The boho, color happy mid-century modern home of A Whimsy Wonderland is all sorts of awesome. Any of those adjectives alone would make for a pretty stellar space, but combined?! Now, we’re talkin’! As Cortney, aptly puts it, “Renovating, updating, or changing a rental space can be intimidating, and before we actually did it, it kind of seemed like a wasted effort. And now we’re thankful everyday that we did.” That’s right, folks. This space is the twenty-something’s rental, which just goes to show that you CAN and SHOULD make any space fee like home. So get crazy with it (within reason) and let her reno inspire you to insert your personality into your apartment in a modern, cost effective, rental friendly way.
What would you describe your design style as? I’d describe my personal style as?
Bohemian, eclectic, and with a touch of mid-century modern!
What inspired you to redo your rental space, and how did you keep the cost down?
Living in Los Angeles and being in our mid-twenties, it just didn’t look like we were going to be buying a place anytime soon. And we became fine with that! However, we didn’t want to wait until owning a space for a space to feel like ours. When we rented this apartment, we had a really good feeling about it, and we knew we’d be staying here for a while. So, we just kind of dove in to the redesigning process.
As far as cost goes, you just really have to research. I had one big thing I really wanted: a Joybird couch, and I knew the price of those going into things. But for a lot of our pieces, it’s just carefully searching, and maybe finding a brand you love being sold on Craigslist, and buying a piece for half price instead of full price. Thrifting is also a hobby of mine, so if I can find something (like our kitchen coffee cart) at a garage sale and refurbish it, that also saves some money and makes for a fun project!
Where there any functional changes you set out to make?
Not necessarily! Mostly for the purpose of décor. We did replace the hardware in the kitchen, and that has definitely helped, as they were kind of wobbly handles before. We do have plans to replace some of the lighting as well, but we’ll get to that later. 😉
Where do you spend most of your time when you are home? Do you have a favorite room?
A favorite room?! That’s a hard question. I probably spend most of my time in our living room, and that’s the room that took me the most time to design. I carefully picked out every piece, so I guess you could say it’s my favorite!
What advice would you give a fellow renter that wants to make their apartment feel like home?
Go for it! Just because you’re renting doesn’t mean it can’t be yours. However, being careful goes hand in hand with that. We realize that this technically isn’t our property. We asked the owner of the property before making any big decisions (paint, wallpaper, hardware, drilling, etc), just because I believe it’s better to do everything above board. And don’t let space limit you! We’ve lived in bigger spaces in the past that have felt LESS like home than this. You just have to invest your time and find what speaks to you!
Where did you look for inspiration, when re-designing?
My biggest inspirations for home styling (besides the black hole that is Pinterest, haha!) were definitely Kelly Mindell of Studio DIY, Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess, and Krys Melo of Melodrama. All of them recently went through home renovations of completely different styles of homes, and I just fell in love with each of their very different styles and how they incorporated their personalities into their homes!
Did you take on any DIY projects to complete the space?
Honestly, I’m not a big DIY-er. I recently made a weave door hanging for fall, but I was not blessed with the crafting gene. Ha! Not sure if redoing a kitchen counts as a DIY, but stripping, painting, and replacing the hardware on our cabinets was a huge, time consuming project that I still pat myself (and my husband) on the back for.
We love the combination of all the bright hues in your space! Have you always been drawn to color?
I have always always loved color. But I have not always been brave enough to incorporate it. But it’s me, through and through, and it makes me so much happier to have it all around my home.
What does your typical day look like? Do you have a morning routine?
I am a routine loving person. So YES, I do! Each morning, I wake up and either go for a morning run or practice yoga! After that, I make my coffee and just kind of warm up for the day. I am not a person that likes to be rushed, so I cherish that time before my day starts. After a cup of java, I jump into emails before getting ready for the day to head out on whatever we have planned for the day! When you’re self-employed, you never can tell what your day is going to turn into!
So, do you work from home? Do you find it hard to stay on task in your newly redesigned space?
Yes, I do work mostly from home! Occasionally we’ll work out of a coffee shop when we want a change of scenery! As far as staying on task, no, I feel much more focused actually, as I feel like this space reflects me! Also, I am a homebody at heart, so a LOT of my time is spent in these 3 rooms of my apartment. Cooking and baking is very therapeutic for me, so I do spend a lot of the time in the kitchen, thinking up and shooting new recipes for the blog! I also work from my living room most of the time, so having that as an inspirational creative space was also super important to me!
What’s next?! Do you have any more fun upcoming projects?
I feel like I’ll never run out of projects, and with each change of the seasons, I get the itch to change something else around. But for time and money’s sake, we’re going to take a break for a bit and really put thought into what we want to complete next!