Before and After: This LA Apartment Is Full of Luxe-Looking (But Renter-Friendly) Ideas

Before and After: This LA Apartment Is Full of Luxe-Looking (But Renter-Friendly) Ideas

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Bedrooms
Square feet
1500
Sq ft
1500
House tour cover

Can't-Miss House Tours Straight to Your Inbox

Keep up with our latest house tours each weekday with our House Tour of the Day newsletter

Name: Andrew Scott and roommate
Location: Los Angeles, California
Size: 1500 square feet
Type of Home: Duplex
Years lived in: 1 year, renting

My roommate and I found our current apartment online on apartments.com. I actually hated it when I first toured it, ha! There were thick popcorn ceilings everywhere, the bedroom walls were covered in mirrors, and it was a bit more expensive than what my roommate and I wanted to pay for a three-bedroom apartment. We needed a three-bedroom as I really did need a space dedicated to crafting and content creation. We told the realtor after the viewing that we would think about it (even though we both hated it), and as we were driving home, he called us. He essentially said the landlord wants to rent it ASAP, and he was willing to make any changes and potentially negotiate rent. We asked if the popcorn ceilings could be removed, mirrors taken off the walls, and rent lowered a bit. He agreed and we signed the lease shortly after.

Credit: Drew Scott

We went from living in a large apartment complex to a duplex on a residential street just two miles over. Our landlord lives beneath us and is the nicest elderly man. He gave us the go-ahead to paint and really make the apartment our own. We’ve asked him if we could re-paint a bathroom vanity, switch out hardware, install new curtain rods, and paint over wood — he always says yes! I always get comments on videos asking if he has seen the new improvements, however he walks with a walker and can’t go up any stairs. We moved into our apartment right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, so it was the perfect time to really work on each room and makeover the apartment. I had so much fun brainstorming and really working on my craft. It was my first apartment I could really transform and make my own. 

Credit: Drew Scott

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: My style is super eclectic! I love mixing different styles to achieve a look that I personally love. If I had to choose three styles that I take inspiration from, it would be transitional, bohemian, and mid-century.

Inspiration: As you walk through my home, each room has a completely different style, which I truly love! My bedroom was inspired by a color (BEHR’s “Conifer Green”) and every element was selected to complement that accent color. As you walk into the various rooms, each tells a new story! The dining room features a deep navy wall, which contrasts beautifully with the warm wood tones. The kitchen inspiration was pulled from the wallpaper I decided to use over the archway. I knew living in a rental that I really couldn’t do much to the kitchen flooring, cabinets, or countertops, so adding a punch of wallpaper was my go-to solution! Last but not least, we have the living room! I loved the fireplace in this space and wanted to create a really warm yet rustic space that meshed with the rest of the home.

Credit: Drew Scott

Favorite Element: I think my favorite element in the entire home is the arched window in my bedroom. Something about this window is so charming and magical.

Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenge I faced when making over the apartment was either installing the shelves in the dining room or painting a roman clay texture in my roommate’s bedroom. These were both two new techniques that I had never tried before so it was a bit of a challenge, however, it turned out just as I had hoped. I used YouTube as a HUGE reference when working on both of these spaces. I myself am a visual learner so watching somebody else tackle the task gives me a big boost of confidence.

Credit: Drew Scott

Proudest DIY: I’d have to say the abstract cane media console that now lives under the shelving in the dining room is my favorite. I had originally created this to be used as the media console in the living room, however, the vibe was a bit too modern. It now serves as more of a buffet style unit in the dining room for extra storage of board games and serving necessities!

Biggest Indulgence: The rug in my bedroom was a big splurge. I actually found the rug hanging in HomeGoods and assumed the price would be around $300. I asked for help on the price only to find out it was an authentic vintage Turkish rug that cost $1600. I walked around the store for about an hour before realizing that rug HAD to come home with me. It truly is the most perfect rug for my bedroom space and I can’t see myself parting with it… EVER!

Credit: Drew Scott

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? We do have a very odd tiny little bonus room that we believe was used as a screening space back in the day. It was almost built to house a TV and speakers. Upon moving in, this space was fully covered in dark wood boards and the vibes were honestly a little spooky. With permission we were able to paint the entire room white and turned it into a little sunroom/bar space.

Credit: Drew Scott

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? I absolutely love the couch in our living room. This sofa was from Article and was a bit of a splurge for sure. The living room is rather large so we did want a sectional to really fill the space. I also really love the vintage French provincial dresser I found from an Etsy seller. This dresser is found in my bedroom and was originally a white dresser that I had painted black to match the aesthetic of my space.

Credit: Drew Scott

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: Always use under the bed storage! If you think about it, a bed truly takes a lot of square feet in any bedroom. Make sure you maximize storage under the bed with bins, baskets or pull-out organizers.

I also think it’s important to take on one section at a time. Throughout my apartment, I have worked from living room to dining room to bedroom to kitchen, etc. This allowed me to really focus all my design attention on that one space, which I think keeps you in the zone. Sometimes, tackling too many areas at once can cause the style to switch up or your ideas to wander.

Credit: Drew Scott

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Always keep an amazing candle or wall plugin running in your home! An inviting scent is the best first impression for anybody who enters your home and will only make the experience that much more enjoyable.

Resources

Credit: Drew Scott

PAINT & COLORS

  • Living room Benjamin Moore “Chantilly Lace”
  • Living room Sherwin-Williams “Tricorn Black”
  • Dining room Benjamin Moore “Chantilly Lace”
  • Dining room Benjamin Moore “Halle Navy”
  • Drew’s bedroom Benjamin Moore “Chantilly Lace”
  • Drew’s bedroom Behr “Conifer Green”
  • Drew’s bedroom Stellar Rust Oleum “Paint Coconut”
  • Bathroom Sherwin-Williams “Tricorn Black”
  • Bathroom Sherwin-Williams “Porcelain”
  • Kitchen Sherwin-Williams “Tricorn Black”
Credit: Drew Scott

LIVING ROOM

Credit: Drew Scott

DINING ROOM

  • Seno extendable dining table Article
  • Rus dining chair Article
  • Tana stool Article
  • Hearth & Hand rug Target
  • Fiddle leaf fig tree World Market
  • Los Angeles map print/frame Society6
  • Abstract shape/lines print/frame Desenio
  • Ink texture print/frame Desenio
  • Terracotta candle Target ​
  • Faux aglaia potted plant Target ​
  • Faux fern potted plant Target
  • Faux locust plant Target ​
  • Wood rectangle bowl Target ​​
  • Hello there sign Target
  • AD at 100 book Target
  • Raffia Pedestal Bowl Lone Fox
  • Colby metal sage vase Lone Fox
  • Seagrass basket Target ​
  • Helmut Newton book Walmart
Credit: Drew Scott

KITCHEN

Credit: Drew Scott

DREW’S BEDROOM

Credit: Drew Scott

BATHROOM

Thanks Drew!

This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.