A Mid-Century-Modern-Loving Californian's Vintage Mix

A Mid-Century-Modern-Loving Californian's Vintage Mix

Selena Kirchhoff
Feb 22, 2017

Name: Eric Kunau
Location: Beverly Hills, California
Size: 1000 square feet
Years lived in: Renting 2 years

Eric's sunny Beverly Hills apartment combines his love for art, mid-century modern style, and contemporary design to create a bright, welcoming space to call home in his adopted state of California.

Originally from Minnesota, Eric now calls Beverly Hills home in this 1000 square foot apartment. The apartment already had great bones, with its large windows bringing in great natural light, and the original mid-century tile features in the kitchen and bathroom. But with his affinity for design, art, and all things mid-century modern, Eric has beautifully blended vintage and contemporary pieces, breathing new life into his home. Perfect for fixing yourself up a martini, and enjoying the view — California style!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: California, minimalist, mid-century inspired modern.

Inspiration: Living in California, I'm inspired by the state's contribution to mid-century modern design. I love the clean lines and airiness of William Krisel and Joseph Eichler's tract houses, and how they blend architecture with nature. I'm also a big fan of Charles and Ray Eames, and how they aimed to bring style to the masses while balancing practicality and design.

Favorite Element: In terms of the building, the windows. The unit has windows on three sides and faces a park, so it's bright and there's always a cross breeze, making you feel like you're outside. As far as furnishings, the abstract painting in my dining room. It was a gift from a relative, who is a painter in Sonoma. I have a few other prints of his in my living room.

Biggest Challenge: Striking a balance between the past and present. I love mid-century modern, and I'm always hunting for vintage pieces from local stores. However, I don't want to feel like I'm on the set of a period piece. I combine furnishings from contemporary stores, like Crate and Barrel, to complement the vintage pieces. I also collect prints, collages, and paintings from a variety of California artists from different time periods and movements, rather than trying to match the artwork to an era or style.

What Friends Say: It's a calm, peaceful, and decluttered environment. It's sleek and modern, yet welcoming.

Biggest Embarrassment: Beige carpeting.

Proudest DIY: I assembled the Saarinen-style marble table by myself!

Biggest Indulgence: The Eames-style lounge chair.

Best Advice: Pick artwork that you love and furnish around it; don't buy artwork to match the colors or style of your furniture.

Dream Sources: Design Within Reach, The Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market, Heath Ceramics, Modern by Dwell


Prints above the sofa – James Shay
Coffee table – Sunbeam Vintage
Bookcase below TV - Sunbeam Vintage
Kent Coffey Mirror - – Sunbeam Vintage
Side table below mirror: Sunbeam Vintage
Lamp next to sofa – The Hunt Vintage
Side table holding lamp – IKEA
Eames (style) lounge chair — West Coast Modern LA
Floor Lamp next to Exterior Door — Crate & Barrel
Black & White Painting Next to door – etsy (Brian Elston, painter)

Large painting — James Shay
Dining Table — Overstock.com
Bookcase — Ikea

Lamps — The Hunt Vintage
Poster next to bed — Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Dresser — Sunbeam Vintage
Desk chair — West Coast Modern LA
Prints above bed — Chris Burkard
Prints above the desk — Michael Schwab

Kitchen Rug — World Market
Herb Ritts Prints above counter — The Getty Museum
Photos above commode Chris Burkard

Thanks, Eric!

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