Joshua’s Vintage Daydream

published Jul 9, 2012
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Name: Joshua Alvarenga (and his cat Valentino)
Location: Hollywood – Los Angeles, CA
Size: 700 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year – rented

One of my favorite things about a home is when the owner brings out the best in the architecture and original design of the structure. Joshua has collected furniture and personal treasures that are wonderful and cozy but that also allow us to enjoy the Spanish style of the building itself. After all, he believes that when designing his home, the most essential part is “to be surrounded by things that matter most.”

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Joshua’s decor displays just enough restraint that you aren’t overwhelmed when you walk through the door — but your eyes move constantly from corner to corner. His one bedroom apartment has so much charm and character, and he’s really allowed the space to speak for itself, by adding just enough personal touches with artwork and photographs. With the help of his dear friend Leslie Landis (who introduced us), he was able to arrange each room in a functional and very comfortable setting. When Leslie helped Joshua design his home, she was sure to mix many elements of patterns and prints — often bringing an unexpected but awesome outcome. For instance, I love that runner in the kitchen and the burlap curtains!

One of my favorite rooms in this apartment was the small meditation room, painted all red with the shrine. I felt it was a great use of what traditionally would have been the walk in vanity and closet. According to Joshua, the most significant thing in his home is “a thangka that was a gift from my guru, Lama Norlha Rinpoche, who lives in Upstate New York.”

The impressive architectural and design features of this home rely heavily on a Spanish architectural influence. I love the beams in the ceilings and the etched painted doors. Says Joshua: “I wanted an apartment that referenced all things I love about Los Angeles — heritage wrapped in classic vintage Hollywood!”

Classic vintage Hollywood indeed! Enjoy!

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: It’s a reflection of my daydreams and travels. Some mementos were purchased at mercados de las pulgas (flea markets) in Latin America, while the artwork is by contemporary New York artists.

Inspiration: This is my romantic gentleman’s lair where I can retreat from the stress of urban living at the intersection of Hollywood and Koreatown. Also, I just turned 40 years old and participated in the 2012 L.A. Marathon. My teammates and I raised over $9,000 for Los Angeles Universal Preschool. LAUP sends over 10,000 children to preschool each year from L.A.’s most underserved communities.

Favorite Element: This apartment is in an incredible vintage 1930s Spanish inspired building. My absolute favorite is the wood beamed ceiling and all the doors featuring floral motifs. And the original orange and blue bathroom tile is stunning!

Biggest Challenge: In the afternoon, the natural light is at a minimum. But in the sweltering L.A. summers, this apartment is a haven from the heat.

What Friends Say: “I feel like I am on vacation when I stay with you.”

Biggest Embarrassment: The neighborhood is in transition and with that comes a variety of characteristics — needless to say some very interesting water cooler stories!

Proudest DIY: Shopping on a dime! You don’t have to have money to have great taste!

Biggest Indulgence: One of my dearest friends, Leslie Landis, is an interior designer who recently appeared on HGTV’s The White Room Challenge. Leslie knows my style very well and brings out the best of my taste.

Best Advice: : Fire your therapist and hire an interior designer! At least you will have some tangible results!

Dream Sources:: Tibet, Old Hollywood, Andalucia.

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Resources of Note:


    • Living Room: Benjamin Moore / Palladine Blue
    • Dining room and Kitchen: Benjamin Moore / Riverdale Green
    • Meditation shrine room: Benjamin Moore / Dinner Party


    • Black leather mid-century sofa from White Trash
    •French chairs, Craigslist
    •Wood coffee table, Craigslist
    •Wood chairs from a vintage store, Cold Spring, Upstate New York
    •Buffet table, Craigslist
    • White lamp purchased from stoop sale, Queens, NY
    • Pillows by Leslie Landis Interiors.
    •Art installation by Jo-ey Tang
    •Painting by Jered Sprecher
    •Painting by Benjamin Schmacher


    • Vintage country table from a small store in Chelsea, Manhattan
    • Two white wood carved chairs from Romania
    • Indian throw rug
    • Mirror from vintage store, Cold Spring, Upstate New York
    • Polaroid by Dean Sameshima
    • Personal photos and mementos from travels


    • Painting by Rebecca Allan
    • Painting by Andrea Claire
    • African tribal rug


    • Hand-made bed
    • White lamp purchased a stoop sale, Queens, NY
    • Painting by Kaveri Nair
    • Tissue paper artwork by Amelia Saul
    • Artwork by Jo-ey Tang


    • photography by unknown artist
    • Turquoise Tunisian towels from Lost and Found, Hollywood, CA


    • Tibetan thanka painting, Tibetan Arts, Santa Monica, CA
    • Small Tibetan rug, Tibetan Arts, Santa Monica, CA

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Joshua!

(Images: Bethany Nauert)

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