Jennifer & Nello’s Hunter/Gatherer Home

published Feb 7, 2011
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Name: Jennifer + Nello Santillana, and their greyhound Lola
Location: Belmont Heights — Long Beach, CA
Size:1,000 square feet — 2 bedroom + 1 bathroom
Years lived in: 2 — rent

Jennifer and her husband Nello have an incredible 2 bedroom flat in a lovely Spanish building in Belmont Heights, a residential area of Long Beach. They recently adopted Lola, the 3 year old Greyhound, who will kiss and lick you instead of sit, and is about 3/4 of Jennifer’s size. Basically, she is the baby of the family and she knows it…

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Their home is decorated with a well thought out mix of mid century modern chairs, vintage lamps, some IKEA here and there, a very Hollywood Regency style mirrored coffee table, a clean stark white couch and amazing pops of color throughout.

Jennifer describes her style in the home as “Hunter/Gatherer” which is hilarious, but I see her point. She hunts on Craigslist, estate sales, swapmeets, wherever she can find amazing pieces… keeps them until she finds a new piece she wants to trade or sell for. Besides the fact that Jennifer thinks the ceiling fans belong in a Southern estate in a city like Savannah or Charleston, the rest of the home is stylistically in unison. (She explains that if she actually owned the apartment versus renting, she’d invest in new fans.) Each room has a character of it own, but all are sophisticated, peppered with bits of humor or playfulness.

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Hunter/Gatherer
Inspiration: There are so many amazing design blogs now which I constantly draw inspiration from. We have some CREATIVE people in this world! I look at both super high end as well as budget design blogs. Educate your taste with the best and hunt for the deal. It’s amazing what you can find once have your mind set on something.
Favorite Element: Well I’m obsessed with chairs. Can’t get enough of them. I buy one, enjoy it for awhile then sell to fund the habit of the next chair fix. Material wise, brass, wood, lucite to name a few…
Biggest Challenge: The things I can’t or don’t want to pay to change since I’m renting.
What Friends Say: “Find me some deals!”
Biggest Embarrassment: I detest the look of ceiling fans. If I owned this joint, I’d take them down and hang some rad light fixtures but i don’t want to spend the cash on a place that isn’t mine to keep.
Proudest DIY: My apartment. I’m not one to “create” a lot of my own design elements but I am one to find the gems and spruce them up. I’m constantly cleaning, waxing, repairing items I buy to make them shine once again and have a new life.
Biggest Indulgence: I guess a “new” couch. 95% of my house is used minus the mattresses we sleep on, turntables, couch and tv’s.
Best Advice: Why buy new when there is so much amazing and unique used furniture out there for cheap?!
Dream Sources: A maid

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Resources of Note:


    • our apartment was painted this light taupe when we moved in. nice change from the typical rental white


    • antique umbrella stand: given to me by my mom’s friend
    • 1960’s photos of san francisco: my dad’s personal slide collection which I made into prints
    • 1960’s white train case & wooden drawing figure: thrift store
    • leopard b&w watercolor, artist-nerd: my parents bought it in sausalito, ca. when they were first married


    • couch: cb2
    • mirrored coffee table: bought from Morgan of
    • leather falcon chair: warehouse 1333, lb (i talked the owner down $200!!)
    • walnut arm chair, brass floor lamp: craigslist
    • white lamp, bar/turntable “table”: fresno thrift stores
    • “the perfect couple” stencil art: victor gastelum
    • walnut side table: yard sale
    • light up globe w/ lucite base: lb thrift store
    • large glass fishing float: it was my grandparent’s in Humboldt county
    • inlaid wood portrait: made by my husband’s grandfather who was an amazing wood artist in Peru


    • dining table, bent wood chairs: craigslist
    • wooden slat bench & windsor chairs: my mom, bought @ fresno thrift stores
    • yellow/white dresser & mirror: warehouse 1333, LB
    • LA vs. WAR stencil poster: LA vs. WAR art show, LA ’09
    • tablecloth: indira bedspread, ikea
    • “circles” ’77 print: yard sale
    • other hanging wall art: thrift stores


    • red 50’s chrome and formica table: my sister old table from santa cruz
    • red iron scale: estate sale
    • kitchen conversions poster: sweetfineday,
    • don carlos dub club show poster: telephone pole, la
    • tall ship framed needlepoint: thrift store


    • side tables and bed: ikea but bought at thrift stores
    • gentleman’s dressing stool: yard sale
    • wood architectural candle holder: thrift store
    • turntable canvas: urban outfitters clearance rack
    • monsieur IV print: cosas minimas shop, etsy
    • albrecht dürer print: my mom’s friend gave it to me


    • 2 large white ceramic heads: antique store in san clemente, originally came from an optometrist’s shop
    • buddha: china town, sf
    • hanging black candle holder: thrift store (it used to be a nasty bronze with yellow plastic ribboning through the holes. I cut the plastic out and spray painted it black)


    • abacus: wedding present, cb2
    • dresser: craigslist
    • 4 corners maps,
    • bench: thrift store (it was a nasty looking coffee table i spray painted black)
    • tripod lamp: thrift store


    • worm composter: target
    • succulents in white pots: leftover DIY centerpieces from my wedding

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Thanks, Jennifer and Nello!

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