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Jess Is MOVING! Wanna Sneak Peek Of Her New Apartment??

I promise this move hasn’t been a deep dark secret I’ve been hiding for the past couple of months. It all happened really fast. Just 3 days if you don’t count the two weeks of waiting to hear when I could see it in person. I guess the renting process is always really fast which I think is why I’ve always had a hard time with the transition (emotionally I mean:)). Even with apartments I haven’t loved (i.e. east village bed bug apartment round one), I always get really sentimental. So much happens in our homes and leaving those memories is not something I like to jump at unless it’s really time (or a bed bug infestation). And let me tell you it was TIME.

This incredible, tiny studio apartment means A LOT to me. It was the first place I lived by myself (a dream since I was little), the first place I was able to show the internet my design chops, and the place that keep me safe during the very terrifying start of the pandemic. But now that I work from home it’s tight. My dreams of having enough space for a nightstand next to my bed and the tiniest of an outdoor area would not stop nagging me. So I started the search and immediately got… depressed. I mean I shouldn’t have been surprised. RENT IS WILD OUT HERE. And for not that much more room than I already had. But the very lucky part for me was that I didn’t need to move so I could wait as long as I needed to find the right place. Buuut I had decided I was ready so my impatience was at an all-time high.

Enter my dear friend, Franchesca. We had a belated my birthday/her first wedding anniversary celebration. (Hot tip: Have your friends get married on your birthday! It’s a huge party with free alcohol, dancing and you don’t have to plan it). During this wonderful picnic she put together, I mentioned that I was ready for a bigger place but I had a long list of wants (with a not huge budget) so it was laughably hard. Just for fun, so you can see my crazy in writing, these were my requirements:

  • A real one bedroom
  • Enough space in the living room for a desk and not feel cramped
  • Hardwood floors
  • Good natural light in every room
  • Some private outdoor space (honestly just enough to fit a single chair)
  • No “scary” tile in the bathroom or kitchen
  • A decent amount of storage
  • A building with character
  • Onsite laundry
  • A walkable neighborhood
  • Not impossible parking for me or guests
  • Still on the east side
  • Not one million dollars

See? A hilarious list for those who live in LA and know the market (and my budget). But again, I still loved my current apartment and only the dream apartment could tear us apart.

Ok, back to Franchesca. As I was listing my requirements her eyes lit up. After I was done talking she said that her downstairs neighbors were moving out THAT DAY. Now when she said this I hadn’t seen her apartment since she and her husband moved in this past April. But after seeing one photo (apparently normal people don’t take a thousand photos of their homes) I was extremely intrigued. From what she said it sounded like everything on my list was getting checked off. WHAT WAS HAPPENING?! This kind of thing only happens in the movies or to a friend of a friend’s cousin who knows a guy. Not to me.

Obviously, you know how this story ends because I clearly got it and it was everything I wanted (plus friend neighbors which wasn’t on my list because it seemed way too impossible). Let me take you on a tour as we go through my list of checked off demands.

The Living Room with Enough Space For a Desk

Just so you all know I have been pinching myself every day since walking into this apartment and seeing those turret windows. I simply have no words to describe how much I love them and have dreamed of living in a home with them since birth. Plus there’s a fireplace??? It doesn’t work but I really don’t care. The layout is absolutely going to be a challenge but the one and only Julie Rose is already on the job and a post about that will be happening soon (we have a solid alcohol payment plan in place). But as of now, I’m pretty sure my desk is going in the turret because I spend about 10 hours a day at my desk so I might as well be in my favorite area.

The Real One Bedroom (with room for not one but TWO nightstands)

Now as much as I love the turret, this bedroom is beyond my wildest dreams. Ok sure, air conditioning is going to be interesting next summer but that’s future Jess’s problem. Until then I am just going to sit and stare at those windows until the end of time. Also, I am going to finally upgrade to a queen-sized bed! I have been rocking the “full” life for 20 years so this is a very big personal win.

