Au­then­tic vin­tage finds cre­ate a breezy, boho style at these unique Socal des­ti­na­tions.

Flea Market Décor - - Contents - By Kathryn Drury Wag­ner

Dis­cover two gor­geous south­ern Cal­i­for­nia nightlife des­ti­na­tions chock full of stun­ning vin­tage art and fur­nish­ings.


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.

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