Leslie's Mid Century Optimism

Leslie's Mid Century Optimism

Bethany Nauert
May 16, 2012

Name: Leslie Landis + her dog Raincheck
Location: Silver Lake — Los Angeles, California
Size: 300 square feet
Years lived in: 4 — Rent

Interior designer Leslie Landis has converted this 300 square foot studio into a decorative Silver Lake charmer. She and her cute puppy, Raincheck, enjoy a cozy stylish space along with an amazing outdoor dining room. Perfect for entertaining or a quiet night in, her little apartment offers the best of both.

Leslie was most recently featured on HGTV's White Room Challenge and has a wonderful sense of whimsy that she brings home to her own palette. Her puppy Raincheck is notably the most significant thing in her home. "Everything else is just stuff."

As a designer who brings her personal touch into the homes that she designs, Leslie's first set of advice is to "design it for how you live. Do you cook? Do you love TV? Do you entertain? Do you let the dog on the sofa? Things can be both beautiful and functional. I hate things that are too precious. It's nice to have nice things but they shouldn't feel off limits to you." If comfort and style can exist in 300 square feet, it's in Leslie's studio for sure! "Los Angeles is the land of make believe. Say you want to live in a witch's house, or a sleek glass box, or the turret of a castle, there are plenty to choose from. I think that's really great. It's a young city in many ways, and still has its sense of optimism that inspired the case study house program."

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Soft organic modern, with a touch of mid century optimism.

Inspiration: It's my imaginary beach house. Moving into such a small place only made sense for me because of the outdoor space. I figured with the mild southern California weather I'd be outside all the time anyways, like a vacation rental. That, and I have a soft spot for anything nautical. It should be noted I'm about 20 miles away from the beach.

Favorite Element: The outdoor chandelier. It was in my bedroom at my last place but there is something very Miss Havisham about having it outside.

Biggest Challenge: The whole place! It's a weird, tiny space. The ceiling is exactly 8' high and only 7.5' high in the kitchen. It's subterranean on one side into the hill (my kitchen window is eyelevel with my neighbor's lawn). It's kinda dark, was painted industrial gray and had an unfinished plywood floor in the main room when I moved in. I wish I took before pictures! It felt like a garage.

What Friends Say: My friend Mike says it's the smallest, fanciest apartment he's ever seen. Everyone else remarks how comfortable it is. My favorite compliment was that it's magical at night.

Biggest Embarrassment: The big stupid heater in the middle of my wall.

Proudest DIY: Installing the Ikea laminate floor with friends. My landlord made me a deal to buy the flooring if I'd put it in. (Full disclosure, I mostly fetched snacks and did my best to stay out of their way. Thanks, guys!)

Biggest Indulgence: Wallpaper, by far. But so worth it. It turned what looked like a garage into a sea glass jewel box.

Best Advice: Renters, don't worry so much about getting your deposit back! Paint is the cheapest, most transformative thing you can do. And if you create a beautiful space you won't want to move anyways.

Dream Sources: Blackman Cruz , Modern One, Re-Wire

Resources of Note:


    • Ikea wood laminate


    • Sofa, vintage from a friend, recovered in velvet from Home Fabrics (Downtown LA) Mario Monroy Upholstery 2253 West Washington Los Angeles 90018 (323)614-6281
    • Chair, vintage craigslist
    • Pillow Fabrics: Faux Bois-F Schumacher, Zig Zag-Osborne and Little, Purple Flowers-Diamond Foam and Fabric
    • Map of France , vintage PCC Flea Market
    • Grass cloth wallpaper, Motif Paloma Piccasso
    • Coffee Table, vintage Craigslist lacquered aqua //oscarsrefinishing.com/
    • Side tables, tag sale.
    • Mirror tops //www.wholesaleglassandmirror.net/ (bar mirror and glass in dining table too. They have great prices)
    • Lamps, vintage. Shades //www.fantasylightingla.com/
    • Barware, vintage //empiricstudio.com/
    • Dog bed, inherited antique dollbed


    • 1960's chrome table //casavictoriala.com/
    • 1920's chandelier had forever, got it from a shop I worked at
    • 1940's chrome chairs, the first real furniture I ever bought. They've been recovered over and over. I just found the matching 4th one last year.
    • Fake nelson bench, found on the street. It was really water damaged so I painted it
    • Mirror Cabinet, out of the closet $75!
    • Sofa 1950's rattan
    • Cabana fabric Sunbrella


    • Wallpaper //www.trestintas.com/en/ it's from the street art collection, it's actually Mr. Ino tagged over and over. I like that it sort of reads as a trellis
    • Demi Lune Table, fake Victorian from craigslist lacquered grey
    • Painting, Paige Saez, it's part of a series inspired by her favorite horror films


    • Bed hacked Ikea, with headboard fabric "Coy" //palacepapers.com/ comes as a wallpaper too. I love all their stuff! Closet curtain in matching fabric.
    • Bed spread, Target
    • Pillow fabrics Dimond Foam and Fabric
    • Floating bookshelf, Umbra
    • Nautical sconce, vintage. Shade Fantasy Lighting
    • Secretary, vintage Rosebowl flea market
    • Weird Zeus Planter //www.sunsetblvdnursery.com/about.html
    • All art framed at //www.yelp.com/biz/quick-frames-los-angeles-2


    • Little whales wallpaper //www.pottokprints.com/
    • Snowball photo from a friend

Thanks, Leslie!

Images: Bethany Nauert

• HOUSE TOUR ARCHIVE Check out past house tours here
• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour Submission Form.
• Are you a designer/architect/decorator interested in sharing a residential project with Apartment Therapy readers? Contact the editors through our Professional Submission Form.

moving--truck moving--dates moving--dolly moving--house moving--cal Created with Sketch. moving--apt