Name: Sasha Darling
Location: Silver Lake; Los Angeles, California
Size: 800 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years; Rented
I was first wowed by Sasha's impressive style when I happened to wander into her gorgeous San Francisco boutique, Belljar. From the clothing, to the housewares, to the eye-popping jewelry, Belljar is impeccably curated. And I knew that whoever owned such a cool shop, had to have an equally impressive home. I reached out to Sasha and she invited me to check out her second home in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles which she shares with her adorable pups, Violet and Piglet.
When you first step into Sasha's sunken living room, it's hard to fight the urge to throw some old vinyl on the record player, curl up on the sofa with the dogs, and just kick back and enjoy the warm SoCal breeze wafting in from the veranda. It's even better once you get a look at her enviable closet, which hosts a collection that could rival the best vintage shops.
Sasha admits that there are challenges to maintaining and furnishing a second apartment in another city, but she advises against purchasing too much at once. Instead, she suggests investing in furnishings as you find treasures that truly fit your space and style. It may take some time, but building a home that reflects your personality is what makes for the happiest of spaces. Having cute pups around like Violet and Piglet doesn't hurt either.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: I’m a lover and a curator of beautiful things from around the world and from just about any decade. Therefore it’s impossible for me to quantify my style into a single, meaningful statement! When dressing, I let my current mood and daily activities inspire and influence the day's look. When decorating, I take cues from my surroundings and the architecture of my living space. My Los Angeles pad is like a little Spanish style bungalow positioned an a hillside. It’s so different than any place I’ve ever lived, being a San Francisco girl. My apartment is so quintessentially LA that it really inspired me to embrace a whole new personal style. It’s laid back, casual, and bohemian which is very unlike my San Francisco home. It has it’s own soul and that’s where its style has evolved from.
Inspiration: I found this amazing photo from the 70s of a New York artist's loft that had tons of clean mid-century pieces with shiny chrome, mixed with deep, rich patterns and ethnic treasures from many different cultures. It was really my inspiration for this place. I wanted it to feel like your weird great Aunt Ethel who wore caftans and taught art at the local junior college lived here and filled it with finds from all her amazing travels around the world. I wanted it to feel full of a life well lived.
Favorite Element: I love the veranda off the front of the apartment. It's such a relaxing and lovely place to hang out and relax. When I got a place in LA, I really was excited to experience indoor/outdoor living that is just not possible in San Francisco. I always leave the french doors open which makes the space a lovely extension of my living room.
Biggest Challenge: Being that this is a second home, I moved in with nothing. No silverware, no bed, nothing… and I do not have a ton of additional income to decorate a second place so I had to be really resourceful and thrifty. I also had to be patient. The first six months here were a bit like camping!
What Friends Say: All my friends love my LA place. It’s small, it’s quirky, but it just has so much character, so they constantly say, “If you ever move, I want your apartment!”
Biggest Embarrassment: The big ugly electrical circuit breaker box in my living room.
Proudest DIY: My closet, which basically is my bedroom. There is no closet in this strange little tree house, and anyone who knows me, knows that closet space is a must!! So I just built out a huge closet system right in my bedroom using plumbing supplies and lumber from Home Depot. Voilà! My bedroom is now a walk in closet! Who wouldn’t want to sleep amongst all their beautiful clothes and shoes?
Biggest Indulgence: Honestly there are no big spends in this apartment. Everything is from the flea market or thrift stores. I really bargained every single piece. And it is constantly changing as I find new exciting scores to replace some of the earlier purchases made out of desperation.
Best Advice: A home should be filled with things you love and finding those things takes time. When you rush out and buy a bunch of things from one place, your home can end up feeling like a catalog. So just slow down and find pieces that you love and really make your place your home... a home with soul.
Dream Sources: I’m always dreaming of the perfect estate sale. I would love to peruse the group estate sale of Yves Saint Laurent, Frida Kahlo, Barbara Hulanicki, Talitha Getty, and Phyllis Diller.
Resources of Note:
- Mark Warren Jaque Print
- Painting by me
- End of the trail print- Alameda Flea Market
- Red mid-century oil pastel original - estate sale
- Built in shelf that I had custom-made by a nice dealer I met at the Rose Bowl flea market.
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Re-edited from a tour originally published October 2014 — AB