Flea Market Décor

STYLED FOR SIZE

Even with limited space, this charming Venice Beach home stays warm, inviting and clutter-free.

- By Lauren Hofer

Even with limited space, this charming Venice Beach home stays warm, inviting and clutter-free.

SMALL HOUSES, LIKE THIS BUNGALOW, COME WITH THEIR OWN SPECIAL WARMTH AND CHARACTER.

Cozy nooks and charming features make them practicall­y irresistib­le, but that doesn’t eliminate the challenges of living in tight quarters.

“It’s a really small space,” says homeowner Halle Vargas of the two-bedroom, one-bath bungalow that has the original hardwood floors, molding and arches. She describes the design of the space as shabby chic with a nod to the local beach vibe, very fitting for the home’s southern California location. An avid thrifter, she decorated much of the space herself, but interior designer and local store owner Lizzie Mcgraw also styled fun vignettes throughout the space. Almost all the furniture pieces in the home are vintage and antique finds that

Halle discovered over the years. Some she found at Lizzie’s store, Tumbleweed & Dandelion, while many others came from thrift stores, flea markets and what she calls big trash days. “Once a year in Palos Verdes, the trash trucks come, and you’re allowed to put out really big items,” Halle says. The night before, people go out to peruse everyone else’s junk. Halle has given many a furniture piece new life with paint and sanding for the perfect aged effect.

In the bedroom, an old mantel is both a family heirloom

and an architectu­ral element. “It was actually my grandfathe­r’s,” says Halle of the piece that her mother passed on to her. “There was already a fireplace in the living room, so I used it in the bedroom.” She painted it white and then sanded it in all the right places to look chippy.

Whether inheriting old pieces or hunting for them herself, Halle knows the search itself is a journey. “I think the best finds are usually off the beaten path,” she says.

Staying organized in this bungalow, with less than 1,000 square feet and limited storage space, requires some creativity. Above the curtained-off washer and dryer, open shelves stay free of clutter with large baskets. “Because there is limited counter and cabinet space, by using tins and baskets you can hide all the things you don’t want people to see and utilize open shelving,” says Halle.

“Open shelving is mostly positive, unless you are disorganiz­ed,” says Lizzie. It is also an asset if you have collection­s of any kind to display, she says. “If you want a cool but minimal vibe, you can really play with a few items that become architectu­ral in essence.” Other shelves in the home hold colorful glassware and fanciful trinkets, while well-placed cabinets, dressers and more flea-market finds provide concealed storage space that is otherwise lacking.

In any space, it’s easy to get overwhelme­d with trying to fit everything in, but small spaces like this bungalow make that reality even harsher. “Only keep what you love,” Lizzie

says. “In a small space, you have to be particular. If it’s something you really love but can’t use, most likely you have a friend that would enjoy it.”

The same minimalist­ic approach applies to the process of searching for one-of-akind pieces. Halle believes it’s best to know what you’re looking for because “you can get really overwhelme­d, or you can come home with a bunch of junk.”

Lizzie’s store, Tumbleweed & Dandelion, offers a lovely assortment of home wares and is located mere steps from the bungalow. “We like to call our style Venice Beach Cellar style,” Lizzie says of her shop that embraces the vagabond style of Venice. “It’s a play on words because we not only create our own furniture, but we are great thrifters.” She says Halle often comes into the shop with coffee in hand and an idea in mind, and leaves with something new to add to her collection and her lovely home.

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 ??  ?? LAVENDER WINS in this shabby chic dining room. A sidebar and open shelves balance the space, while an indigo rug ties it all together.
LAVENDER WINS in this shabby chic dining room. A sidebar and open shelves balance the space, while an indigo rug ties it all together.
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COLOR COORDINATI­ON helps open shelving stay consistent and chaos-free.
 ??  ?? BASKETS AND TINS fill the shelves above the curtained-off washer and dryer to keep the space organized and tidy.
BASKETS AND TINS fill the shelves above the curtained-off washer and dryer to keep the space organized and tidy.
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