Authentic vintage finds create a breezy, boho style at these unique Socal destinations.
Discover two gorgeous southern California nightlife destinations chock full of stunning vintage art and furnishings.
WALKING INTO THE BUNGALOW,I
felt like I’d entered someone’s gorgeous home, rather than a bar/lounge. I gazed at bookshelves filled with interesting old items, admired the comfy-yet-hip leather couches, stared up at surfboards. “We wanted it to feel like someone lived here,” says Brent Bolthouse, the Californiabased nightlife entrepreneur who has created two outposts of the wildly popular establishment, quite different from each other.
A 1970s vibe greets patrons at the Santa Monica version, at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows; while the Huntington Beach location, at luxury mall Pacific City, has a 1950s inspiration.
The Santa Monica location opened in 2012. It’s inside a 1947 bungalow that was the original pool house for the hotel, says Brent. “It’s this great building with multiple rooms and fireplaces. I’d always done parties in the Hollywood Hills, after-award-show parties, and there’s just something people like about things that feel residential.”
Flea Market Décor readers can appreciate the interior, which features an eclectic mix of furnishings and an enviable collection of vintage art and tchotchkes.
“What would Ray Eames do if she built a house on the beach?
“Most houses aren’t done in a way that is perfect,” Brent says. “We grabbed stuff as we went. I’d say, ‘I found this totem pole!... Look at this great surfboard!’
It’s always evolving, just like your home does.”
He collaborated on the design with the firm Studio Collective, using a mythological muse as a touchpoint.
She was “this great woman who had traveled the world. She lived in Paris in Montmartre, and in Soho before Soho was cool, and shopped in a souk in Marrakesh and retired in LA,” says Brent. “As we shopped and looked at garage sales, it was like these pictures of kids on skateboards were her kids.”
The Huntington Beach location, on the other hand, opened in 2016 and was inspired by a real person. “What would Ray Eames do if she built a house on the beach?” Brent asked himself and the team. “Everyone knows Eames chairs. She was the first modern Bohemian. She was wrapping things in amazing textiles. That was really not common in the 1950s. How would she do it? What would she love? She’d pull in midcentury stuff and then textiles and layer.”
Leslie Kale, creative director/partner at Studio Collective, scours a variety of sources to create the rooms’ authenticity. “I do it all! Flea markets, thrift shops, antique stores, ebay, Craigslist, Chairish … I typically start the hunt for the artwork and accessories about a year before opening,” she says. Since we have a strong beach vibe running through both Bungalows, I like to travel along the coast from San Diego up to Ventura quite a bit, as those beach communities tend to have a wider array of appropriate items that we can then curate.”
“When in do“ubt, throw a serape on it !
To create a mix-and-match outdoor space, hunt for items such as vintage patio sets, wrought-iron shelves and rattan garden furniture.
If you love the relaxed look of The Bungalow, it’s simple to create a similar feeling in your own home. “Mix and match,” suggests Leslie. “Don’t be afraid to marry an older chair with a newer sofa. And if you love something, get it! I find that many collections start with just the one thing that sings to you.” Brent says, when in doubt, “Throw a serape on it! You can take an old couch and throw an old textile together with it, and it will have color and pop. It’s an easy way to change things up.” Speaking of up, go vertical. “Textiles look great on walls. Rugs can look great on walls. Flags aren’t always meant to be on flagpoles. When I pitched this, they thought I was a madman, but it all works together.” As you can see from the pictures, it works perfectly.
Quirky details, quality old furniture and boho art blend seamlessly in the art direction, which is a flea-marketlover’s delight.
Vintage lawn chairs play off the softer contemporary surfaces on the patio of The Bungalow Santa Monica.
The patio at Santa Monica gives a nod to classic Americana with a vintage Coke refrigerator-turned-planter.