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Interiorssneak peeks

A Playful Rental in Pasadena, CA’s Historic Castle Green

by Garrett Fleming

A Playful Rental in Pasadena, CA's Historic Castle Green, Design*Sponge

A year ago, lawyer Miki Carter and her friend met up to check out a flea market in Pasadena, CA. Once they arrived, however, they quickly realized they had their dates mixed up. There wasn’t one vintage find in sight. Determined to make the most of the day, they drove around checking out the area. On their drive, they came across what Miki describes as “a haunted-looking mansion with unique architecture.”

Back home, she did some online research and found out the eye-catching structure was National Landmark Castle Green. Built in 1898 as the annex for the gorgeous Hotel Green, the space had since been converted into a wedding venue, filming location and collection of condos. What if someone was renting one of the condos out? Miki wondered. With bated breath she headed to Craigslist to find one to make her own, and a few months later she did just that.

From the first time she laid eyes on the space, Miki knew she hadn’t moved into your run-of-the-mill vintage apartment. It wasn’t until she began meeting Castle Green’s eclectic mix of tenants, however, that she truly got the full picture of just how special the property was. People working in many trades, from magic to hair styling, happily intermingle with people of all ages, genders and sexualities. The renters and their homes are so friendly and unique, once a year they even open their spaces up to the public so everyone can experience the eccentricities of Castle Green for themselves.

Miki hopes to be a part of the property’s home tour this summer, and if she’s able to, guests will be welcomed into a rental full of fun finds. Many of her accessories represent Miki’s personal path from student to lawyer, a journey that has taken her around the globe and back again. Paired with a layered collection of artwork, the space is memorable, approachable and as quirky as the property that surrounds it. Scroll down to check it out, and enjoy! Garrett

Photography by Miki Carter

Image above: The light in the combination living room/bedroom bends every day between 3:30pm and 5:00pm, and a golden glow is cast over the entire space.

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Miki moved into this apartment nine months ago and has decorated it in a flash.

A Playful Rental in Pasadena, CA's Historic Castle Green, Design*Sponge
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Miki’s grandmother made this quilt out of Crown Royal bags.

A Playful Rental in Pasadena, CA's Historic Castle Green, Design*Sponge
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Justina Blakeney’s Jungalow style was the inspiration for this fireplace full of plants.

A Playful Rental in Pasadena, CA's Historic Castle Green, Design*Sponge
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Miki loves lounging on her cozy living room rug so much that she decided against buying a coffee table to accompany it. It would’ve just gotten in the way of her relaxing.

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Between this carved chair and the dozens of illustrated hands that cover her kitchen, Miki says she’s hit her hand quota.

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The collection of artwork displayed in the living room took years to curate. Displayed together, these pieces serve as a timeline of Miki’s thoughts and feelings at various stages of her life.

 

The process of decorating taught me that designing spaces is something I want to pursue on a larger scale.

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This weaving by Miki’s friend Jessie Kritt was inspired by a rock formation the artist came across in Colorado.

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The weaving’s details.

A Playful Rental in Pasadena, CA's Historic Castle Green, Design*Sponge
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Miki loves that her home encapsulates her personal style. “This is an illustration of my apartment from the vantage point of my kitchen chair facing into the main room. I think it’s an interesting perspective because I can see so much of my space and I’m reminded of who I am and what I have accomplished,” she says.

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The inspiration behind the previous illustration.

 

When I walk in my front door I’m overcome with gratitude. I can’t believe I get to live here!

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Hands, hands and more hands in the kitchen.

A Playful Rental in Pasadena, CA's Historic Castle Green, Design*Sponge
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Miki doesn’t cook much so her abundance of kitchen storage houses greenery instead of cutlery, pots and pans.

A Playful Rental in Pasadena, CA's Historic Castle Green, Design*Sponge
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Miki has always admired the fruit illustrations of LA street artist Rodolfo Cardona. One day she drove past one of his murals, jotted down his phone number and called him up to commission this portrait. “I’m so happy to have the work of a local legend in my home!” she says.

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The bathroom gets some of the apartment’s best light, but Miki says the space isn’t super functional: “It’s all white so it’s impossible to keep clean, and my shower curtain attacks me every single morning. All I know is that if I can ever afford to actually own a home, I’m definitely going to make sure it has a walk-in shower where there are no shower curtains or doors and the entire floor is a drain.”

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The hues of the bathroom’s rugs were the inspiration behind the towels and artwork throughout the room. “The artwork is from my friend Ashley. It’s my daily reminder that my body is mine, it works, it’s powerful and it’s beautiful,” Miki tells us.

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Miki’s building was finished 120 years ago and was originally the annex for Nationally Registered Historic Monument and Officially Designated Pasadena Treasure Hotel Green.

SOURCE LIST

Living Room/Bedroom
White mirror – Lamps Plus
Tassled chandelier – Justina Blakeney
Hand chair – thrifted
Sofa – World Market
Throw blanket – Anthropologie
Pink tulip lamp – vintage
Bedding – Target
Crown Royal throw – handmade
Wall tapestry – James Daw for Slowdown Studio

Workspace
Denim chair – Craigslist
Desk – IKEA
Weaving – Jessie Kritt
Desk lamp – Target

Bookshelf Artwork
Dancing woman – Laura Callaghan
Tour poster – Jamila Woods
TuneYards Nikki Nack Spring/Summer 2014 tour print – Burlesque Design
“Nice For What?” print – Rinny Riot
Weird at Last poster – Jessica Hayworth for the “Welcome to Night Vale” podcast

Kitchen
Wallpaper – “Getting Handsy” by Kathryn Zaremba
Table – IKEA
Chandelier – Wayfair
Wicker plant holder– The Left Bank
Gold planter – The Jungalow
Watermelon rug – Bed Bath & Beyond
Artwork above sink – Rodolfo Cardona

Bathroom
“Your Body…” print – Ashley Lukashevsky
Bath mat – Cold Picnic
Towels – Dusen Dusen

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Comments

  • I love everything about this beautiful space. Don’t be too quick to buy a place and move out–community is so important. And just tuck the shower curtain into the tub when you’re not using it.

  • I love everything about this home. The warm wood combined with bright colors and unique items is such a lovely combo. The blanket made out of Crown Royal bags puts it over the top. I used to collect them to hold my treasures when I was a kid.

    • Thank you so much for the lovely compliment! And, what a cute memory :) My grandma actually takes commissions… lol. So if you’re still feeling nostalgic and want your own Crown Royal quilt, you can mail me through my website (www.plottwistinteriors.com) and I can connect you.

  • A toast to your grandmother who made a quilt out of Crown Royal bags!

    Great place that really reflects you!

  • I love all of the artwork & color throughtout the space, just perfect. I worked around the corner from this building for years and always wanted to see the inside! Thanks for sharing that!! ;-)

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