Home Tour: Erica Reitman's Boho Apartment
Erica Reitman and I met years ago via the internet and bonded over a shared love of reality TV, blogging, and an interior design fetish. Erica is a straight-talking, tell-it-like-it-is interior designer, who recently moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. She’s also been the woman behind quite a few legit blogs, most notably Effed in Park Slope and Design Blahg, which have both since evolved into her latest venture VintageDesign.me, where she proclaims: “I will kick your house’s arse.” And she will!
On the weekends you can find her Instagramming her scores from local flea markets (You know Rose Bowl?), or working on some of her so-called “remedial” DIY projects. Really, they are fabulous though. She loves all things vintage, and the apartment she shares with her husband and basset hound are jam-packed with her finds.
While in L.A., I popped in to her place, to shoot a house tour of course, and to get her take on the literally greener pastures of L.A.. In a word: vintage. "For anyone who doesn’t live here, you’ll often hear stories about ‘340 days of sunshine’ (true) and how it never rains (also true),” she explains, "but the thing that everyone needs to be talking about in like a really big way, is that if you have any interest in vintage interior design, thrifting, collecting, or antiques, Los Angeles has the most amazing, heart-pounding, so-good-you-need-to-document-every-booth-on-Instagram- flea markets every. damn. Sunday.”
Ironically, Erica’s NYC place was all white from top to bottom: white floors, ceilings, and walls with pops of colour. In her new space, she's gone in the opposite direction and decided to do a dark and moody colour palette.
"We painted the walls in our main living area black, and in the bedroom we went for a dark, inky blue. I’ve mixed in lots of brass, leather and coral/oranges. I’m calling this my ‘thunderstorm’ phase as it all reminds me of the crazy colours the sky turns right before a big storm rolls in. The dark colours really make the whole space feel so cosy—and debunk the myth that you can’t use dark colours in small spaces. I swear, you can!"
One of my favourite pieces in Erica’s place is her super-impactful headboard. The colour, fabric, and shape are just A+! "Our headboard was super duper comfy (I can't handle wooden headboards that you can't lean back on), but I was definitely not feeling the fabric anymore,” she says. “So I went to the fabric district in downtown LA and found this coral/leathery/delicious fabric that I decided to recover it with. I use the term ‘recover’ loosely as I would be mortified if anyone examined the back up close and realise that my upholstery looks like a murder scene by staple gun- but to the naked eye it looks great, so no one is the wiser."
Erica likes to be humble about her DIY skills, but the textured wall hanging above her sofa is super cool. "Just like everyone else, I've been watching the woven wall hanging trend explode. I totally wanted in on the action, but didn't have a really strong desire to learn how to weave, and so I came up with a lazy girl's version of a woven wall hanging to fill up the giant space over our couch,” she tells me. “I purchased all the yarn at Michael’s (different textures, but same colour), got a big branch from an amazing art supply store in Downtown LA, Moskatels, and then just sort of winged it. It's basically a bunch of braid/knot/tassel variation combos that I made with the yarn to the exact height specifications I needed. It took me one long evening, and I love the way it came out." Want to try it yourself? Find DIY instructions here.
As a more affordable, easier alternative to wallpapering her bathroom, Erica hired a handyman to nail a rug from Urban Outfitters to the wall for impact. “I absolutely love how it came out,” she says. “It added just the pop of colour I was hoping for!"
Erica’s still a New Yorker at heart: She uses her kitchen for storage and tchotchkes!
As a New Yorker, I’m ridiculously jealous of any outdoor space, but especially one filled with art supplies, and layered rugs, books, magazines, plants, and wicker furniture. Erica and her husband, (who happens to be a super cool video editor @flyingblynd), turned their balcony into their collaging station. "I discovered over the last couple of years that I have a deep and unstoppable love of collage and mixed media. I especially love pieces that incorporate vintage imagery. I bought a whole bunch of old magazines at the flea one Sunday and decided I wanted to start collaging myself,” she says. “One day I asked Greg if he wanted to join me and, to both of our surprise, he absolutely loved it. So now every couple of weeks we do a ‘collage-a-thon’ together. We set up our balcony to be an art space so that we can collage our hearts out.”