Name: Robert Ingraham
Location: Eagle Rock — Los Angeles, California
Size: 800 square feet
Years lived in: 6 months, renting
When Robert, a passionate filmmaker and director from the Midwest, found himself caught between who he was and who he wanted to be, he knew he needed an apartment that did more than just house personal objects. He realized his largest sources of inspiration — music, film, literature — were missing from his daily routine and his surroundings.
He also wanted to create a gender-neutral space, so he teamed up with Anne Sage (an interior designer, artist, content creator, co-owner of the the gorgeous event space Light Lab and author of Sage Living), and his sister Caroline Lee, (photographer, rug slinger of Coco Carpets and also co-owner of Light Lab) to design a space that would help reinvigorate and encourage his creative process.
After couch surfing for eleven weeks during his search for the perfect LA spot, Robert made no compromises while setting up camp in what he considers to be his biggest indulgence — a place to finally call his own after outgrowing his post-college lifestyle with the boys. Now, a crisp white, modern space adorned with musical instruments and colorfully visual punches in every corner serves as the perfect backdrop for Robert's new bachelor pad.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Technically a bachelor, yet turned off by the cold stainless steel + black leather vibe of "bachelor pads," I set out to create a space that basically embodies my love for / comfort with the entire gender spectrum. Embrace masculinity, but don't stop there or be limited by it.
Inspiration: I have all these old film photos that I've been taking on and off over the years, and I've always wanted to get some of them printed. I sent a few to my designer, Anne Sage, and she put together a color palette based on those photos.
Favorite Element: It's really cool to finally have space for a piano. Also the Coco Carpet is a fave for sure.
Biggest Challenge: Finding it! A nice + affordable one-bedroom in LA is basically a unicorn. I left my old place thinking, "I'll stay with my sister for a week or maybe two at the most while I look for a place." What followed was eleven solid weeks of couch surfing, during which I was refreshing all my rental apps every few minutes. By chance or fate or something I got this place on my birthday. Anyway, I think it's safe to say I've used up all my couch-surfing favors for the next decade.
What Friends Say: One friend referred to it as a womb. I think she was referring to the safe + cozy vibe, but I didn't press for elaboration. If I can have a "bach pad" that's comparable to a womb, I've done my job.
Proudest DIY: As mentioned above, I love film. But I also love good design, and TVs are an eyesore. I decided to get a ceiling-mount projector, effectively turning my living room into a home theater without a big black rectangle throwing the room off balance. The challenge was to get power to it while maintaining that inconspicuous vibe, and my solution was to wire it in with my ceiling fan. I'm no engineer, but my brother is. So, I literally had him on Skype telling me, "See that red wire? Yeah, that one — attach that one to the black one." And I'm like, "If I get electrocuted, please call 911."
After that worked, my electricity confidence soared and I did something similar with the sconces. They had power cords coming out of the bottom, but I wanted to wire them into the existing sconce holes in the wall. The problem here was that the power switch was on the cord, so ditching the cord meant there was no way to turn it on and off. So I picked up a small toggle switch from Amazon and wired that in. Voilà.
Biggest Embarrassment: Okay fine, I got electrocuted ONE TIME.
Biggest Indulgence: Honestly just having a place of my own — a place this nice — feels like the biggest indulgence. But it's an investment that I already know is going to pay off.
Best Advice: If you're moving, have your new place lined up before you leave the old (haha). Envision yourself doing whatever it is you'd most love to do in this space, and take a look at what that environment looks like.
Carpet — Coco Carpets
Piano — Craigslist
Framing — Simply Framed
Coffee Table — Lulu and Georgia
Floor lamp — Target
Side table — Target
Dining chairs — Target
Small breakfast table — Target
Curtains — Target
Sofa — Rowe Modern Mix Collection
Lounge chair — Huntington House button tufted chair
Striped Pillows — CB2
Small Colored Vases — CB2
Coffee Table Planter — CB2
Piano Planter — CB2
Pillows — Lulu & Georgia
Coffee Table — Lulu and Georgia
Sconces — Schoolhouse Electric
Framed artwork — Schoolhouse Electric
Ceiling fan — Lamps Plus
Film Reels & 8mm Projector — I inherited an old 8mm projector from my paternal grandfather, and a case of 8mm home movies from my maternal grandfather. If that's not a metaphor for heritage then I don't know what more you want.
Penguin Artwork — Anne decided we needed one more small piece of artwork to balance out the bigger pieces, so I commissioned my brother-in-law Jayden to make whatever he wanted. He painted this little penguin, which ended up being one of my favorite parts of the space.
Digital Projector — OptomaOwl glasses My mom is a bit of a hoarder, so she has lots of cool old glassware; she gave me these when I got my new place.
"Bakers can't be choosers" embroidery — stitched by my sister Margaret. Dumb puns are a family favorite, and I'm a pretty avid baker.
Panama bag — I shoot weddings all over the world with a company called Shark Pig. It's a blast to meet all sorts of different people on one of the most celebratory days of their lives. Here's a keepsake from a recent trip, a gift bag from a wedding in Panama City.
White desk — IKEA
Black camera bag — inherited from my grandfather
Bathmat — Amazon
Chicago mug — From a Christmas festival a couple years ago. I'm a native Midwesterner so I gotta represent that somewhere.
Duck bookends — snatched from my parent's old cottage in Michigan. They have a bunch of weird cool stuff from the '70s (they're hoarders) and my siblings and I usually snag something when we visit.
Whale letterpress — I got pretty into letterpress in college, and this is one of my favorites that I made. I actually lifted the illustration from my marine bio textbook, turned it into a polymer plate, and added in the text.