An Interior Designer on a Budget Turned a Dated Apartment Into a Colorful, Eclectic Space

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Name: Kara Thomas
Location: Los Angeles
Type of home: Apartment
Square Footage: 708 square feet
Years lived in: 6 months, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I am an interior designer with a limited budget so it was a fun challenge to turn an apartment with popcorn ceiling into a space that I can proudly call my own. I moved in in August after breaking up with my boyfriend and it goes without saying, trying to find an affordable one bedroom in the city as a single woman who no longer wants roommates is a challenge.

I settled for a slightly outdated unit but overall I am very happy with the way it turned out and I love the natural light that I get in the afternoon. I’ve been in LA for seven years and this is my first one-bedroom on my own! I had a very shitty studio when I first moved here and I cringe every time I think about it!

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Eclectic, fun, and cozy

What is your favorite room and why? My favorite room is my living room, which is where I also have my workspace set up. I work from home so I spend a lot of time in this area. My desk is facing the windows and I get great natural light, which makes this space much more enjoyable. From working, reading, entertaining, or simply enjoying Netflix and wine by myself; I love to chill on my sofa while burning a candle.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? A mirror for my bedroom! The original one is about $2500 and I loved it ever since I saw it at a very high-end showroom years ago. I was so excited to find a similar fringe mirror for under $200.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Take your time, do your research, and map everything out before purchasing. Measure TWICE!, tape things out, and organize your items on Pinterest. I actually returned my first round of purchases because the color scheme was too dark and colorful. Also, my sofa was extremely overstuffed and uncomfortable. You may not always get it right the first round but if you are able to see things in person before ordering online, do it!

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