Steal These Rental Decorating Hacks From a '70s-Inspired Bachelorette Bungalow in California

Steal These Rental Decorating Hacks From a '70s-Inspired Bachelorette Bungalow in California

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Jessica Isaac
May 7, 2018

Name: Kit Warchol
Location: Eagle Rock — Los Angeles, California
Size: 600 square feet
Years lived in: Rent control baby!

It's no surprise Kit Warchol is a writer/Head of Content for the female-focused website Career Contessa. Citing Joan Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem as an inspiring force behind her home's overall aesthetic, her sophisticated '70s-style bohemian home is lined with books and peppered with meaningful mementos. Bonus: It's also full of affordable DIY rental solutions.

Surrounded by mature fruit trees and wood pane windows, Kit's petite 1926 rental is a bit of an anomaly in Los Angeles—there's miraculously always a cool breeze, peace and quiet and a shady spot to lounge with a good book (of which there is also an abundance of). While she had pretty good bones to work with, Kit is ultimately responsible for giving her home the soulful vibes it currently possesses. She firmly believes renters shouldn't be afraid to spend money on their place if it makes it "feel more like a home," which is why she's taken it upon herself to implement some serious rental hacks.

Perhaps the most transformative of Kit's rental solutions is the linoleum floor tiles in the living room. While it was slightly labor intensive to pull up the existing carpet, the $.89/sq ft. cost of these peel & stick vinyl tiles makes up for it. If your carpet has seen better days, like Kit's had, this is a great cost-effective option that is easier to install than hardwood and feels so much cleaner than carpet. There's a good chance your landlord will need to replace the carpet if/when you leave, so you may just be doing them a favor. Check out the slideshow to see more rental solutions, like ditching cabinet doors for instant open shelving, and creative ways to add style to empty white walls.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: '70s California retreat meets bachelorette bungalow.

Inspiration: Slouching Towards Bethlehem and thrifted Architectural Digest issues.

Favorite Element: The outdoor spaces and all those windows.

Biggest Challenge: All those windows (it was hard to work furniture and bookshelves around them!) Also, old houses equals constant dust and grime.

What Friends Say: "When you move out, can I have it?"

Biggest Embarrassment: The bathroom is so grungy, it never looks clean.

Proudest DIY: The floors!

Biggest Indulgence: The Siesta chair in the living room. I got it for a steal, but it was still $700. Let's call it an investment?

Best Advice: Most people would probably disagree with this, but: Don't be afraid to spend money on a rental if it will make it feel more like home. I live in a city where I know I'll never be able to buy, and I am also lucky enough to have incredible rent control, so I made the decision to change some things (like the disgusting carpet) to make the place better. I think it was well worth it.

Dream Sources: That pink couch? $25 from Goodwill. The baskets, the pottery, the white Eames knock-off chairs on the front porch are all Goodwill. It's my favorite thrift store, and I hit at least two every weekend. Sometimes, I'll even go at 8 a.m. Saturday and then again on Sunday morning to see what got dropped off the day before.

Resources:

PAINT & COLORS
That's a future project! This is just the way the place was painted when I moved in.

PORCH
Knock-off Eames chairs — Goodwill
Planters — Sunset Nursery (some thrifted)

LIVING ROOM
Pink velvet couch — Goodwill
Kilim pillows — from a trip to Turkey years ago
Silk scarf painting — Megan Jorgenson, who is rad
Gold floor lamp — Target
Silver wall lamp — Shopclass (closed)
Indigo wall hanging — DIY
Mid-century coffee table — The Hunt
On coffee table Ceramic bowl (on coffee table)— Helen Levi)
Wooden incense burner (on coffee table) — Amazon
Leather butterfly chair — Urban Outfitters sale
Siesta Chair — Amsterdam Modern
Ottoman — Target
Black Rosewood chair — My great-great step-grandmother's
Wooden lantern lamp — Goodwill
Vintage library cart (used as record shelf) — Thrift store
Overhanging light bulb — IKEA
Tall mid-century lamp — Stole it from an ex-boyfriend (thanks, Mike!)
Assorted plants in pots, baskets — Sunset nursery mostly and thrift stores

DINING ROOM
Table — Hand-me-down
Mid-century chairs — Shopclass (closed)
Shell bowl — Goodwill
Antlers — My dad found them on a hike!
Wooden bar — Also stole it from my ex-boyfriend
Wall hanging — Goodwill
Palm tree print — Sterling Bartlett, who is rad

KITCHEN
In the open cupboards:
Red and white dishes — Bone china from my great-great step-grandmother
Gray glassware — I've been collecting any and all of it I find when thrifting
White dishes — Fiestaware. My mom gave them to me as a college graduation gift
Nick and Nora Glasses (the little martini ones) — A gift from my boyfriend who knows how much I love the movie The Thin Man
Mexican hand-blown Champagne flutes — Dotter
Everything else — Thrifted

On the metal shelf:
All the wooden stuff/brass stuff — Thrifted.

Sink side:
Stained glass arrow — Bought on a trip to Paso Robles
Boob pour-over — By my friend Lake under the name Array LA
Ruby Coffee — Collage Coffee
Dish drainer — IKEA

BEDROOM
Side tables — Both thrifted
Dresser — Thrifted
Fabric to hide TV — Gift
Linen duvet cover — H&M
Sheets — Brooklinen (my first Career Contessa hookup!)
Throw pillow — IKEA
Lamps — Hand-me-downs
Rosewood chair — Another great- great- step-grandmother inheritance

BATHROOM
Hidden storage table — Stole it from an old neighbor when he moved out
Shower curtain — West Elm
Turkish towels — Poketo
Everything else thrifted pretty much

Thanks, Kit!


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