A Light and "Lovingly Cluttered" California Apartment

A Light and "Lovingly Cluttered" California Apartment

Esteban Cortez
Dec 16, 2016

Name: Kendra Gilbert
Location: Tower District — Fresno, California
Size: 1,250 square feet
Years lived in: Rented 1 year

Kendra's apartment is in Fresno's historic Tower District neighborhood, which features some of the area's most beautiful housing — preserved apartment buildings, craftsmen bungalows, and beautiful mansions. Luckily, Kendra's apartment still has all of the vintage features, such as the telephone nook in the hallway and the built-in shelves and seating in the kitchen. When the owner of the building asked her to keep the holes in the wall to a minimum, she knew it'd pose a challenge. But when she realized the details of the apartment had a charm of their own, she embraced it.

Kendra recently launched Dinner with Friends, an online magazine that focuses on the beauty of California's Central Valley. Through dinner parties, she wants to showcase local designers, people, food and wine. Her approach to home design is similar, in that she often seeks art, decor and furniture from her favorite local shops and designers. She is proud that most items in her home have a story, whether it's a thrift store find or something with sentimental value. "I like that there's that element of discovery and wonder in my place," she says.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Bright and colorful, eclectic, lovingly cluttered, a mix of old and new.

Inspiration: The place was a total blank canvas when I moved in. And much, much bigger than any of the studio apartments I'd lived in prior. So it was a bit overwhelming. But my mom graciously gifted me a Southwestern-style rug for my front room and that inspired the tone for that space. From there, key pieces inspired the other rooms as well.

Favorite Element: The fireplace, the swinging door into the kitchen, the phone nook in hallway. It's tough to pick just one.

Biggest Challenge: The old linoleum floors in the kitchen, bath and laundry rooms. And my landlord's request that I not put "too many holes in the walls" by hanging things. The first I tried to work around with rugs. The latter I did my best to respect, but as you can see I couldn't resist hanging a few things, because the walls were just too empty.

What Friends Say: What's cool about how my friends react to my place, is that each person usually finds a different thing that speaks to him or her. Sometimes it's a poster or a book. For others it's a piece of furniture or an element of the architecture.

Biggest Embarrassment: My obsession with pillows, bar soaps, and magazines...which are everywhere in my place.

Proudest DIY: The bench in my "laundry" room, which is actually more like a green house/mud room because I don't have a washer and dryer. I found it busted on the side of the road in my old neighborhood in Los Angeles. I reattached the legs, sanded it and did a sort of whitewash on it. It fits perfectly where I have it now and I'm glad I stopped that night in L.A. and picked it up.

Biggest Indulgence: A pair of paintings done by my friend, Tom.

Best Advice: Love the home you make, and make the home you have with love.

Dream Sources: Anthropologie, Baba Souk, the antique stores in Clovis, California, and all the markets and vintage shops around the world that I haven't yet been to.

Explore this style:

More resources:

Living Room
Rug – Pottery Barn
Couch – IKEA
Corner table – Anthropologie
Rocking chair – Thrifted
Wooden ladder – Antiques fair in Clovis
Vintage wool blanket – Antiques fair in Clovis

Dining Room
Dining table – Target
Wooden chairs – TJ Maxx
Woven café chairs – World Market
Metal bench – Home Goods (spray painted dark green and gold)

Floral tin canisters by Daher – Vintage (Similar: Etsy)

Plant Room
Wooden bench – DIY
Leather and wood ottoman – Home Goods
Round metal mirror – Target
Plants – Home Depot, Lowes, Orchard Supply, or Gazebo Gardens

Upholstered chair – Antique shop in Clovis
Faux fur foot stool – Home Goods
Wooden bench (at end of bed) – Thrifted and repainted over the year
Bed – Wayfair.com

Thanks, Kendra!

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