A Cozy, Chic 400-Square-Foot California Studio

published Feb 26, 2014
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(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Name: Kelly Stewart
Location: Rampart Village; Los Angeles, California
Size: 400 square feet
Years lived in: 1 years; rent

Kelly lives in a quaint stylish studio apartment in Rampart Village, where she has indulged her interior design know how. Taking note of all she’s learned working along side various designers mixing that with her own personal aesthetic, she has created a wonderful place to call home.

(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

It’s pretty awesome what Kelly was able to accomplish in 400 square feet. Kelly loves so many aspects of her home but she says the most significance is living in a studio apartment myself, I sympathize with the lack of space and need for decluttering. What I love was that she was not afraid to use color and a lot of texture. Her mix of artwork really brought out the personality of her home along with her great choices in lighting, which says is the most important element in designing a home. “Lighting! It is such an impactful element and sets the tone for the whole project.”

Soon she’s moving in with her boyfriend, but it’s great to see what she was able to create beforehand. It will be fun to see how her style evolves in her new shared home. The lifestyle and culture of LA has definitely attributed to her taste “If anything it’s taught me to be loose and just go with your gut. Anything goes.”

(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Let’s go with: ‘Rosé Equestrian’

Inspiration: I picked up the book “Havana”, by Michael Eastman early last year and got lost in the beautifully faded but saturated colors of the interiors of the old and dissolving Cuban architecture. I think that stuck with me throughout my selections over the last year.

Favorite Element: I’d say the dining room. I was pumped about the color before it went up, but once I painted it, I couldn’t believe the transformation. The vignette with the oversized mirror, the furry chairs, mirrored console and lovely horse & rider portrait just puts me in a good place.

Biggest Challenge: Working with a tight budget! Which is always limiting for obvious reasons, but it also gives you parameters to work within and encourages you to be flexible and appreciate where the process takes you. The result is always a somewhat unexpected one and I believe creates a more interesting end result.

What Friends Say: ‘Dreamy’

Biggest Embarrassment: Calculating how much paint I needed for the living area on Benjamin Moore’s website, and then doubling it for my second coat. I thought I was ahead of the game on that one – didn’t realize they do that for you. So, I bought exactly twice as much pink paint than I needed. Won’t make that mistake again. Anyone need a gallon of pink paint?

Proudest DIY: My faux Chinchilla upholstered mid-century dining chairs. The chairs were a tossed away street find from when I lived in Echo Park. I found so much great stuff left out on the street when I lived there, it was crazy.

Biggest Indulgence: My vintage sewing caddy. At the time my old roommate and I went in on it together, but in the end it was my prize when we went our separate ways. I love it. Also, it came completely equipped with anything a budding seamstress could ever think she needed. It was like stumbling across a treasure chest.

Best Advice: Don’t over think things. I have a tendency to worry about the outcome of my inspirations, not knowing if my design intentions will turn out the way I conceive them in my head. It can be crippling and deter you from even getting started. Just jump in!

Dream Sources: Gallery L7 for amazing vintage lighting, House of Honey, for unique and beautiful vintage furniture and lighting, and always Lawson-Fenning.


Living/Entry: Benjamin Moore — Morristown Cream 1241
Bathroom: Benjamin Moore — Midnight Blue 1638
Kitchen/Dining: Benjamin Moore — Palisades Park 439

Vintage 3 drawer dresser — Revival
Vintage wood carved lamp — Revival
Pair of vintage porcelain busts — House of Honey
Mirrored obelisk — Vintage
Large flat woven area rug — Vintage, Estate Sale

Upholstered sofa, vintage — Estate Sale
Antique Bergere — family piece
Tessellated and brass side table — Target
Glass table lamp — Ikea

Butcher Block island — Ikea

Vintage solid wood two-tiered side tables — Melrose flea market
Vintage ceramic table lamp and custom shade
Vintage brass bird trio — vintage
White linen drapery — Ikea

Glass and Metal pendant — estate sale
Vintage portrait — estate sale
Straw basket — Ikea

Thanks, Kelly!

Also many thanks to Leslie Landis for putting us in touch!

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