Here we have the entrance to the bathroom (the mirrored door) and a very sizable closet (the other door). I’m thinking that a small tall dresser would be perfect right in between but we’ll see:)

No “Scary” Tile in Bathroom or Kitchen

A lot of the places I saw online had some very “interesting” tile work. And since tile replacement and renting don’t really mix, this is something I always look out for. Ok, sure there are stick and peel options but if I can avoid having to do that I will.

So let’s start with the kitchen. Charm up the wazoo (And SO MUCH STORAGE I COULD CRY). The counter and backsplash tiles are super neutral which I honestly like. It feels way more like a clean canvas to really make your own. The flooring is questionable but with a deep grout clean and a rug it might be totally fine. But there is always stick and peel flooring (even if it’s not my first choice). I mean both Brady and Keyanna have made VERY good cases for it.

Onto the bathroom. I LOVE this tile. It’s beautiful but not too loud and apparently very old. Did I mention the house was built over 100 years ago? I don’t think it’s original since this was initially a family home turned into apartments but still really old. Now for the really fun part…

The toilet. I didn’t think I could love a toilet until now! Can you handle that detail?! Is it possible to feel like a Grecian goddess while peeing? I am here to tell you it is.

A Little Private Outdoor Space

Now back to the bedroom because outside of those incredible doors is a very skinny but very long… balcony!!!!! I’m thinking a bunch of plants and a simple bistro table and two chairs. I could cry knowing I will have a space to sit outside, get some fresh air, and not have to worry about wearing a mask. Again pinching myself, hard.

Initial Inspiration

This is just my initial inspiration board. In this last apartment, I really had to create the story of the space because aside from a few cute architectural accents, it didn’t have a specific style. But with this home, it has a clear historic story that I want to pay homage to while still making it feel like me… if I even know who “me” is anymore. That’s a convo for another day:) The really wonderful thing is that so many of my current pieces should work seamlessly in this new space (VERY sadly not the bench or the banquette so email jess@emilyhenderson design if you are interested in purchasing either or even if you are looking for a place in Silver Lake near Sunset Junction. The location is amazing).

I think the bedroom will be first on the list to tackle because it’s the first time I’m designing a bedroom. Wish me luck and I will keep you all updated!

Love you, mean it.

Opening Photo Credits: Design by Jess Bunge | Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: Makeover Takeover: Jess’ Long Awaited (Small Space) Living Room Reveal


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120 thoughts on “Jess Is MOVING! Wanna Sneak Peek Of Her New Apartment??

  1. So exciting! It looks like you’re going to do amazing things with the space. And that toilet and tile is kind of amazing! Here’s to hoping it looks good AND works.

      1. Yes! Don’t skip past the journey to styled…we need this excitement and all the dusty, furniture rearranging details!

    1. Thank you so much! I’m really nervous but mostly SO excited about pulling the designs together:)

    1. The hardwood floors are really special but yes, I need to figure out some kind of super-strength grout bleaching method!

      1. LIVELOVEDIY uses grout paint and a toothbrush – she says it’s pretty easy just tedious!

          1. I used Polyblend grout paint on my white grout. Works wonders. But yes, it is tedious paint brushing work. I think I have tried every potion ever suggested for cleaning grout.

            I’ve had the most success with the Dawn and vinegar. 1 cup each, and put into a spray bottle. Mix it up gently, and stray onto grout. Work in sections, and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes. Find the stiffest grout brush you can find. Toothbrushes can work, but may take longer depending upon the grime, since the bristles are flimsy. Good luck, Jess! Cannot wait to see the reveals.

      2. They also make grout paint markers so you can turn that a different color after a deep clean without needing to replace it!

        1. I was going to say exactly this. After cleaning I went at mine and now it looks amazing. It’s tedious, but so rewarding!!

      3. I recently used oxy-clean on the grout in my kitchen. It’s so much better. From dingy gray to bright white. I’m going to use it again in the kitchen for a few tough spots plus in the bathroom that has the same tiles/grout. I mixed it up and applied it with a toothbrush to the grout lines. Let it set for 30-ish minutes and rinsed multiple times. I’m going to look for a grout sealer next.

