Angie’s ‘Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue’

updated May 7, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Angie Cho
Location: West Los Angeles, California

My home reveals a love for the mid-century period, family heirlooms, borrowed accents and the color blue. Lucky for me, my two roommates let me have free rein over our home’s décor, so I had the chance to set it up just the way I wanted. We live in a beautiful 1920s house in West Los Angeles. It has many of the architectural details that Angelenos love from that period, with its arched doorway, coved ceiling, abundant French windows, and Mediterranean-style plastered walls.

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Eco-conscious living is an important priority for all three of us. One of us is a car owner. The second is a Zip Car user. And the third strictly uses public transit or carpool. All three of us are avid pedestrians and bikers.

As for green elements in our home, I used white cotton drapes and thermally insulated window treatments throughout the entire house. I don’t have air-conditioning, and in balmy West Los Angeles, where the ocean is a mere 20-minute bike ride away, it is possible to regulate both the temperature and light by using a combination of white cotton drapes and thermally insulated roller blinds. No power needed. As an added bonus, the light coming through white cotton curtains is just beautiful.

Many of the furniture pieces in the home are pre-owned. The Chinese pieces are family heirlooms and the Mid-century modernist pieces are thrift store finds. The Chinese chairs, grandfather clock, and tables found in the living and dining rooms are made of Rosewood and contain inlays of marble and mother of pearl. The Mid-century fiberglass armchairs in the living room are particular favorites. Guests always seem to be delighted to find how comfortable they are, with their cleverly designed ergonomic shells. Additional pre-owned pieces are rare treasures found buried in the backyard, like the historic “Mulholland Dr.” street sign, which now leans against the fireplace in its second life.

Most of the new furniture in the home is made of renewable materials. Composed of compressed wood combined with genuine wood veneers, I get the handsome look of wood without putting a hefty dent in our environment. The chocolate brown coffee table in the living room is one example. I have been using it for years and it is as good-looking as the day I got it. (Just like a good marriage…)

That addresses the old and new; now for the borrowed and blue. Borrowing is an unusual strategy for designing one’s home, but it has worked great for me. Invariably, we all have some really good home accessories that we’ve been squirreling away in our closets and garages. We all have one friend or another who does this. When you need a fresh take on your place, try borrowing or bartering with a friend! The dog portrait in the parlor is borrowed from a dear friend. It makes me smile and think of her at the same time.

Lastly, I love the color blue and have a splash of it in every room.