This LA Rental Apartment Has Bold Murals, a Wall of Shoes, and So Much More

updated Jul 28, 2021

This LA Rental Apartment Has Bold Murals, a Wall of Shoes, and So Much More

updated Jul 28, 2021
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Name: Laura Horstmann
Location: Los Feliz — Los Angeles, California
Size: 1300-ish square feet
Type of Home: Three-bedroom apartment
Years lived in: 7 years, renting

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AT originally published Laura Horstmann’s Los Angeles apartment tour only a few months ago, but still photos just don’t do this colorful rental justice. Below, enjoy a video tour of this vibrant apartment Laura has called home for the past seven years. It’s the best way to close out Color Month here at Apartment Therapy, and a way to say goodbye to this home — Laura will soon be bringing her colorful “Lisa Frank meets Hot Topic” style to the East Coast when she moves to NYC.

Freelance graphic designer, sometimes social media consultant, collage artist, and multimedia storyteller Laura Horstmann calls her three-bedroom rental apartment in a fourplex in Los Feliz the Peach Palace. “The location couldn’t be better, plus I have two parking spots and laundry in unit, I’m truly, so spoiled.”

While Laura currently lives alone, it wasn’t always that way. “In 2014, my friend and I had been looking for places together and we found a guy on craigslist who had two rooms open. We came to see it and that same night he invited us to move in and I haven’t left since! I’ve lived here for almost seven years and it’s gone through many roommates, phases of decor, and my own personal brand of chaos. When my last pair of roommates decided to move out, I realized I could afford the rent on my own and decided to transform the place into my own little dream home. Or as much of a dream home as you can get when you’re renting in Los Angeles.”

“Even though it’s a rental I’ve slowly been working on it since I moved in but once I didn’t have roommates anymore I finally got to do anything I wanted in any style I wanted and it was so freeing. I basically started redoing the entire thing towards the end of 2019 and it ended up being my project for the majority of the pandemic. It was really a huge saving grace to have so much to do at home, during a time when I couldn’t leave. I redid the kitchen floors, painted pretty much every room, did murals, made artwork, etc. It was so cool to have so many rooms to do because it felt like I got to bring all my different interests and tastes into play and would dedicate certain color palettes and themes to each room. There are a few running themes through the place though that, I think, tie it all together, mostly the color pink haha, also I snuck a unicorn into each room, some are more hidden than others.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: My friend Carlo described it as Lisa Frank meets Hot Topic the first time they saw my place and they were absolutely correct but I think there’s a level of suppressed theater kid, rhinestone cowboy, and disco daddy mixed in there too. I think I just described Kesha.

Inspiration: Movies and TV big time. I love how balls-to-the-wall Disney and Nickelodeon go in their bedroom set design. And so now I like to hide little surprises that tell you about my *~*character*~* all over the place. I also grew up on a farm and used to do rodeo and just loved the ostentatiousness of that culture. I’ve always kind of rejected that part of my past but recently I was looking around and was like, oh right… it had a huge effect on me! I won a giant sparkly ass belt buckle when I was 10 and guess I just decided to build my whole personal style on top of that. On a practical level, I read a ton of HGTV Magazine and Domino.

Favorite Element: Oh man there’s so many! One that always cracks me up and brings me so much joy though is I started this thing called the “Solobooth” wall where I take pics in any photo booth I come across but… alone. And then I put all of them on my fridge. There’s like 30 of them now and no one else is in them and it’s a little self-indulgent, to say the least but I figure, you’re the only person you’re gonna hang out with for the rest of your life so you may as well enjoy and celebrate that person. Probably why there are so many mirrors in my house, too! Also my shoe wall. Sometimes I just go in and stare at them and it makes my day.

Biggest Challenge: So many of the rooms are shaped super weird, and only one of them has a closet, so when I had roommates, storage was a big issue and I feel like I’ve become an expert in fully utilizing space but I have to admit, it’s been super nice to not really have that issue anymore. Now my biggest issue is I’m obsessed with taking baths and don’t have a bathtub. It got so bad that I bought an inflatable bathtub mid-quarantine. It wasn’t the same and was kind of a disaster and now it just lives in the back of my hallway closet.