        1. PLEASE ANSWER WHAT OXY-CLEAN IS. Is that like an oxy-soak product you use pre-wash for clothes and stuff??

          I have some tiles (believe it or not), in a 100 year old out building wash house where I live and they have not been washed in 20 years!! For real!
          BTW: NOT my choice, but I’ll be living on my own in the next few months and I sooo cannot wait to clean those babies! (70s gree tiles, Ha!)

      4. DON’T USE BLEACH!!!

        1. It eats the grout!

        2. Bleach = mimicks Estrogen. Most women these days are a bit high in Estrogen due to plastics, soy, it’s in everything. It can ness with ypur hormoes and cause skin issues, bloating, period pain… the list is long.

      5. Hot water + bleach + powdered tide….check out @gocleanco she is a cleaning genius our there performing cleaning miracles on the daily

    2. Grout pro-tip (maybe): USE A STEAMER! I’m not sure if little steam cleaners can be rented or not but I deep cleaned my old tile/grout and omg it soothed my OCD brain. The small nylon attachment works best, or steel/brass.

  2. Soooo charming! I LOVE your studio and wow does this place look fab. Can’t wait to see what you do with it! Oh, and Sherry from Young House Love has a grout cleaning product she swears by. I can’t remember what it is, but the photos were impressive. Good luck with the move!

  3. OH I’m so happy for you, Jess! Loved your last apt and cannot wait to see the new apt come together. What a beautiful apartment and you’re going to make it even more gorg. also your new inspiration is very similar to the inspiration i have for my new house, so that is v exciting for me.

      1. You’ve been learning so much this year; doing the hard work; sharing your knowledge; being brave about being the change that’s needed…. karma is a thing.
        You’ve earned it Jess!!!

  4. Omg, WOW Jess – congratulations!!!! I literally gasped out loud (because I am dramatic) when I read through your list and then saw the first pictures, and these inspiration images have my heart all aflutter!! Sometimes the universe does give us good & magic 🙂 – can’t wait to follow your journey along in this amazing new place!!!!!!!!

  5. Wow this new place is amazing and so much original character – the kitchen sink and built-in in the bathroom both made me swoon. Good luck with the move and can’t wait to follow along and see how you make it your own!

  6. Congrats, Jess! So much charm and character. I can’t wait to see what you do with it! (No, really, I can’t wait – more inspiration pics please.)

    Are the bathroom floor tiles marble or ceramic? There are some heavy duty cleaners you can use with ceramic. If marble, you can “paint” the grout (also called “renew”). I have an older home on the east coast and during the first few weeks of lockdown, I finally painted all the grout between the marble hex tiles on the bathroom floor. Looks like new again. Once you get going, it’s meditative!

    Good luck on this adventure!

    1. The toilet is THE COOLEST! I don’t think you can tell but the lever says “push” and on the inside of the bowl is a really pretty blue emblem. I don’t think I could love it more:)

  7. So excited for you and the new place looks like an amazing opportunity! But I have to admit, I’m feeling a little cheated… did I miss your current bed ‘room’ reveal? I was really curious as to how you would finally handle it. Actually, I guess we now have an answer – you move 🙂

    1. I know I’m so sorry. Since so much of my “bedroom” aka the “bed nook” needed a decent amount of custom work, the finances didn’t match up for a while and then I had the itch to move so it never got finished. I promise to make it up to you with this place!

  8. That tile could very well be original. With the turret in your space it could be that that was all part of the original family home. I honestly can’t see a landlord investing in those kinds of details, especially the matching Greek key toilet seat. Also, that style of tile and the pattern are common at that period up until the 1930’s I believe. This is pretty much the tile design I want to do on my kitchen floor in my Maine farmhouse. You are so lucky!!! I LOVED your last apartment and I know I will love this one!!

    1. That’s a really good point and so interested!

      The house was originally completed in 1907 and then taken apart and MOVED to a new location a couple of blocks away in the mid-twenties. So wild. I’m hoping the owner has the original blueprints because I would love to see them.

  9. What an amazing find! The windows are amazing! I can’t wait to see you put your personal touch on it.

  10. This place is so cute! The turret windows (you’re a Princess!) and built in hutch in the bathroom are my favorite bits. It reminds me of a duplex I lived in when I was in my early 20’s. That place was built in 1925, and had the Greek Key border, french doors in my bedroom, THREE closets, built-ins… it was darling! Congrats on your new home, and have so much fun making it yours!

