This Blogger's Brand-New L.A. Home Is Impossibly Dreamy

Photographed by Laure Joliet.
The fact that San Francisco is absurdly expensive is news to no one. From a 400% rent increase to an $800 per month toolshed, it’s no wonder people are hightailing it out of the city and seeking more affordable places to call home. This summer, SF Girl By Bay blogger Victoria Smith became one of them.

It was a no-brainer move: Trading S.F.’s Noe Valley for the Eastside ‘hood of Echo Park, Smith was finally able to put a down payment down on a home while also being closer to family. But the reasons don't stop there: “I was honestly feeling a little lonely in San Francisco,” she says. “I think I needed a fresh start.”

Of course, that fresh start came with the challenge of designing and decorating her new space — something Smith didn't take lightly, given her career as an interior design blogger. After all, she has 800,000 followers across Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter waiting patiently for the big reveal. Hoping to create a more relaxed environment than her S.F. digs, Smith called upon a recent vacation for inspiration. "I had just gone to Tulum, and I was really blown away by Coqui Coqui. It had a big influence on what I wanted my house to look like: sophisticated beachy."

Luckily for us, Smith invited R29 into her home for the first look. Hint: It's really rad and serves up tons of inspiration for anyone looking to give their pad a chill makeover. Happy pinning!
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Photographed by Laure Joliet.
In an ingenius move, Smith decided to fashion a completely custom built-in bookcase for this previously empty wall. "The room looked kind of boring without it," she told us. "My carpenter, Colin Hughes, and I talked about what kind of design it would be and how it would go flush with the ceiling. He built it up to that top beam across the door, and then we sketched out on paper how we would finish it off so it looked like it was always there — that was the hope."
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Photographed by Laure Joliet.
Before she even made the move, Smith had her heart set on one piece in particular: "I knew I really wanted a sectional," she said. "In San Francisco, I had a beautiful black leather sofa, but it wasn’t slouchy and comfy. I wanted a house that would be more comfortable for entertaining."
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Photographed by Laure Joliet.
Lucy, Smith's dog, makes an adorable cameo.
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Photographed by Laure Joliet.
Smith is all smiles in her bright living room. In case you're wondering how she has a white sofa with a dog in the house, she told us the couch's slipcovers make it a cinch to wash.
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Photographed by Laure Joliet.
Notice something missing from the living room? "I don’t have a TV at all," Smith said. "I haven’t had one since 2006. I watch it on my computer, though. And if someone comes over, I’ll get out my big screen computer and set it up as a TV."
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Photographed by Laure Joliet.
A book lover's dream — and the spines aren't even color-coordinated!
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Photographed by Laure Joliet.
Smith shows some love for her brand-new city.
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Photographed by Laure Joliet.
"This daybed is from Elsie Green Vintage and [the owner] found it in Lyon, France. It was a children’s bed, so I had it reupholstered and it’s probably my favorite part of the room. It’s from the ‘50s, I think."
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Photographed by Laure Joliet.
The new home was not without its design challenges. For instance, the front door opens directly into the dining room. "That was a little awkward for me, but I’ve gotten more used to it. It would have been nice to have more of a foyer. I thought a round table would be less blocky and give better flow to the room."
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Photographed by Laure Joliet.
"I wasn’t sure about these gold fixtures, because they’re kind of crazy and I didn’t want it to be too shabby chic," Smith said. "The mirror was from Urban Outfitters. They were having a fixture sale from their old displays, so I got it for $20. The sconces I’ve had forever and they were $5 at the flea market. This side table is my shrine to Coqui Coqui. I’ve started collecting black pottery from Oaxaca."
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Photographed by Laure Joliet.
Smith prefers mismatched chairs, because they lend an interesting feeling to what could be a boring dining set up. "I also have a chair addiction and am always bringing home more chairs than I could ever need, so I need to find spaces for them," she says.
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Photographed by Laure Joliet.
Sometimes, you need to throw your plans out the window when inspiration hits. "This island is actually my old desk. I was carrying it out to try it against a wall and was like, 'Oh wait, this kind of works right here.'" Et voilà — improvisation at its finest.
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Photographed by Laure Joliet.
An A+ bar setup.
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Photographed by Laure Joliet.
"The kitchen was originally dark gray, but I felt like it would be brighter if we went with a lighter gray," she said. "It goes better with the vibe of the house."
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Photographed by Laure Joliet.
Hanging out with Lucy on the porch.
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Photographed by Laure Joliet.
The master bedroom has custom touches, as well. "The lighting fixtures are from Woodland Hill Home. [The designer] had done lighting for Ampersand in San Francisco and I had spoke to her and asked if she could make custom ones for my bedroom that had really long cords. I can’t hardwire anything in there, so I needed long cords that would hang from the ceiling and come down. We picked out the cords together and she made it for me."
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Photographed by Laure Joliet.
The cutest nightstand we ever did see, in keeping with the midcentury modern vibe of the home.
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Photographed by Laure Joliet.
Smith coordinated her black bed with an antique black dresser — a gift from her mother — in the master bedroom.
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Photographed by Laure Joliet.
In the guest room, Smith kept it simple because of upcoming renovations. "I have plans to rip out the bathroom and make it a lot bigger and turn the guest bedroom into a walk-in closet for the master. So, I haven’t done a ton in there. I just try to keep fresh flowers and cute bedding."
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Photographed by Laure Joliet.
In the guest bedroom, Smith hung a vintage tire rack to store her bags and hats.
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Photographed by Laure Joliet.
"I wanted to leave my office pretty spare, because I want room to shoot. In my old house, I was constantly moving furniture in and out. Here, I just have my mom’s big antique French barn table as a desk. I’m also going to paint the floors white in here."
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Photographed by Laure Joliet.
Smith hung prints of her own Instagram images (printed by Parabo Press).
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Photographed by Laure Joliet.
Lucy stops by for an office visit. Who could resist some workday cuddles?
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