A “Hippie, Rainbow-Boho” Apartment in Oakland

updated Apr 30, 2019

A “Hippie, Rainbow-Boho” Apartment in Oakland

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Name: Rachel Kaplan
Location: Adams Point — Oakland, California
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, rented

Rachel’s friends know her as the person always wearing the outrageous, colorful, and sometimes stylishly clashing outfits. So clearly, she reflects that boldness of color, pattern, and texture all over her home. Since moving in a year ago, she’s been striving to create an unexpected and vibrant space that feels warm, soothing, and nurturing—a warm bath of beauty and contrast. In other words, she wanted a home where she could create harmony with a floral Anthropologie sofa and a multi-color woven rug. “Having lived in six different rentals in the last decade, this apartment is by far the most beautiful place I have ever lived or created,” she says.

Rachel calls this apartment her pot of gold after going through a journey of self-discovery and healing, and she says deciding to apply for the apartment was one of the hardest decisions she’s ever had to make. When the property manager showed her the apartment, she fell in love with the tall ceilings and the view of greenery just outside her windows. It would be a perfect home for her life transition. “This apartment brings me joy daily,” Rachel says. “I often feel sheer awe and delight from being surrounded in its light, beauty, warmth, and color.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Rainbow-bohemian fancy! Also, fashionista, hippie, world-traveler.

Inspiration: Rainbows, geometry, sacred elements, female figures and beauty, the Earth, the healing journey, clashing patterns, eyes, Asian images, floral design, wool in its different forms, plants, Rainbow Brite

Favorite Element: Perhaps textiles, particularly wool. Between my two sheep hides, the various things I have knitted, the wool pillows, and wool rugs, and woven arts, I love wool.

Biggest Challenge: Perhaps the biggest challenge is keeping the aesthetic spacious enough that it is not crowded, which means managing my almost insatiable urge toward more beautiful things. Also, there are three tiny humans that wake up and run around like wild beasts every morning right above my head.

What Friends Say: People are fairly floored when they come in and often comment in two ways. They exclaim the beauty and spaciousness, and comment on how full the apartment is while still feeling clean, clear, and uncluttered. One friend often calls my place a bohemian paradise.

Biggest Embarrassment: I have a very loud geometric-patterned rug in a room with a very colorful floral Anthropologie couch, and they are clashing and loud. I would never have intended them for the same house. The rug was procured for an apartment I lived in where the items were separate. It’s as much colorful clashing as I can handle, and that says a lot.

Proudest DIY: I have two beautiful sheep hides in the apartment that I processed, or tanned, myself. It’s the centerpiece in my favorite room, which I call the Heart Temple and where I lay down and listen to music and unwind.

Biggest Indulgence: One is a huge Bhutanese tapestry in my bedroom, which I bought from a Tibetan woman in Nepal. Another was the seemingly vintage floral couch that I got at a discount since it was the last in the company and lived in a dressing room from Anthropologie.

Best Advice: Blend colors and fabrics with abandon. Tend happy plants and use asymmetry while decorating walls whenever possible. Buy fresh flowers. Hang rainbow-creating crystals in windows. Leave floor space for dancing.

Dream Sources: Anthropologie, World Market, Indian and Nepali fabrics


Sofa — Anthropologie
Lamp — Anthropologie
Ottoman — World Market
Rug — World Market
Large wall art — Morning Altars
Woven art — Ruby Beaupre
Framed art — Native Bear

Art — Tara Shorey
Furry chair — World Market
Rug — World Market
Steer skull — Found in Joshua Tree, California.
Painted stick with wool — Made by me

Dining chairs — World Market
Dresser — Found on the street
Wardrobe — IKEA

Bhutanese fabric — Purchased in Nepal
Mara Hoffman eye pillow — Anthropologie
Vintage chair — Gifted from friends

Thanks, Rachel!

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