A Romantic, Lush Apartment Fills 650 Square Feet with Secondhand Finds
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Name: Ashley Urban
Location: Downtown Los Angeles
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 650 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, renting
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I’ve lived and worked in downtown Los Angeles for the past eight years in studio apartments ranging from 1,200 square feet to 200 square feet. My home is a physical diary of the places I’ve been and the objects and memories I cherish, a place to remind me of the incredible beauty I’ve found during the adventures of my life. I’ve strived to make my home an oasis in which I can escape from the chaos of living in downtown Los Angeles, where I can bask in the lushness of my art collection, my many houseplants and ephemera collected from nature, and my love of all things vintage design.
As an artist, it has been imperative for me to design a space that excites and inspires my creative spirit. I strongly believe that the beauty or lack of appeasing aesthetic in our living environments has profound effects on our mental and emotional state. Surrounding myself with beautiful things has always been a means of harnessing the gift of living in the present, a means of appreciating and creating moments of stillness, peace, and gratitude.
Everything I wear, create, and surround myself with is a reflection of the artist within me. I believe in making every decision in life through a lens of creativity, empathy, and the pursuit of beauty. Art is one of the most important aspects of a healthy human experience, therefore I strive to create art in everything I do. Whether it’s the way I decorate my home, the outfit I choose for the day, or the way I treat the people in my life. Being an artist isn’t just about creating work, it’s about building a beautiful and meaningful life in all that we do.
What is your favorite room and why? My favorite area is my art studio space because of the incredible views of architecture masterpieces (the Eastern Columbia building, the Orpheum Theater, and the 9th and Broadway building), the large windows that provide ample light, the 15-foot ceilings, my gallery wall filled with art and ephemera I’ve collected over the years, and the stunning warmth of the hardwood floors.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The last items I bought for my home was a vintage four-piece set of small trays and bowls made from carved horn. I found them at an estate sale in downtown Los Angeles. I’d say about 75 percent of the items I own are vintage and secondhand. Ever since I got my first job and had my own money to spend, I’ve shopped secondhand. Nothing beats the beauty, craftsmanship, and uniqueness of vintage design.
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Romantic, lush, elegant
Any advice for creating a home you love? My best advice for creating a home you love is to rid yourself of things that you do not absolutely love or that do not serve a function. I also suggest creating artful ways of displaying these objects so you can enjoy them everyday instead of having them tucked away. And PLANTS! Lots and lots of plants. They bring a visual freshness, vibrancy, and romance to any space. No space is complete without plants in my opinion.
This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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