  11. Congrats on finding such a great apartment! It is beautiful and full of possibilities. That Greek Key pattern in the bathroom is gorgeous.

    Following up on yesterday’s where to put the litter box discussions, I love the little doors under your kitchen sink and the shelf. The floor under the shelf looks like the perfect cat litter box area. I might steal that idea for my house!

  12. I think you’re the only person on the planet who has actually accomplished finding a home that checks every box on their wishlist–The apartment gods must love you! You know I love a good peel and stick floor transformation, but honestly the floors aren’t bad — a good cleaning and rug would do the trick. Can’t wait to see what you do!

    1. It was beyond insane! I feel so so lucky. I think I will probably just clean the floors but if I go stick and peel I am headed straight to your blog! (and will probably ask you a lot of questions:))

  13. Bedroom inspiration – 100!! White walls with good floors and architectural details are 1/2 the decorating job. Not sure it’s worth it . . . but what if you added interest to the inset door portion of the kitchen cabinetry . . . wire mesh, wallpaper, grasscloth, antiqued mirror . . . just a thought.

    1. The totally agree with you on the bedroom and that’s a really cool idea for the door. I will absolutely think about it!

  14. Wow, so much character!!! You are so fortunate you found it the way you did. I am sure there would have been so many calls on this. You are very lucky, but then again so is your landlord, because good renters are so hard to find. Looking forward to your decorating journey.

    1. Thank you so much Sherri! And I didn’t want to talk even more about my good fortune but my new landlord is the sweetest woman in the world so I feel extremely lucky there too.

      I can’t wait to take you all on this ride with me!

  15. So cute! That turret is a dream. Cat litter in the kitchen? Even if you find litter that doesn’t smell,
    Ewe. Around food? Sorry a hard NO! Any chance it could go on the porch? How about putting a cute curtain around your pedestal sink in bathroom? Goes with the 100 year old vibe and is an easy access but give Kitty some privacy too :)) Can’t wait to see what you do! It will be awesome!

    1. Thank you! I personally don’t have a cat and also can’t have animals in the apartment it won’t be an issue:)

  16. Congratulations! What a beautiful new apartment. The perfect place to inspire you during dreary quarantine. Can’t wait to see the designs!

  17. I say a pretty chair between the two doors 🙂 Furniture there seems to heavy and blocks circulation. Also square wood deck tiles for your narrow outdoor space might me nice. Looks dreamy!!! Congrats.

  18. omg. you aren’t taking THE BENCH of my dreams with you!? whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy????? i love your current apt so much, but this new one looks like a dream and has the potential to be AMAZING. i’m so excited to see what you do. and your inspiration pictures look perfect for this apartment’s bones.

    1. I know I’m heartbroken too but it will either find a wonderful new home or go to my dad’s:)

      1. @rusty – unfortunately, i live on the other side of the country, so shipping would be insane. but if i didn’t, i totally would.

        @jess bunge – i hope you keep it at your dad’s. what a great memory of his help. also, i’m so inspired by this bench. like, it was so obsessed with your whole living room makeover, but the bench is my favorite. i’m now making it a goal to take a carpentry class and figure out how to make one for myself!

    2. I was thinking the same thing! Doesn’t look like there’s a corner for it in the new place, doesn’t really fit the aesthetic either. I’m sure there’s someone else in your area (maybe in your soon to be former building?) with a similar corner space.

  19. Congratulations on finding such an amazing space! Onward and upward🙂 I echo everyone else’s excitement and can’t wait to see what you (and your father😉) come up with for the new space. I think your inspiration photos are a great start. I will mention one thing – in the bottom photo with the work area the Supernatural chair pictured I used to have for outdoor seating and while I LOVED
    the look my back didn’t love sitting in those chairs for extended periods of time. So if you do get it consider it for outdoor seating and NOT for 10 hours of work. ( Good luck and I’m looking forward to you taking us on this journey 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for the tip! I don’t think that I will be getting that chair but I so appreciated the info<3

  20. JESS!!! Wishjng you so much luck, girl!

    Your new place is amazing! It already looks homely, like a santuary from the chaos of life, everywhere, this year.

