Tanja & Mark’s Contemporary Live/Work Home

updated Jun 5, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name:Mark Bunge and Tanja Hester (and two Chihuahuas, Bella and Chelsea)
Location: West LA — Los Angeles, CA
Size: 990 Square Feet- 2BR/2BR
Years lived in: 2 — own

Tanja and her husband Mark have embraced their Westside condo and given it a major facelift. First seen in the recent Small Cool Contest, their two bedroom home is warm and colorful. With a major kitchen renovation and a small patio garden both complete, this home also doubles as a home office for both of them.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Tanja and Mark have chosen a modern contemporary approach to their decor, while keeping the textiles rich and the color palette cool. I loved how each room was white, teal blue, pale green and hints of metallic or grey. Even the dress that Tanja had on that day matched (sadly I forgot to take a photo!). Their home gets gorgeous afternoon light and they even have a front and back deck to sit outside to enjoy it. For me one of the most charming elements in their home were their thermo controlled wine fridge and their makeshift herb garden off the bedroom deck. As a couple who both work from home, they’ve found their shared home office both a privilege but also a challenge, so their successful efforts to make spots to “get away from it all” right at home are key.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Nature-inspired modern with hints of partisanship.

Inspiration: We get tons of ideas from blogs, magazines and Pinterest. Our biggest inspiration comes from the beach and the Sierras, where we’d spend every moment if we could, so we love balancing the sleeker lines and glossy white pieces with natural elements like plants, branches, sand and stones. That’s also why we tend not to use many prints or patterns, and our overall color palette reflects nature tones. And we always strive for our place to exude a relaxing vibe.

Favorite Element: The master suite. We love the bedroom, which we wanted to feel light and breezy in the morning, but cozy and snuggly at night. And we turned the master bath from a cramped, single-sink room into a much more open, functional, double-sink room that feels bright and cheerful. We’re also totally nuts over the kitchen, which was our last big project.

Biggest Challenge: Keeping the place looking uncluttered, when we have tons of stuff. Skiing, backpacking and home improvement all require a lot of large gear. And we have way too many books, cookbooks especially. Thank goodness this isn’t called a Closet Tour.

What Friends Say: That we’ve made our place cool, but not cold. It feels welcoming and warm

Biggest Embarrassment: What a big role liquor and wine bottles play in our décor. Or not having a single party for over a year while we renovated. These two things are undoubtedly related.

Proudest DIY: Designing and building the fireplace surround around the tiny fireplace box that was already there. Unfortunately, the layout of the room makes it impractical to turn the couch to face the fireplace, but it’s still a huge improvement.

Biggest Indulgence: None of our furnishings or fixtures were very expensive, so our biggest indulgences are about space. Taking up such a big footprint for our bed even though our place is small, just because we love it. Or giving so much storage space to wine. We have a hard time saying no to wine.

Best Advice: Creating a space in which you can relax is vastly more important than making it look perfect. How many of us grew up in a home with a “formal living room” which no one ever used, because it was the fancy room? A home should feel inviting and lived in, so that you look forward to coming home to it, and you can relax and put your feet up in any room.

Dream Sources: HD Buttercup and Room Service in LA. The Conran Shop at ABC Home in NYC.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:


    •Ceilings: Sherwin Williams Ceiling Bright White
    •Living room, bedrooms: Sherwin Williams Heron Plume
    •Fireplace wall: Sherwin Williams Peppercorn
    •Dining room: Sherwin Williams Perfect Greige
    •Kitchen cabinets: Sherwin Williams High Reflective White
    •Kitchen: Sherwin Williams Sandbar
    •Hall bathroom: Sherwin Williams Techno Grey
    •Master bathroom: Sherwin Williams Fleur de Sel


    • Dresser: Ikea
    • Mirrors: LA Mart Sample Sale
    • Lamp: CB2


    • Mirror over fireplace: LA Mart sample sale
    • Coffee table and side tables: Boom Designs, from Room Service
    • Sofa: Crate and Barrel Petrie sofa
    • Blue cubes: HD Buttercup
    • Blue chair: Lamps Plus
    • Rug: Target
    • Lamps: HomeGoods
    • TV stand: Ikea Besta
    • Flooring: Sambuca bamboo from Lumber Liquidators
    • Blue paper collage by Jon Bunge, Mark’s cousin – www.jonbunge.com
    • Donkey photos by Sharon Montrose – www.theanimalprintshop.com


    • Table and chairs: CB2
    • Light fixture: Lamps Plus
    • White planter: Chiasso


    • Appliances: AJ Madison
    • Wine fridge: Wine Enthusiast
    • Counters: Ikea Numerar
    • Floor: Athena Sorrel Cork from Home Depot
    • Faucets: Overstock.com
    • Sink: Elkay Signature from Home Depot
    • Subway tile: Lowe’s
    • Cabinet hardware: Ikea
    • Shelves and sideboard: Ikea Lack and Expedit
    • Café table set: Winsome Kallie set from Amazon


    • Vanity and medicine cabinet: Home Depot
    • Lights: Lamps Plus
    • Mirror: Lowe’s
    • Toilet: Toto Eco Supreme 1.3 gal
    • Towel shelf: West Elm
    • Wall hardware: Ikea


    • Daybed: CB2 Lubi daybed
    • Wall shelves: Container Store Elfa
    • Metal desk: Staples
    • Desk with drawers: Ikea
    • Bookcases: Ikea Billy
    • Desk accessories: Levenger, Anthropologie and Container Store


    • Bed: Room Service
    • Bedside tables: HomeGoods and lots of paint
    • Vanity table: West Elm Parsons mini desk
    • Vanity chair: CB2
    • Mirror: Crate and Barrel
    • Chair and ottoman: Ikea Poang
    • Console table: HomeGoods
    • Bedside lamps: Crate and Barrel
    • White lamps: CB2
    • Meditation chair: Whole Foods Living


    • Vanity and sink: Ikea Gormorgon
    • Mirror: Ikea
    • Medicine cabinet: Lowe’s
    • Faucets: Price Pfister Vega
    • Wall hardware: Umbra Zen
    • Wall cabinet: Ikea
    • Toilet: Toto Eco Supreme 1.3 gal
    • Bathmat: CB2

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Tanja and Mark!

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