A Designer’s Small Los Angeles Apartment Is a Gorgeous Mix of High and Low
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Name: Antonio DeLoatch
Location: Miracle Mile — Los Angeles, California
Size: 750 square feet
Type of home: One-bedroom apartment
Time lived in: 9 months, renting
Antonio is the owner and principal designer of Antonio Deloatch Designs and loves the high ceilings and vintage kitchen and bathroom tiles in his small west-facing corner apartment. Born and raised in New York, Antonio says he naturally gravitates towards tree-lined streets and brick buildings with fire escapes, and this one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles had everything he was looking for in a rental. “I previously lived in a 450-square-foot studio in Hollywood for three years and I loved every minute of it, but God continued to encourage me to increase my territory. In the middle of a global pandemic the opportunity came up to jump on my current one-bedroom and I am so glad I listened,” he says.
Though dripping in architectural charm, the apartment’s building has some unexpected quirks. “On the day of move in it was 95+ degrees in August in L.A. with a non-working elevator and a third-floor haul to my new fabulous abode,” he explains. “The building has charm — and a few quirks that are not always so convenient, like its old school elevator. The elevator door feels like it weighs 100 pounds, it features an even heavier sliding gate that needs WD40, it has a tendency to jerk, and doesn’t always make it to the third floor, but we call that charming! I still avoid the elevator today, which is okay since gyms have been closed.”
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Curated Relaxed Luxury. I feel like a lot of people get so caught up in trying to define their style and justify how they fit into a current trend that they miss the fun in designing and building a space that feels like home.
Favorite Element: When searching for my new sanctuary and place to call home I had a laundry list of must-haves in order to leave my cozy studio in Hollywood. I was determined to find a place that had character and charm; I couldn’t do the modern white box with windows that barely open. I really wanted a space that was west facing so that after a long day of tackling the freeways of L.A. I could enjoy the sunsets. I also wanted ceilings that were 10-12 feet tall. There have been a number of studies that prove how higher ceilings can increase creativity; I also like the airy feeling and false sense of more space. I also love being higher up and in the back of a building; this creates anticipation and excitement as you journey from the street to the front door.
Biggest Challenge: To be honest my biggest challenge was investing in myself and my space. As an interior designer I get up every single day to change the way people live, but our homes as designers tend to come in last. This apartment was special for me because it was the first time in over eight years that I had a proper bedroom with a door! I know that sounds crazy but from renting a room (which was really a walk-in closet in Brooklyn), experiencing a tiny almost 400-square-foot bungalow in Culver City to a luxurious studio in Hong Kong, I have gotten used to living in smaller spaces. This apartment has encouraged me to put the nail in the wall and commit to hanging the art and invest in higher-end key pieces that I can take with me. I have truly enjoyed the process of transforming this space into a place I can call home.
Proudest DIY: Reupholstering of my Surya ottoman. The previous pattern/ fabric had some major flaws in it and the client did not want to keep it. I immediately had it sent back to the company but it ended up back on my door step. So in order to keep the ottoman I had to reupholster it. It took me a while but I found this amazing fabric from my favorite hidden fabric dealer in downtown L.A.
Biggest Indulgence: My TV console was a splurge and my first big purchase. I found this long white lacquered credenza at a vintage shop shortly after I moved to L.A. from New York City. The console cost me just over $2,000 dollars but I had to have it! The console has been with me for five years now and I always measure new apartments to ensure that it will fit. I have used it low without the legs, it has served as storage, and also as a TV console. The credenza weighs well over 100 pounds and is my movers’ least favorite item to endure (especially when the elevator doesn’t work). But I love it and it was worth it.
My second favorite piece is the mysterious painting in the bedroom that has men and women semi-naked gathering on a deck in the sun. I purchased this painting at the Pasadena flea market for $75! He was asking for $350 but I refused to leave it there. I had exactly $75 dollars left in my pocket and it was the end of his day and he wanted to make one more sale. We had a stand-off for a few minutes and now it’s one of my proudest purchases!
Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? Like many of us during this past year my home serves as my safe space, home office, USPS receiving center, and a place I can create vibes through scent, music, and good champagne. I have also increased/doubled my storage by using inexpensive closet solutions from IKEA because I would rather spend my money on flowers from the flower market and good art!
Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: As I mentioned earlier I am a New Yorker through and through. My small space maximizing tip has helped me maintain my desired look and that is my behind-the-curtain semi-hall closet storage space. The space houses everything from one-of-kind rugs from Morocco, pillow overflow, the ironing board, suitcases, and so much more! I have also invested in baskets and caddies underneath my sinks to stop me from overbuying good smelling cleaning supplies.
What’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Have fun with it! Fill your home with dynamic pieces that tell your story. My goal is always to make a space feel curated, textured, and like relaxed luxury. I encourage everyone to display the art you love and to share the stories behind them, to find a signature scent that makes the world disappear and brings you to a happy place, and lastly keep it neutral with fun POPS of color. Going neutral allows you to be flexible with your decor just like how we have to be flexible with life and the weather.
And let the treasure hunting begin! Flea markets, vintage shops, HomeGoods (my guilty pleasures), and high-end clearance sections (Jonathan Adler, Nordstroms, Room & Board, Cisco Home, Restoration Hardware, and Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams). The clearance section in furniture is just like the sale section in fashion retailers! If it’s in clearance it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. If your find is a little damaged or scratched it’s okay, ask yourself how you can save it. I am guilty of driving across town to find the best goodies. Also just like in fashion the world of furniture changes at least twice a year and stores need to make room for the new stuff; this is a great opportunity to find amazing floor samples!
This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.
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