Proudest DIY: The whole thing? Just kidding but probably the entire purple room. It drove me crazy because it’s such a weird shape and was a really dingy white for so long. I would go in there and just stare for like… hours at a time for months trying to figure out what to do. I spend a lot of time in my head if that’s not clear already. But I think about things forever and then it’s like a switch flips and I make a decision and act on it immediately and I think if you didn’t know me it would seem like I was super impulsive and rash and really it’s like, no baby, I’ve just been stewing.

But anyway, in the purple room my first instinct for the theme was “holographs” lol. So I was doing a mix of pinks and blues and purple and iridescent accents, and the purple was hitting so hard I was like, I should just do… full purple and the world was just on my side that day because I went to Target and they had a purple glitter comforter and this perfect simple purple lamp and it felt like a sign.

Then I was cleaning out my closet and found these giant ugly paintings I’d been wanting to do something with forever, so I painted them with the leftover wall paint and then painted the titles of two of my favorite songs on them and they came out so cute! Then I had a table I didn’t know what to do with because it’s super plain and not really my style, but I decided to try out adding dichroic film to it and it came out so cool and was surprisingly easy. I tried adding the film to a mirror too but that did not go well and you couldn’t even see it.

Also all the murals and my hallway gallery wall.

Biggest Indulgence: My couch. I had two things I wanted, green velvet, and a curved shape. And I found the perfect one at Crate and Barrel and it was like an extra grand to get it in green velvet but… it felt important. It actually arrived damaged and they replaced it but it took them like six months and thank god because sometime in that six months I was dog sitting and my friend’s puppy had an accident on it and I got the whole thing replaced like a week later. People ask me all the time why I don’t have pets and I always just say, “I have way too nice furniture” and that was a nice reminder of that. Oh, also the console; it’s from Jonathan Adler and it’s way too expensive but… I’d wanted it forever and just finally decided I couldn’t live without it.

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? Definitely the “Beauty Room.” It was always a big dream of mine to have one and now I do. It’s essentially a glorified closet, filled with my bonkers collection of clothes and shoes. I dedicated a whole wall just to the shoes and I love it so much. It’s super fun to have my friends over and have a whole space to get ready and play with makeup while having a few drinks or whatever. Haven’t been able to do that this year but hopefully soon!

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? Target picture frames, P.F. Candle Co. Sweet Grapefruit room and linen spray, West Elm tencel sheets (literally so soft and cool it’s like getting into a perfect temperature pool). Boy Smells candles, Rainbow Symphony cracked ice prism paper (I have it in almost every room and it just drenches them all in rainbows at certain times of the day and it’s so dreamy). Society6 for curtains, the variety is insane and the blackout curtains are great quality. World Market has great mirrors. 

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: Utilize your under-bed storage! I have eight bins under the bed in the purple room and I keep a spreadsheet that lists everything that’s in them on my computer. It’s super helpful so I’m not always digging around for what I need. Vertical space is your friend, add shelves wherever you can, my hall closet gets all my old storage rejects (towel rack holds all my photography equipment, shoe rack has all my board games). Also, carts are great for things you use all the time but don’t necessarily want on display. Instead of a bar cart, I made an art cart; it’s this three-tier cart filled with all my art supplies that I just wheel out of the closet when I’m working on a project and then put away when it’s done, it’s been a life-saver. Oh and I keep all my sheets I’m not using in my travel luggage!

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Shop the kid and teen sections for quirkier/more fun options. My kitchen shelves are super cute cloud-shaped ones and they’re literally from the kid’s section of Target. PBTeen is where some of my all-time favorite pieces have come from (including the skateboard mirrors and all my iridescent stuff). Also, I always shop the seasonal section during spring and Valentine’s Day for cute knickknacks meant for Easter baskets and whatnot that look cute worked into a display shelf.

Basically embrace things that you like even if they’re not marketed toward you. Age-based categories have never made a ton of sense to me and I figure, you’re the one who has to live in the space so may as well fill it with things you actually enjoy looking at!

Resources

PAINT & COLORS

LIVING ROOM

BEAUTY ROOM

  • All major furniture — IKEA (Hemnes dresser, PS cabinet, Lack shelf)
  • Mirror — Amazon, can’t remember the brand but it’s 42 inches.
  • Curtains are Party City photo backdrops
  • Pink celebrity portraits by me

KITCHEN

BEDROOM

PURPLE ROOM

BATHROOM

  • Cabinet and Shelves — IKEA
  • Curtains — Target

Thanks Laura!

This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.