Friends by Design
Jennifer Carpenter's living room
The house itself provided some direction. Built in the '30s as a hunting lodge for residents of the city's tony Hancock Park neighborhood, it had a cabin-like feel—dark-wood beams and earth tones—that immediately inspired Ariel. "I wanted to capture that bohemian feeling—and then add a modern twist to it," Ariel says. "But if I went too rustic, it would look a bit shacky; at the same time, if I went too polished, it would look cold."

Her first task was to brighten the space: Window treatments came down ("The trees are the curtains," Ariel insists), walls got a coat of luminous Venetian plaster, and the living room's pitched ceiling went white with gray beams.

Jennifer's living room is now furnished with a mix of high-end pieces, including an Eames lounge chair, and affordable finds like the brass table lamp from Target.