Name: Maria, Boris, and a dog named Fish
Location: Fashion District, Downtown Los Angeles
Size: 1500 square feet
Years lived in: Rent for 1 year
Maria and her boyfriend Boris share a sunny, industrial loft in the Fashion District of Downtown Los Angeles. A large and open space, the couple had to create rooms in a floor plan without many existing walls or distinct areas. They combined styles to craft cozy hangout spots all over the beautiful apartment. "We fell in love with the raw industrial feel of our building the minute we walked into it. Boris and I both moved to Los Angeles from overseas (him from Panama/England and me from Taiwan) and wanted a place to make ours together," Maria writes.
Maria describes her home:
We decided to stick with its roots and turn our home into a beautiful, modern yet industrial abode. We found all of our furniture in flea markets across Los Angeles, as well as finding scrap pieces of wood wherever we could to build from. Used unique pieces have always stood out to me, so I began the search for a few signature pieces to add to our industrial vibe. We have an old 1940s cinema light, a vintage Rhodes Piano, a 1920s converted bar and some amazing World War II crates we use as side tables.
My favorite room would have to be the open concept living room with its 13-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling widows that wrap around the entire corner unit, and the beautiful view of the iconic Eastern Building. We have an awesome Chesterfield sofa to tie the room together. My favorite little secret is our hidden 12 foot by 6 foot projector screen we host movie nights on while cuddling on our queen-size daybed.
Our home is where we cook, entertain, relax, work, and hang out with our rescue dog named Fish. My father was a diplomat and I spent all my life moving around the world. After 15 moves, eight countries and over 10 schools, this is the first time in my life I'm proud to have a space I can call home.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Cozy Industrial with a vintage twist
Inspiration: The building itself has been our biggest inspiration. It was made in 1922 and used to be a garment manufacturer. When they converted it into lofts, they kept it very raw and industrial. We fell in love with the exposed pipes, cement floors, high ceilings, giant pillars and the enormous windows. We knew we wanted to stick with the industrial theme, so we raided flea markets, antique stores, second hand shops, and even garage sales to find pieces that would emphasize the characteristics of the building.
Favorite Element: It’s very open concept. We love entertaining, and our neighbors are some of our best friends. We wanted to create a place where everyone could feel at home. The layout is great for this! Someone can be in the kitchen cooking, while a heated board game goes on in the lounge, and others chat over a glass of wine in the dining room and technically we are all still hanging out in the same space. The beautiful views of downtown are also a great backdrop for these frequent “family” nights.
Biggest Challenge: Keeping our plants alive. They all seem to have a three-month expiration date.
What Friends Say: “Lets go to your house.”
Biggest Embarrassment: The brick wall behind our dining room table is actually fake. The person who lived here before us fabricated it out of Styrofoam and painted it to look like real bricks. We decided to keep it when we moved into the loft because it would have been a pain to remove it from the wall. It looked believable, that is, until people started leaning against it and “bricks” started falling off. I swear I glue a piece back on every week.
Proudest DIY: Pretty much everything in our house can be controlled through our smartphones. Every light switch, the sound system, the AC/heater, the cinema lamp, and even our front door lock can be adjusted remotely. Boris is an undercover techie and spent hours setting up a SMART system. I rolled my eyes through the whole process, but now that it’s working, I admit, it’s the coolest thing ever.
Biggest Indulgence: Our 1940s cinema lamp. It was love at first sight.
Best Advice: Start one piece at a time. Find your statement piece and build around it. When we first moved into the loft we had no furniture. Since the loft is very open concept it was overwhelming in the beginning thinking about where to start decorating. The first thing we bought was the Chesterfield sofa and let it sit in the lounge by itself for a week, while I brainstormed how to decorate around it. Then came the leather rocker chair, then the rug and so on and so forth. By going piece by piece we were able to make sure everything flowed together and we created a cozy cohesive living environment.
Dream Sources: Rose Bowl Flea Market, Restoration Hardware, middle of nowhere antique shops.
- Art: "Swipes" by Mike Nesbit
- Bench-Melrose Flea Market
- Chesterfield Sofa- Craigslist
- 1940s cinema lamp – Melrose Flea Market
- Candles - Ikea
- Dining room table- Ikea
- Brown Leather rocker chair – Melrose Flea Market
- Rug- Safavieh Vintage
- Suitcase side table – Rose Bowl Flea
- Wine Barrel Dog bed- Melrose Flea Market
- Yellow Swipes – Mike Nesbit
- Shelves- Tribecca Home
- Piano- Vintage Fender Rhodes from Georgia
- Cowhide rug- Rug Depot
- Poofs- Chefchaouen, Morocco
- Bar- Melrose Flea Market
- Wine Racks – World Market
- Koozies- Amazon.com
- Bar sign- Ross
- Table- Craigslist
- Bar Stools- Overstock.com
- Coasters- Garage sale
- Watering can- Ikea
- Tea Set- bought in Morocco
- Chairs and Bench- Overstock.com
- Desk- reclaimed wood on cement blocks DIY
- Pen holders- Ikea
- Art- Kent Yoshimura
- Chairs- Craigslist
- Bedside tables- WWII crates from Silver Lake Flea Market
- Lamps- Downtown Flea
- Clothes Rack- World Market
- Luggage- Marrakech Souks
- Rug- Marrakech Souks
- Moroccan Wedding Blanket- Chefchaouen, Morocco
- Letters- Ross
- Shower curtain- Urban Outfitters
- Shower rug- Urban Outfitters
- Rack- Ikea
- Candles- Ikea
- Art- Phlatness: Mike Nesbit
- Art- Swipe: Mike Nesbit
- Bathroom sign- Home Depot
- Giant T-shirt- Made in Sierra Leon
- Art- Phlatness: Mike Nesbit
- Couch- Ikea
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