It’s hard to believe that Lauren and Neil Apodaca—along with their two young daughters, two dachshunds and one cat—only recently moved into their Woodland Hills home after relocating from Fresno. A palette of exuberant colors, Neil’s carefully-chosen antiques and the constant play of kids gives this four-bedroom Mid-century modern rancher real lived-in charm. “We’ve got two girls, Natalie who is 6 and Liberty is 3, so our life is very busy,” begins Lauren, a registered nurse whose job relocated her to the Valley. “I think our home is a reflection of ourselves; we like to entertain and have an open space that can be comfortably lived in.”
Nearly a year ago, Lauren and her husband Neil, a stay-at-home dad, were given only two weeks to find a new house and to sell the current one they had lovingly dubbed their “dream house.” Despite the obvious challenges—and several coats of paint and loads of wallpaper removal later—the Apodaca’s have managed to carve out a home with true heart and soul that’s made for real life.
What were the thoughts behind your laid-back style?
Lauren: We want our kids to be just as they are in their own environment. Does that mean they want to take out Play-doh and it ends up all over the carpet? Yes, but we deal with the ramifications of that because we really want them to be able to live and do what they want in their home.
Neil: It’s a great house. It’s fun and the kids can go crazy without you really worrying about about it. We have a lot of activities for the kids: there’s a trampoline, a swimming pool and lots of fun stuff to entertain our friends. I love it here.
Lauren: Most of the day, I’m away from home working, and when I come back I want a place that’s comfortable, not stuffy and I can just be myself whether that’s jumping on the sofa and putting my feet up, doing an activity in the backyard or cooking in the kitchen. This space for me is the epitome of comfort.
What made it difficult leaving Fresno?
Lauren: Leaving our dream home in Fresno was really difficult because we had made that house our own. It was an Eichler-inspired rancher with all the cool appeal of indoor-outdoor living. It was an entertaining spot for us and all of our friends ended up there pretty much every weekend. For me, coming into this house and making it our own was really challenging.
Neil: We had bought the house in Fresno only seven months prior to receiving the news about relocating, so we had just put all this elbow grease into the house only to pick up and leave and start over again. But it’s what we needed to do.
How did you know this was the home for your family?
We had such a good instant vibe about the house even though we were nervous about everything that was happening in our lives. That night we sat in the garden and took a family photo. Then we drove back to Fresno to pack.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
Neil: Mid-century modern furniture has personality to it, it’s not the same stuff that every other person on your block has. I don’t like to be run-of-the-mill I guess, so I think the furniture says that also.
Lauren: It took me a period of time to catch on and realize the magic behind Mid-century modern style. I’m on board now.
What’s a typical morning in the Apodaca home look like?
Neil: That’s a true story.
Lauren: We want the girls to look back and have a really fond memory of growing up, of our family structure and how we raised them.
Step inside the Apodaca’s collected and casual Woodland Hills home that’s the perfect backdrop for their fun family life.
Bring Home the Look
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