A Bright LA Apartment Sports Brick Walls, Great Art, and a Closet-Turned-Music Studio

published Apr 20, 2021

A Bright LA Apartment Sports Brick Walls, Great Art, and a Closet-Turned-Music Studio

published Apr 20, 2021
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Name: Latoya Coleman aka Toya From Harlem, Jordan Waré, and pup, Lenox
Location: Los Angeles, California
Size: 1600 square feet
Type of Home: One-bedroom
Years lived in: 2 years, renting

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Latoya Coleman and Jordan Waré both think this Los Angeles apartment they’ve been renting for two years is one of the best apartments they’ve ever lived in. “It’s a rather large apartment at 1600 square feet and the brick wall is just such a statement piece,” explains Toya. Beyond the charming brick element, there’s also a lot of closet space… so much they were able to convert one into Jordan’s music studio. “Overall this apartment has a very New York City feel, in LA, which is perfect for us two native New Yorkers escaping winter in search of sunshine.”

Latoya, also known as Toya From Harlem, is a writer, social media manager, and the “The Anthony Bourdain of History” thanks to the podcast she founded and hosts, “That Wasn’t In My Textbook.” Jordan is a Grammy-winning violinist, songwriter, and producer. Though they both are from New York City — they actually grew up only 40 blocks from another — they met in Los Angeles when Toya was visiting the city.

“We actually found our apartment on a site called LiveLovely.com,” begins Toya, who moved to LA in 2018 (Jordan has lived here since 2014). “I was living in New York still and his lease finished in LA, so we decided to end being long distance and find a place and LA. So Jordan did all the apartment tours and I would sneak and watch the videos at my job in NYC. We even created a whole spreadsheet in Google Docs, cause at one point all of them were starting to look the same. We stumbled on this apartment after getting rejected from this other place that  I thought was our dream apartment. When Jordan sent me the video to this place, I remember he called and was like we’re applying right now! And we did and we got. He claims he found it, but I swear I put the link on the spreadsheet. Either way, we’re happy.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Our style is at the intersection of  minimalist, modern, and colorful

Inspiration: Our inspiration was a lot of minimalist spaces. Since our apartment is rather large for a one-bedroom and has a lofty feel, we wanted to keep the space open, so we try and limit our furniture and we try to highlight the vertical space with tall plants and shelving — so we don’t have too much on the floor.

Favorite Element: We love the brick wall in the living room. It reminds me of NYC where we’re both from. That’s honestly what first attracted us to the place along with the high ceilings. Like from the moment we saw that we were like this is the place for sure. There was no doubt in our minds.

Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenge was completing the bedroom. We were also on a budget so we got the absolute necessities like a bed and a dresser and had that for the first year and a half of living here lol. It took a while and piece by piece we started getting more and more things — especially since we could no longer ignore those unfinished projects and that mysterious box in the corner, once we had to quarantine.  Looking back it’s like, whoa, I can’t believe I used to live like this for so long.

Proudest DIY: My color-coded bookshelf is a proud DIY — if that counts — moment for me. As cheesy as it is, I always saw it on Pinterest, so I was proud to come here and recreate it on my own. Just as it is colorful, that is how diverse the authors are who are decorating my shelves and that’s what I think makes even better. 

Biggest Indulgence: Our California King bed was the biggest indulgence/most expensive thing in our house — but it was gifted by Toya’s mom as a housewarming gift and it was perfect since Jordan is 6’4″; this is one of the first beds he’s been where his feet don’t hang off the end. At first we got a queen and we spent two nights on it and it felt so small since Jordan is 6’4″, so we returned it. This is all before COVID, so they did 30-day returns with a free pickup if you weren’t happy. When we slept on the queen, Jordan was sleeping on an angle and I had a tiny triangle, so instead of going up one size and getting a king, we were like let’s get the California King, which will be with us for a while. After the bed, the most expensive thing we actually purchased with our own money is the velvet blue couch in the living room, which we love so much. Velvet has a way of being classy and sexy at the same time, so we love it. It was definitely worth the pretty penny we spent, especially since it comes with a cleaning service for the first couple of years.

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? Jordan converted one of the closets to a studio workplace. It’s super narrow but works pretty effectively sonically. He really transformed the space into an at home studio. But the shape of the living room visually strikes me as unique just because it’s very curved so it just allows you to do more with the space, keeps the room insulated, and is a statement in and of itself.

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? My favorite products would have to be the plants, artwork, and our velvet couch. Growing plants is something that we started doing during the quarantine and was actually something my grandfather did. So it feels like I’m in tune with him and there’s something about taking care of something, touching soil, and watering plants that’s almost therapeutic. And we got most of our plants during quarantine from a Black-owned plant business that does drop-offs called Leafy Green Creation founded by Darren Hud.

The other thing we love is our artwork. We have three graphic pieces on our living room floor under our TV from Studio Maxe by Charles White. We also have a beautiful piece of artwork in our bedroom, over the night stand, by Michelle Robinson

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: Less is more. Use vertical space, and have fun with textures.


Credit: Jordana Longo





Thanks Latoya and Jordan!