A Historic Bungalow Apartment With a Special Connection to the Silver Screen

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Catherine’s bungalow was built to house the stars of silent movies. (Image credit: Submitted by Catherine)

Name: Catherine
Location: Santa Barbara, California

Charlie Chaplin is a big deal to me, so you can imagine the thrill when I was told that the 1920s bungalow apartment complex I moved into was built for his cast and crew to stay in during the filming of his own, as well as, other silent movies of that era. The architectural integrity is still intact; including ample built-ins, a small vanity room, and now sealed off hatches, like the dumbwaiter in the kitchen.

It’s a relatively small space, but the eat-in breakfast nook, the bathtub, and walk-in closet made the minimal square footage doable. Add to that a stream of natural light and the historic eastside downtown Santa Barbara location and I was hooked.

I’m a designer and work from home, so just knowing that I’m creating in a space so connected to a genius artist really has its magical moments.

If I had to venture, I’d say that about 90% of the pieces in my home are either vintage/antique or hand-me-downs/gifts (most are a combination of both). The other 10% are special new pieces I’ve picked up along the way or things I made from this and that to fill in the gaps. That said, my home feels filled with love and friendship, which is really nice.

Both my maternal and paternal heritage is Italian. My mother’s family made decorative furniture, an art, craft and business they brought with them when they immigrated into Brooklyn at the turn of last century. My mother passed away when I was very young, so to have artistic pieces from her lineage (a delicately painted bureau, floral porcelain chandelier remnants, and twin sofas; all crafted around the 1930s) present in my day-to-day life is so incredibly special.

Thankfully, the hodgepodge of my stuff works well with the architectural style of the building. But it’s always a fun challenge to work with what I have and, ultimately, it always feels like home should…uplifting, peaceful, and a welcoming refuge.

Thanks, Catherine!

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