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Interiors

In Los Angeles, Moving From Renting to Owning

by Shannon Grant

The transition of renting to owning a home is at once exciting and daunting. As someone who is embarking on that journey right now, I love to dream about the possibilities my very own home can bring, in terms of decorating and renovating. That being said, since it’s your home, the sooner you can actually start enjoying the space, the better.

This happens to be the situation Erica Chidi Cohen and her husband, Jordy Cohen, are in right now. After becoming homeowners of a 1912 bungalow in the West Adams/Arlington Heights area of Los Angeles just four months ago, they are still pinching themselves. Erica says, “It still feels super surreal to no longer be renters.” For them, the settling-in phase was fairly swift, as Erica says she has a very tactical approach to decorating and it felt important to bring the house to life quickly, “so that we could get right down to enjoying and living in the space, versus planning and organizing.” Aiding that process was the fact that much of the furniture they brought with them fit well, considering they were moving from 850 square feet of space to 1,500 square feet. It also helped that their decorating goal was one of “minimalism, with a dash of eclecticism,” Erica says. The couple loves white spaces and clean lines, but they also relish in a great vintage or estate sale find that adds texture to their blank canvas.

Of course, there are aspects of their space that they don’t love, and will probably change over time, such as adding a skylight to one of their bathrooms and a deeper tub to another one. But right now it feels finished enough, and they certainly nailed the white-washed, minimal yet eclectic aesthetic. With busy jobs — Erica is a doula and founder of The Mama Circle and Jordy works as an attorney — it’s nice to come home and enjoy one of their favorite spots, the porch and garden. As they think ahead to the next phase, starting a family in their new home, they are content knowing their space is cozy, un-precious and ready for whatever comes next. –Shannon

Photography by Lauren Moore

DesignSponge Home Tour
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The front facade of their craftsman home, a common architectural style in the couple's neighborhood.
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The living room. "One of the coziest spots in the house, we love catching up [on] shows or reading here." Erica says.
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The living room gets loads of natural light, and I love the contrast of the dark wood and rug against the bright whites throughout the room.
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Erica and Jordy love vintage finds just as much as they love a minimal, white-washed space. "This cup rack was [a] super reasonable find on eBay, but it's perfect for all of our hats and coats." Erica says.
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"Jordy worked at a secondhand bookstore during college and has an extensive collection of books, so as soon as we saw the shelf, we knew it would be the perfect place for his collection," Erica says.
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The dining room. "This room has the best light, it's really wonderful eating breakfast in here or entertaining in the evening."
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A Heath Ceramics vase and some fun reads.
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The white color palette continues into the kitchen.
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More of the couple's expansive book collection.
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Erica says they wish they had an island in the kitchen, so that they could hang out together more comfortably while one of them cooks.
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Erica graduated from culinary school before she went to college and says, "food, cooking and entertaining are cornerstones of our home. Jordy also loves to cook ( he’s currently whipping through the pages of Lucky Peach’s new cookbook)." The large metal contraption is a Berkey Water Purifier, "it’s a little cumbersome but the water quality is amazing." The light fixtures were already fitted and the floors throughout the house are original, but the kitchen floors are porcelain tile, which was a fun choice for that room.
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Jordy replaced all the bathroom fixtures when they moved in, which made a huge difference in the overall look. "Storage is a slight issue in this bathroom, so this shelf from IKEA has come in really handy," Erica says.
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"I love string shelving, it's so clean and modular and comes in various wood stains."
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"If I could, I probably would never leave our bedroom, it has such a soothing energy." Erica says. The light sconces are from Urban Outfitters and the pillows are Matteo.
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Erica and Jordy's collection of vinyl records on display in the bedroom.
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"Love this estate sale painting, I think we bought it for $10." Erica says.
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Erica says they love their porch and garden. "Having ample outdoor space in LA is [a] bit of a luxury and it is lovely to just hang out on our day bed." The day bed and table are vintage, the pillows are a mix of Shabd for Totokaelo and Cécile & Boyd from South Africa. The chairs are PB Teen!
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"I usually have [a] morning cup of coffee out here and just take in the day. We have a couple of mature fruit trees and it's relaxing to sit and take those in." Erica says.
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"We love the succulents, they're a gift from a friend of ours who moved," Erica says. "They knew how much we love plants and picked us to take them over."
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Jordy and Erica in their 1912 Los Angeles bungalow.

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Comments

  • Your new home is so lovely, Erica! It was such a treat to see it featured here this morning, and see your smiling face at the end of the tour!
    Xoxo

  • The patio alone makes me want to buy a house! Love your built-in shelving and your commitment to white, and of course, OF COURSE, i have to give a shout out to the Persian rug in the living room — adds a cozy stateliness to the lightness of the rest of your space. :)

  • Beautiful home, contrasts, and textures. Our mid-century Seattle home’s living room layout and style is identical. I’d been desperately searching for inspiration pics of homes that have a front door opening directly into the living room, with a fireplace on the opposing wall, and couldn’t find one until now . . . the entry-way struggle is real. Big props from a woman of colour who also married into Cohen-hood :)

  • Where is your sofa from?! I love it! Your home is beautiful- I cannot believe you’ve made it feel so cozy in only a handful of months. Best wishes. Xx

  • Love this home!! I love Design Sponge and have only one request, just because I love it so mucho! I really wish you would put bigger photos o have a popup gallery with bigger photos, so I can see everything in more detail. Other than that it’s perfect!!

  • Beautiful home! I love the design and decorations! I agree that moving from renting to owning a home is really important and exciting step! I think that this is a transition to more stable and mature life, which is great! I did move to my own house two years ago and the feeling that I can furnish and design it the way I want is wonderful! :)

  • Hi, your place is just lovely, snd I agree, very soothing and dreamy.
    How did you choose the paint for your walls and woodwork/ ceiling? Are they the same colour or slightly different. I’d love to know how you achieved this effect.
    Thanks :-)

  • Hi! I love love your home! We are actually planning on buying near that area, closer to Venice and Arlington. How do you like the neighborhood? We are also first time buyers. Any recommendations?

    Christine

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