Cat and Alex’s Chic Downtown LA Lair

updated Feb 20, 2019
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(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

Name: Cat and Alex
Location: Downtown; Los Angeles, California
Size: 800 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years; Rented

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Cat Li is in the business of fashion, and she doesn’t leave her keen sense of style at the office. Her open and airy fifth floor loft is situated in the center of the bustling city and feels effortlessly cool. Minimal yet striking decor in a cohesive palette of blacks, whites, and metals makes bold pieces feel sophisticated yet casual. A streamlined interior juxtaposed with the charming downtown cityscape gleaming just beyond the spacious balcony make this loft dreamy.

Living in a loft with high ceilings, Cat has made use of her vertical space with large scale original art and found pieces—which proves sophistication on a budget is totally attainable. For example, the black-and-white abstract piece in the entry is by Cat herself.

Having no enclosed bedrooms, Cat and her musician husband, Alex, have found it’s important to each carve out their own personal space within the four walls. Cat declared the bedroom vanity as hers, while his is a small music workspace tucked into a nook adjacent to the dining room. Each spot is meticulously thought-out and well-organized to maximize use of the space. Each is also adorned with pictures of the other person, which proves that true love inspires passion.

Unfortunately, Cat and Alex will soon be leaving their lofty downtown Los Angeles life behind to pursue an equally exciting journey in New York. Stay tuned for an update on how this California native adapts to the Big Apple.

(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Minimal, intentional, raw.

Inspiration: Scandinavian and Japanese design. We love clean lines, a pared-down space, where the focus is simply on light, textures, and natural materials.

Favorite Element: Our Milo Baughman bar cart.

Biggest Challenge: Creating a warm, functional home in an open, white space.

What Friends Say: It’s like a breath of fresh air.

Biggest Embarrassment: The terrace is impossible to keep clean with 15 floors of balconies above us. We find cigarette butts, dog toys, and once, even a used condom.

Proudest DIY: We wired a ceiling light with a switch and everything! And neither of us got electrocuted so, you know, that’s pretty cool.

Biggest Indulgence: Location.

Best Advice: Thoughtfully and continually edit. Recreate in your own home all the little luxuries you love about all the places you’ve been.

Dream Sources: In our travels, we’ll come across incredible pieces made by local artisans that we wish we could bring home with us. But often, being inspired by something is more satisfying than having it.


(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)


  • Cantilever chairs: vintage Mart Stam
  • Road bike: Cannondale
  • Penny board: skate shop in Venice
  • Time zone clock: World Market
  • Smoking Girl (charcoal art): original piece by Cat
  • The Study of Movement (large scale art): original piece by Cat
(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)


  • Longhorn steer skull: eBay
  • Couch: Craigslist
  • Wood coffee table: inherited from Alex’s parents—when his parents were our age, they used to gather around it for meals. And now we do, too.
  • Velvet button chair: vintage 1920s
  • Side table: IKEA
  • Gold Buddha head: from travels in Hoi An, Vietnam
  • Globe pendant: West Elm
  • Bar cart: vintage Milo Baughman
  • Black clay skull: from travels in Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Gold cups: Rose Bowl Flea Market
  • Djembe hand drum: from travels in Ubud, Indonesia
  • Electric guitar: Fender Mustang
(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)


  • Saucer pendant: George Nelson by Modernica
  • Stainless steel dining table: IKEA
  • White cantilever chairs: vintage Mart Stam
  • Matte black armchair: DAR Eames by DWR
  • Wall-mounted mirrors: IKEA
(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)


  • Gold fruit bowl: CB2
  • Marble mortar and pestle: Old Town Pasadena
(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)


  • Bed: Alex found the metal frame on a sidewalk in San Francisco four years ago.
  • Classical guitar: Takamine
  • Wardrobes: IKEA
  • Mirrored frames: Target
  • Vanity: IKEA with DIY marble top
  • Mirror: flea market
  • Vanity seat: handed down from Cat’s mom
  • Mable vanity accessories: CB2
  • Chrome lamp: Rose Bowl Flea Market
  • Mother Earth (abstract art): original piece by Alex’s dad
(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)


  • Desk: DIY made from particle board on top of two reclaimed kitchen cabinets
  • Stainless steel shelf: IKEA
  • Spiral didgeridoo: from travels in Bali, Indonesia
  • Ukulele: gift from Alex’s little brother
  • Speakers: Yamaha HS7
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Cat’s comfy “office” with a view (Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

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Thanks, Cat & Alex!