In Los Angeles, Moving From Renting to Owning

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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

  1. Audrey says:

    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!

  2. Kerry says:

    Absolutely ADORE this home! So fresh and stylish and clutter free!

  3. Julie says:

    This home feels so light and fresh. What a great start! Congrats on your new home.

  4. 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. :)

  5. Karen says:

    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 :)

  6. Emily says:

    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

  7. Cheryl says:

    Gorgeous home. Relaxed and welcoming. Well done.

  8. Veronica says:

    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!!

    1. Grace Bonney says:


      We’re working on that ;)


  9. phillylass says:

    This place is fantastic! Any info on the living room rug?

  10. 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! :)

  11. Veronica kuller says:

    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 :-)

  12. Christine says:

    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?



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