RJ & Francis' East/West Coast Loft

RJ & Francis' East/West Coast Loft

Marcia Prentice
Aug 31, 2012

Name: RJ Guillermo - Branding/Marketing at HLW and blogger; Francis - Office Management at Nasty Gal
Location: Downtown Los Angeles, California
Size: 1060 square feet
Years lived in: 4 months

Francis and RJ live the loft life, but that doesn't mean they don't like to stay at home on a Saturday night, take it easy, and play with their dogs. Their space is warm and comfortable and personalized to their specifications, even though it is a rental. Their multi-globe pendant light fixture, which replaced the standard fluorescent and makes a big design statement in their loft, is just one of their custom upgrades.

RJ and Francis' secret to co-habiting in a small space? — separate closets. There is one closet behind the workspace and a closet on either side of the bed. They also keep a large shoe rack in the bedroom to help organize an extensive shoe collection. The entire loft is aesthetically divided to make it feel like there are actual rooms in the open space. All in all, they've created a beautiful design that is also very functional. Hopefully they invite me back sometime soon!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Modern, pop and industrial.

Inspiration: It's like the battle of East Coast/West Coast, our toggling between design styles. Francis leans more towards creature comforts and good, staple, everyday furniture items, whereas RJ has more of a discerning, tailored taste. Trying to find a happy medium can and will be cumbersome, but we always find the perfect marriage of styles. Our inspiration is a blend of an NYC sensibility settled into a cozy Cali style.

Favorite Element: Lighting plays a key role in our space, especially when we're not given many options when moving into a rented loft space. So we've had to be creative with what type of light fixtures to incorporate into the space, what intensity, etc. A favorite piece of ours has to be the old school hospital x-ray machine that a friend of ours gave to us. We flipped it vertically and leaned it up against one of the walls, and it became an instant floor lamp.

Biggest Challenge: Because we have an open floor plan with hardly any partition walls, we've had to play around with creating separate areas. Too often, we found loft spaces where when you open the front door, the bed is completely visible. We were able to create this idea of division by using furniture in a creative space plan.

What Friends Say: One of our nephews said it best: "When can we visit your hotel?" Even though we've only had a handful of guests house-sit for us while we've been away, we treat our loft as if it is a boutique hotel. We've even got an "amenities" catalog with our sort of personal branding that we place on our visitor's bed for them to use as a resource. There's always a comfort in returning back to your hotel room while you're out on vacation, and we wanted to create that same sentiment with our home space.

Biggest Embarrassment: Our towels! When it came time for us to move in together, it seemed as if every single towel we've ever used or owned formed one super ball of old towels. We've got blue towels, pink towels, brown towels, green towels — you name it, we probably have it!

Proudest DIY: We were lucky enough to have had a keen sense of direction when it came down to purchasing furniture for the space, but when it came time to accessorize with artwork, we found ourselves at a cul-de-sac. We knew we wanted to have artwork displayed, we just didn't know what that would be. Our proudest DIY is the painted art. RJ has his hands wrapped around color theory and relation and his pieces are graphically driven, so they seemed perfect to accessorize our walls. Coolest DIY would have to be the package inserts for a TV-mount that we've used as an art piece above our bed.

Biggest Indulgence: Four Eames molded plastic dowel-rod side chairs. There's something about these chairs that adds a certain flavor to a room that no other chair seems to! We've got this appreciation for the Mid-Century modern style. This chair is the quintessential piece that defines the California lifestyle, so we wanted to incorporate it.

Best Advice: Make sure that your home reflects both of your tastes (no matter how discerning each may or may not be) and be proud with what you've brought to the table. At the end of the day, it's your eyes that see your space, you're the judge.

Dream Sources:

Resources of Note:




  • Vintage Singer Thread Carrier and Oversized Paintbrush by Citizen Space
  • Wooden Scrabble Playset - Flea market find
  • Vintage Bow Ties by Frank & Reggie



  • Area Rug by Ikea
  • Oriental Rug at Office by Ikea



Thanks, RJ & Francis!

(Images: Marcia Prentice)

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