    Your curated objects are gonna rock in there and to have a little outdoor space will help so, so much. Take your time choosing the right plants, do your homework so your little balcony sings.

    Knowing Julie Rose’s bedroom design work… you’re in great hands!
    I can’t wait to see this, because, really, your current place was massively difficult to design so this place is like literal breath of fresh air… historical, fresh, a lil fancy even, with such a cutie for a kitchen and odes to the Roman Empire in thd bathroom (love that toilet… you’ll pee like an Empress!).

    Is that an old aircon sticking out of one of your windows?? Summer might be okay? Those oldies can be a bit rattly but as long as it works, right?

    Those. Windows! Oooh!

    PS: Does this mean the bathroom MOTOs aren’t happening???

    1. Hi Rusty!

      Thank you so much! I will absolutely be making sure that I pick the right plants because it would break my heart to have them die on me:(

      Also, I will now only think of myself (and anyone else) as an empress when using the toilet! hahah. And yes, that’s the only window suited for an aircon but it’s removable. I might replace for something newer when next summer hits but for now it’s great.

      And yes again… The bathroom MOTO is no more. Only a short while after decided to do it I realized I really wanted a bigger place. And since I wanted to go pretty crazy with the design, it would have been A LOT of work to get it back to “normal” once I was ready to move. I promise that so many fun reveals are ahead and I have an idea of how to bring my checkered tiled dreams into this new place!

  21. Your inspiration board is right up my alley! Cannot wait to see you make it beautiful. So much potential and the windows throughout are a huge win. Congratulations!

  22. Congrats! very exciting. As I loved your old flat I’m really excited to see what you keep and how you use it… where will the squiggle art go? Will the blue ottoman stay? As someone who moved last year and is still rearranging the furniture we brought from our old place I’m really curious what you’ll keep and make a new.

    1. Hi and thank you! I’m not sure where the squiggle will go but it’s definitely a piece that I will keep forever:) But the blue ottoman, the black coffee table (which might become a side table) will definitely stay. I’m hoping I can use most of it!!

  23. Honestly, I was a little bummed when I first read the title because your current apartment is one of my favorite spaces I’ve seen on this blog. It’s so beautiful! But, then I saw the pictures of your new place and WOW. I cannot wait to see what you do with this gorgeous space. I’m very excited for you and also selfishly excited for me. Yay!

    1. It’s been hard to say goodbye. I actually took down my gallery wall today which was sadder than I thought it would be. But I am a super sentimental person so I should be used to these emotions by now! But after each trip to the new place I’m sad to leave which makes me really confident that it was time. I’m just really glad I have so many photos of this apartment:)

      1. As a fellow sentimental person who also gets frustrated by not being “used to the emotions by now,” feel those feelings, girl! You clearly made great memories in your old space, and worked SUPER hard to make it beautiful, so it’s okay to feel sad about leaving it. But, I’m excited for you and the memories you’ll create in the new space. Now go turn on some Julien Baker or Phoebe Bridgers and feel those feelings!

  24. Wow, Jess, my mouth literally dropped open when I saw the toilet and the bathroom tile! (My child-me would have never thought that was something I’d write over the world wide web at some point) And I LOOOOOVEEEE the kitchen sink! That place has so much character. I am a middle-aged, 25-year married person and am so happy for your young, single self! Can’t wait to see what you do with the place!

    1. The things I have said on the internet that I never thought I would are almost too many to count at this point lol. But thank you!!! I just feel so lucky<3

  25. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! This apartment is everything. That FIREPLACE! The WINDOWS! The BALCONY! I have heart eyes for you. I. Just. Can’t!!!

    Your makeover was one of my faves ever at EHD, so excited to see this next one. Happy for ya girl!!

    1. Thank you SO MUCH!! I can’t tell you how much this means to me:) Fingers crossed it turns out good!

  26. Looks like a fantastic place! What an upgrade from your current space! I’m looking forward to see what you do with it, Jess!

