This Cool LA Apartment for Creatives Adds Color in Rental-Friendly Ways

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Bright, cozy living room

Name: Sarah Cambell, partner, Nick, and roommate, Peter
Location: Los Angeles, California
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 2,200 square feet
Years lived in: 2.5 years, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I’ve spent the past eight months pouring myself into the interior design of our home. (I’m not an interior designer, but work as a graphic designer.) This project has been my creative outlet during quarantine and is a true expression of all the things I love.

I live with my boyfriend Nick, and our roommate Peter. We are all creatives. They are music producers, I am a graphic designer/art director. I love art and design, and I think my curiosity/experimentalism is reflected in our home. I really like playful design and things that are unexpected. I wanted to create a space that was artful but not cold or pretentious. An inspiring space that is still grounded and felt like home. I love color — light, rich, and playful colors. You can definitely see that reflected in the decor. We don’t want to paint or wallpaper since we are renting (and we have beautiful white Spanish walls) so I used color in other ways. I was given a Knoll book by someone when I first moved to LA; it’s really inspired me to learn more about modern furniture design. And LA is a really cool city for interior design, so I’m definitely inspired by living here. Also, I painted the piece in the living room, so my identity is pretty present in there.

I had no idea how long, tiresome, and expensive this project would be when I wanted to just “re-do” our living room. But it’s been a fun and creative journey as I sourced from estate sales, Facebook Marketplace, etc. I love mixing secondhand finds with new pieces that were worth the splurge! Everything has a story, and I finally feel like I did our beautiful space justice. I’ve learned a lot about interior design and my own taste through this project. Somedays, it felt like this project would never end, and I wanted to give up. But I managed to push through, and it was definitely worth it!

What is your favorite room and why? I’d say the living room! I really love our windows and fireplace; working around those features was fun. Nick and I built the low shelf on the back wall. I wanted that to fill in space over there and feel like an art gallery/hallway. The coffee table is my favorite piece in the house (s/o OfferUp). And I reupholstered the leather chair. I like the mix of colors and textures, like the contrast of our comfy couch with the structured chrome and leather chair.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Playful, modern, design-forward

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The last thing I bought was some colored glassware from HAY for the dining room shelves! I hope to keep collecting colored glassware, too.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Make a mood board of all the things you love to stay inspired. Go slow, and be patient going to estate sales/searching OfferUp, etc. If you can’t find the right piece, just wait. It will come to you! Enjoy the process and don’t be afraid to order and return things.

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