A Bohemian Rental Is Like a Quintessential Beach Cottage

updated Apr 29, 2019

A Bohemian Rental Is Like a Quintessential Beach Cottage

updated Apr 29, 2019
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Name: Kaitlyn Shimazaki
Location: Belmont Heights/ Belmont Shores — Long Beach, California
Size: 650 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, renting

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Kaitlyn has one of those quintessential beach cottages we all imagine landing when we move to California. Her small home is technically the guest house to a larger home, but she gets all the perks of a “standalone” building. A freelance graphic artist/designer, Kaitlyn is also an illustrator—she founded Mayumi-Ko and sells affordable and chic prints—all thanks to not being able afford to furnish her first apartment after graduating from college. All the prints in this place are her own!

Having spent most of her childhood growing up on the beach, the lifestyle and culture of Southern California have definitely helped to define her personal style. “Aspects like natural light, blues, plants, and neutral colors are things I really enjoy. I guess because I’m so used to it I don’t really notice but people have described my style as beachy or California coastal.”

Her charming one-bedroom comes with a shared yard that is set up with a fire pit and outdoor bar area (think surf shack style). It’s no wonder she chose this home, as her artwork and her furniture all lend themselves to the relaxed coastal influence.

Though filled with much of her own beautiful artwork, of everything in the house she loves the photo of her uncle most. “The photograph of my uncle throwing the peace sign on the beach is one of my favorite things. He was someone that I was really close with and had such a big impact on my life, unfortunately he passed about 11 years ago. The photo itself just gives off good vibes with the beach and the peace sign—in addition to my uncle looking so happy and fun.”

Kaitlyn says that designing a home is simply about making it truly your own style. She believes your home should be a place you love coming home to, where you can relax and others feel welcome to stay.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Modern bohemian/beach cottage

Inspiration: Mexican casitas and Bali villas

Favorite Element: Bright and natural light

Biggest Challenge: Storage for sure! On top of my embarrassing amount of clothes and shoes, running a small side gig with all of the stuff that goes along with it is tough out of your own home.

What Friends Say: “Perfect combination of bright and airy, relaxed and homey, yet chic and modern.” They’re being so nice.

Biggest Embarrassment: The fact that I had to throw a bunch of stuff in my closet and laundry room for this photo shoot lol!

Proudest DIY: A lot of the art prints I had seen across the internet when I first moved into my own place right after college were too expensive for my entry level salary. So I started to create all of my own prints—fast forward five years later, I’m still creating my own prints, which are all the ones you see in my house.

Biggest Indulgence: Plants, plants, and more plants!

Best Advice: Making your bed and tidying up just a bit in the morning (at least for me) starts off the day feeling productive and makes the end of the day so much more relaxing and enjoyable.

Dream Sources: Candida, Surf Shack Book


Wicker Chair — Target
Mudcloth Throw — Twig & Willow
Desk — IKEA
Standing Planter — West Elm
Plants — Peacock & Company
Art Prints — Mayumi-Ko
“Palmy Campfire Mug” — Mayumi-Ko
Frames — IKEA
Macrame Plant Hangers — Amazon

Mirror — IKEA
Coffee table — IKEA
X Throw Pillow — CB2
Mustard Mudcloth Throw Pillow — Mali Mudcloth
Blue Mudcloth Throw Pillow — Mae Woven
“Stream of Blues” Art Print — Mayumi-Ko
Side Table — West Elm
Standing Floor Lamp — Target
Dinner Table — Amazon
Eames Style Chairs — Amazon
Throw Blanket — Target
Frames — Aaron Brothers and IKEA

Utensils Holder — West Elm
Kitchen Bar Cart — Target
Monstera Leaf and Vase — IKEA

Bed Frame — West Elm
Duvet and Euro Shams — West Elm
Buffet Table — West Elm
“Rad” Art Print — Mayumi-Ko
“Chilly Waters” Art Print — Mayumi-Ko
“Shark Teeth Ooh Ha Ha” Art Print — Mayumi-Ko
Circle Mirror — Target
Plants — Peacock & Company
Wall Plant Hangers — Amazon
Black Woven Throw Pillow — Uluwatu Surf Villas Shop, Bali
Nightstand – Target
Nightstand Light — World Market
Yarn Wall Hanging — DIY (super easy!)
Reclaimed Wood Shelf — Etsy
White Photo Shelves — IKEA

Thanks, Kaitlyn!

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