  27. Jess! I’m so excited for you that I’m shopping Veterans Day sales for you. Haha! Checkout Jonathan Alder’s bathroom collection at Macy’s, particularly the Gramercy collection. It’s a modern take on the Greek key on a trash can, soap pump, towels, etc. It would look awesome with your toilet! Plus it’s on sale today.

  28. Looks great, when do you move?

    Looking at the balcony, I think table and chairs plus plants will be a real squeeze, maybe a bean bag you can chuck out there on a nice day, or a corner bench seat down the end , if you could convince your Dad to make you another one? 🤔

    IKEA sell wooden outdoor floor tiles which can look great.

    No matter how tiny the space, a little outdoor area definitely makes a huge difference!

    1. This weekend! So only a few more days.

      For the balcony, my plan is to have a little table in between the two sets of windows and then a chair on either side that each person can access from the far right and the far left windows. It might not work but we’ll see! But also a corner bench is a GREAT idea as well as the IKEA tiles. Since I’ve never had an outdoor space I’ve never looked into them before. Thank you for all the great ideas!

  29. Congrats Jess! It looks so great. And how lucky that you get to live so close to a friend! I used Grout Refresh on my kitchen grout because it was still dark after a thorough cleaning. Now the grout is much more similar to the tile color and it feels so much cleaner. 6 months later and I ‘m still so pleased with that quick DIY!

  30. I remember Jess did several big DIY’s in the previous/current(?) apartment which were very specific for the space (the bench, the kitchen,…). I would be interested to see which of the updates get to stay in the previous/current(???) apartment and which ones had to be taken down, either because you want to re-use something or because the landlord/next renters want it removed for some difficult to understand reason.

    1. ps. also congratulations on finding a great looking new place! I am definitely looking forward to seeing what you do with it!

  31. Ah so pretty! I just pinned your design inspo board – it is all so good. Best of luck and I can’t wait to see what you do with the space! 🙂

  32. Omg I relate sooo hard to this story. I had a really similar experience. Rent in my city is likewise insane…and it was majorly depressing. I was selling a condo downtown that I just absolutely loved, in the best neighborhood with a view … oh my view… it was incredible. And I couldn’t afford to buy on my own so I was having to go into renting and it was like these boxes the size of my thumb with super scary tile were costing more than I could afford: at one point I thought I’d found something affordable…very bleh but affordable and the. It turned out someone had been murdered in the laundry room a few weeks back. Yes you heard that right. Murdered. So that was a hard no. Anyways it was super depressing…then one day I just saw this little lost and well it was out of budget but only a little… not a proper one bedroom but there was a bedroom space..a loft…and 550 soft…I had to go see it… I get there and the guy tells me the price was wrong online and it’s actually 100$ a month LESS so it’s I. My budget and I jumped! I am loving living on my own and setting up my own space (turns out I sold just before the condo market plummeted from Covid too so thank god for that!). Okay I can’t quite fit night stands unless they’re really small and go right up against the wall but it’s not the end of the world…I do envy the having of the night stands though! I did get a massive balcony though!!! And I still have a decent view. Also, I can see stars!!!!!! Who knew there were places in the city that could see stars? Anyways, I relate hard to your experience and I can’t wait to see what you do. I find I’m always in places with impossible layouts so it’ll be nice to see how you manage that!

  33. Congrats!! Can’t wait to see what you do with this awesome space! By the way, I highly recommend those Quadrostyle vinyl tile stickers for the kitchen. I just put some over the gross old tiles in my entryway and I am in love! I just walk over there several times a day to look at them, lol.

  34. I Love your space! Can’t wait to see what you do with it…..So many possibilities,Yikes. Will definitely follow along:-)

  35. The details – WOW!!!!!! Absolutely can’t wait to see how you fill the space. And how insanely lucky that you found a place that met all your requirements and more – I can attest that friend neighbors are amazing!

    What I really can’t get over is how the apartment owners hadn’t lined up another renter already – seriously the luck in this story! I hope you bought a lottery ticket that day 🙂

  36. Your new apartment has all the makings of a good rom/com movie. It looks like someplace the star would live in, filled with charming touches. Ready for it’s close up in the “meet cute”.

    Honestly, it’s the kind of apartment we’d only see in movies.

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