This Author’s 1930s LA Rental Is Beautifully Bright and Airy

published Mar 8, 2022

This Author’s 1930s LA Rental Is Beautifully Bright and Airy

published Mar 8, 2022
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Bedrooms
Square feet
900
Sq ft
900

Name: Meg Quinn and Draper the kitty
Location: Los Angeles, California
Size: 900 square feet
Type of Home: 1930s French Normandy four-plex
Years lived in: 10 years, renting

Meg Quinn’s apartment of the last decade has been witness to many life moments. “This was my first apartment I ever lived in alone. During the 10 years I lived here, I lost my mom, fell in love, recovered from heartbreak, left my stable job, took a leap of faith into a new career, somehow became a content creator/influencer, AND published my first book, ‘The Cheese Board Deck,'” she writes. 

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Meg’s popular entertaining content website is called “Ain’t Too Proud to Meg,” and she says this 900-square-foot space was an integral part of not only her site, but also her first foray into book publishing. “For ‘The Cheese Board Deck,’ my photographer, food stylist, and myself shot all 50 boards in this apartment during the pandemic in 2020 with masks on. I will forever remember this apartment as the place I launched a career and created something beyond my wildest dreams,” she says.

While this rental served Meg well over the past ten years as a welcoming space, a sanctuary, and inspiring work zone, she’s recently moved into a new home with her partner, taking these photos to “commemorate the special place it had in my life and all the things I accomplished there. I will always have this little ‘photo time capsule’ to look back at and remember my first place. I recommend everyone does this when they move (take pics of the space to remember the time by).

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: My style tends to be bright and airy, with a mix of modern and mid-century. I love a neutral base with added pops of color and whimsy via unique styling pieces.

Inspiration: Without a doubt, social media and following amazing interior design accounts like Emily Henderson, Amber Lewis, and 1000xbetter influenced my love of design and taught me how to achieve my personal aesthetic. 

Beyond that, nature, travel, and photography inspire me. I went on vacation in Italy a few years ago and was super inspired by the beaches of Positano. I came home and blew up two of my iPhone photos and framed them in my hallway (alongside a Gray Malin Print). The colors, the people, and the joy I feel when looking at those photos make them something I am happy to display in my home.

Favorite Element: IKEA buffet and cabinet are great for storing all my styling pieces for my food photography/content creation work.

Biggest Challenge: While living here, the apartment was sold and the new owner agreed to open up the wall between the dining room and kitchen. Though I lost a lot of storage, it modernized the space, increased light in the room, and the bar counter became super  helpful for shooting content and hosting workshops.

Proudest DIY: My apartment had one of those old-school box air conditioning units that put a real damper on the room. I only use it a few months of the year during the day, so I came up with a solution to hide it the rest of the time. I bought a set of IKEA kitchen cabinet doors and turned them on their sides (horizontal vs. vertical) and then had a friend build a wooden cabinet around the unit. The cabinet looks modern and is perfect for displaying plants. When the air conditioner is in use, I open the cabinet doors, but it’s closed the rest of the time, and no one is the wiser.

Biggest Indulgence: Samsung Frame TV. This is a game changer. The TV is indeed at the center of the room, but by purchasing a frame, I was able to display art instead of a big black box. It’s so perfect for entertaining, especially in a small space where you don’t have an extra sitting room. My TV room is my living room and it needs to function as a place to entertain as well.

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? The rug is from the Melrose Flea Market. In fact, my friend and interior designer gave me the best tip. She suggested I turn it over to have the bottom as the top (fluffy side down and weave side up). It makes for a more muted, organic, and refined base for the room.

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? I am always asked about my leather couch and my living room rug. The couch was a Craigslist find. Nothing fancy, but super comfortable and welcoming for friends and family. 

The room is full of lots of square and rectangular items (couch, mirror, bookshelf, floating shelf), so it was important for me to add a round coffee table to even out the space. Same is true for the blue velvet round pillow. In a sea of square pillows, having the round shape adds a nice visual element.

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: When I moved in, the previous tenants had cut two feet of the room off to create a wall length closet. This is great because old buildings like mine (a 1930s French Normandy Style fourplex) are notorious for little to no storage. The problem, however, is that the doors were full-length mirrors, covering the entire room of the wall. It was way too much for me, so I took out the mirrored doors and decided to have an open closet. It became a design element in the room (color-coordinating clothing items, buying matching storage boxes, etc.) and forced me to keep the space organized and tidy.

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Before leaving this apartment and moving into a new home with my partner, I decided that I must photograph it to commemorate the special place it had in my life and all the things I accomplished there. I will always have this little “photo time capsule” to look back at and remember my first place. I recommend everyone does this when they move (take pics of the space to remember the time by).

Resources

LIVING ROOM

  • Leather couch — Craigslist find
  • Rug — Secondhand from Melrose Flea Market
  • Round coffee table — Article
  • TV Stand — West Elm
  • Mid-Century inspired mirror — Article
  • TV Samsung Frame

ENTRYWAY

  • Entry Table — West Elm
  • Round Mirror — CB2

DINING ROOM

  • Chairs — Article
  • Buffet and cabinet — IKEA

KITCHEN

  • Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator
  • Samsung Flex Duo Oven – When I moved in, the landlord had very dated and stained oven and refrigerator.  Samsung generously gifted the Family Hub Refrigerator and Flex Duo Oven and they were a total game changer in terms of aesthetics and functionality.

BEDROOM

  • Bed — West Elm
  • Bedding
  • Dresser — West Elm
  • Dresser — IKEA
  • Nightstand — West Elm
  • Nightstand — Target
  • Rug — Ruggable

Thanks Meg!

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