, we have an affordable storage unit nearby that we keep items we use less often. 



  • Kitchen Ceiling — Benjamin Moore Natura Olive Tree
  • Kitchen Chalkboard Wall — Benjamin Moore Chalkboard Paint: Black.
  • Bathroom Walls/Ceiling — Benjamin Moore Natura: Cloud White. Trim: Simply white. 



Credit: Jessica Isaac



Credit: Jessica Isaac


Credit: Jessica Isaac


Thanks, Isabel!

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