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Name: Maxie Optican and puppy, Tofu
Location: Venice, California
Type of home: Bungalow apartment
Size: 450 square feet
Time lived in: 6 months, renting
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: My puppy Tofu and I have lived in my little Venice bungalow for six months. The vintage bungalow was originally designed by an artist in the ’80s, and he added special touches, like wood plank walls and a mosaic tile bathroom floor. Being a 32-year-old single girl on a budget, I brought in my handy-dandy dad to help me turn the run-down place into the oasis of my dreams.
We transformed the tiny backyard patio into a jungle oasis and reused the wood from the built-in daybed we removed to create shelving in the bedroom and living room. The AstroTurf that lines the backyard is sourced from a neighbor who was throwing it away. All the furniture comes from my parents’ and grandparents’ basements and flea markets from around Los Angeles. The space is my special abode, my oasis, and my dream. The kitchen is lined with my homemade pottery. The backyard doubles as my pottery studio by day and at night is transformed into a cozy firepit nook. The vine from the patio wall has overgrown through the hanging string lights to turn the backyard into a cozy nook that feels like you’ve transported to a jungle. My favorite part is the vintage red refrigerator and matching microwave with the tiny antique oven adorned with my mini tea kettle.
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: A goddess oasis
My home is me. Through and through. Candles on every surface, pink fringe lamps that create pink lighting, plants just about everywhere (especially in the shower), and my homemade pottery overflowing through the kitchen shelves. I spend my mornings sipping coffee on my patio while I water my lavender, eucalyptus, and hibiscus trees. I feel like my truest, most radiant goddess self in here.
What is your favorite room and why? Tie between the backyard patio and kitchen. The kitchen is where I spend my most time playing with my pottery and rearranging the pieces on my shelves and cooking homemade scones and bread loafs in my mini antique oven. The backyard is where the magic happens. Where I create my art, where my abundant garden grows, and where I build fires every night while I sip my wine and let the day settle in.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? A vintage wicker breakfast tray that I snagged at a flea market for $10.
Any advice for creating a home you love? Don’t hold back. Source as many goodies from your parents’ and grandparents’ house. Create a story, and make it comfortable, cozy, and all yours. Find joy in every space, corner, and nook. Your home is your temple, your sanctuary, your safe space. You should fall in love with your home more and more each day by making it your daily routine to improve, clean, take care, and embellish it. Adding flowers, candles, and constantly rearranging.
This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.