Moving out of our house at 1535 College Ave. and into our apartment at 275 Ventura Blvd. was a new beginning for my Mom and I. We had stayed in the house that my Dad had been raised by his Grandma in for over a year after my Dad had left, and it was time to move on. I had to say goodbye to my huge yard and playhouse, but I was trading them in for an apartment with a pool and in California that is a win. This apartment became my home until...my Stepdad entered my life and we moved from Palo Alto and into a duplex a couple of cities away which was my home until...I lived with my Dad in Tennessee in a half built house sans roofing, plumbing, and electricity until...my Mom and Stepdad bought a beautiful French American house in the San Juan Islands off Washington State that became my home until...I moved out and a Winnie-the-Pooh decorated house full of strangers (including a single white female) in Seattle became my home until...an apartment a block away from Pike Place Market that had major construction going on every morning at 6am became my home until...a friend I barely knew invited me to bunk in the dining room of her shared apartment on fraternity row became my home until...a studio cottage that I didn't or ever have enough furniture to fill up became my home until...a shabby sub-zero five bedroom house that I wore layers and layers of flannel to sleep in my icy basement room became my home until...I moved to Venice Beach where a 12' x 12' studio two blocks from the beach became my home until...a room I rented in Topanga Canyon from a demonic possessed woman with a constantly puking cat became my home until...a two bedroom apartment in West L.A. with a Swiss Sri Lankan girl I had met at church became my home until...I moved to a large home in the Bay Area to live with family friends while going through cancer treatment became my home until...I moved to Paris to study art and literature and a tiny shared dorm type room became my home until...I moved to Hollywood to attend UCLA and decided to nest in the place I am today.
When guests visit my apartment, they always comment on how charming they find my place. "How did you collect all of this stuff? There's so much detail. Feels like I'm walking back in time or at least into the home of a Parisian grandma." I always tell them that it has taken my entire life to collect my surrounding kitch. Each place I live in only becomes a home when I decorate and fill it with who I am...which has been collected over a lifetime. Of course moving encourages me to edit and throw out a lot, but I also keep at least one piece I attained during each chapter of my life. Whether a thrilling or devastating chapter, I was growing during all of it. All these chapters deserve to be remembered as I continue on from place to place.
During this current chapter, I live in a 1920's Hollywood apartment building that was once a hotel during this town's golden era. My studio has a large room that serves as my living room, bedroom, and office. The floors are hard wood and the wall facing the courtyard is covered in brick. My kitchen has a lot of cupboard space and the floor is made of black and white tile. The bathroom is pretty small, but has enough room for a small dresser (I love furniture in the bathroom) which I appreciate. Outside of the bathroom I have a small vanity area and then a walk-in closet that I use specifically for my vintage clothing and accessories. Someday I would love to have a house, but for now there is no other place that I feel quite as comfortable...even with homeless men sleeping by the apartment gate at night, the sirens whistling through my window cracks, and the 21 year old club goer's screams of how wasted they are ascending from the street below. This small apartment is my home for now and it's filled with my life: past and present.
When I found this welcome mat at Bed, Bath and Beyond I couldn't believe how perfect it was for my place--A French dachshund!
Theatre seats from the 1940's are used in place of a couch. Behind the seats, I have a wall of art (vintage art pieces I found at the flea market, paintings others have done for me, and the art I did during and after my time in Paris.)
Vintage green and blue floral silk/polyester fabric covers the wall closet that stores all of my tops.
Next to my seats is a mid-century Danish cabinet built by my childhood best friend's uncle. Photos of my grandparents and my Mom and her sisters sit a top.
A mid-century Danish teak record table I found at Goodwill. With this 2nd piece, my Danish teak collection began...
I use this record table for my TV and my 1950's squeeky doll dressed like a rabbit that I bought at a flea market.
The nightstand I have had since I was a toddler. On top is one of a 1950's lamp set I bought in the Bay Area at an antique store. There is also a 1950's butterfly kleenex holder.
My bed with a Shabby Chic white quilt from Target and a 1950's multi-colored quilted decorative pillow.
A vintage mirror and a gauche portrait of Coco Chanel hangs above my bed.
1960's folding chair with Anthropologie embroidered pillow. Under the chair is a 1960's square hat box.
My built-in vanity area that I painted mint green. Lady head vases carry my brushes and Mason jars hold my cotton balls and lip glosses. A vintage plastic kitten jewelry box holds my vintage earrings and brooches. A powder advertisement of Natalie Wood and a 1959 Barbie nightlight hangs in the vanity room.
1960's teak vanity chair.
Vintage green suitcase in my closet that holds my vintage clutches.
In my bathroom hangs a framed photo of Janet Leigh in Psycho...always important to have a sense of humor sprinkled throughout my home.
Light blue lace shower curtain from Target gives my bathroom a feminine feel.
1960's quilted dresser in my bathroom is a great way to store all my toiletries. Anthropologie basket holds toilet paper.
A vintage book about what it means to be a beautiful woman. The parasol comes from Chinatown in San Francisco.
A mint green wooden shelf hanging above the dresser: 1930's green gloves, photos of my Mom and my grandmother when they were teenagers.
Book nerd corner: Mid-century floral rocker, mid-century Danish teak bookshelf I bought a couple months ago.
My Danish teak collection continues to grow...
Desk I bought years ago from Out of the Closet thrift store which I painted black and replaced knobs with ones I bought at Anthropologie. I found the chair sitting outside of a house with a "free sign," and decided to reupholster it with yellow and green vintage fabric.
My desk top has framed photos of friends, an Annie piggy bank, a camel toy I bought in Morroco (hidden), a 1959 Barbie, and a skeleton I bought at Michael's that I masked with a Victorian little girl's face.
The shelf above my desk showcases some of my souvenir trinkets I have collected during my world travels.
1960's black file cabinet. I replaced the handles with ribbon. A red paisley 1960's suitcase sits on top.
Vintage gold metal 1950's magazine rack.
Vintage framed Hanes panty hose advertisements.
Eiffel tower from Paris and vintage dachshund toy.
Kitchen. My fridge is covered with homemade magnets holding up vintage fashion shots I find online.
Vintage aprons hang on my wall, and vintage dishtowels are rolled up in a basket on top of my microwave.
Vintage canister and Anthropologie juicer and Espresso maker sit on my stove.
A 1950's library cart that I painted yellow holds my toaster, blender and vintage bird salt and pepper shakers.
I painted certain places in my kitchen mint green. By my coffee maker, I have my vintage red bird spoon holder, Anthropologie bird sugar bowl, and green bird metal pot and pan holder.
Framed wall paper above my kitchen sink.
My yellow kitchen table from the flea market and green formica 1950's chairs I bought off Craigslist. A yellow and white doilie and plants decorate my table top.
1950's green and silver stool chair I was given by a friend.