A Cozy California Rental Has the Best Green Dining Room Ceiling

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Name: Reilly Carpenter and partner, Daniel
Location: Hollywood, California
Type of home: Apartment (Duplex)
Size: 850 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: Our home is a charming one-bedroom, one-bathroom duplex between Hollywood and West Hollywood, California. It may or may not be haunted by our landlord’s grandmother. All the original details, including an arched picture window, hardwood floors, and Spanish tile, wooed us instantly, but what sealed the deal was the adorable hedged porch and lush backyard. The bones screamed for a more eclectic and ornate decor than the high-rise glass box we left behind in Manhattan. We moved in just Jan. 1 2020, and this little apartment (which we lovingly call Citrus Bungalow) has become our pandemic sanctuary. It is occupied by myself, a startup executive-turned real estate investor, and my partner, a design researcher at Netflix. We’ve made a number of modifications to the space including upgrading every light fixture, but our boldest design choice was definitely painting the dining room ceiling forest green. It’s been polarizing, but our landlord loved it and so do we.

Our home is a physical manifestation of our two styles and personalities. My taste is more minimal, gravitating toward neutrals and more modern pieces and art. Daniel loves ornate antiques, vibrant colors, and surrealist art. It’s not always easy, but somehow we’ve blended the two with a mix of objects and art we’ve acquired in travels, inherited and splurged on. The theme of French-Mexican Fantasy came to be after a sabbatical in Mexico City, where we fell in love with more ornate and eclectic interiors and decided to evolve past our previous mid-century modern style to something more rich. It has taken us years, but we’ve finally gotten to the point where all the flat-pack furniture from our first apartments is gone and we can honestly say everything in our home has meaning and a story. Our only challenge now is that our desire to collect art and furniture has outgrown our space.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: French-Mexican Fantasy

What is your favorite room and why? Our favorite room is definitely the dining room. It’s been the most dramatic transformation in the house with the painted ceiling and the addition of a ceiling medallion and chandelier. We also have enough space to seat six and have a proper dinner party, something that wasn’t possible in our New York apartment.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The last thing we got was a new set of coffee mugs. Daniel hunted high and low for his dream mug, and landed on a glazed Japanese porcelain mug by Hasami.

Any advice for creating a home you love? I am constantly helping friends spruce up their spaces, whether they want the help or not. I always encourage everyone to think about lighting because the right light can be a whole room makeover. Have multiple light sources, get up-lights on plants or in corners, and light your art. I also think layers are what make a home unique, personal, and beautiful. So add fabrics, textures, plants, art, books, rugs. Anything that creates dimension and personality!

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