Our Forever Home

The Apodaca Family - Woodland Hills, CA

We head to the Valley for a peek inside a welcoming Mid-century home that embraces family-friendly comfort with a playful vibe.

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?

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.

It took me a period of time to catch on and realize the magic behind Mid-century modern style.

- Lauren

What made it difficult leaving Fresno?

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.

I don’t like to be run-of-the-mill I guess, so I think the furniture says that also.

- Neil

How did you know this was the home for your family?

Lauren: It was the second-to-last place we looked at and it was way out of our price range. It’s part of the Woodland West Tract of homes designed by architect Charles Dubois in the 1960s. There was a lot of wallpaper and walls painted peach, so we had to look through those details and imagine what can we make this house.

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?

Lauren: We love Mid-century modern and we try to make our home real and lived-in. With each house Neil has searched for the perfect pieces to preserve that vibe, and to make a personal touch that’s unique to us.

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.
I think our home is a reflection of ourselves; we like to entertain and have an open space that can be comfortably lived in.

- Lauren

What’s a typical morning in the Apodaca home look like?

Lauren: Every morning while we’re sitting down having coffee, Neil asks the girls ‘what do you want to do today?’ and the day is driven by what they want to do, whether that’s going to the museum, eating frozen yogurt or swimming when they should be sleeping. Do we alway love it? No, but we like that they get to have the choice in it.

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.
Every morning while we’re sitting down having coffee, Neil asks the girls ‘what do you want to do today?’ and the day is driven by what they want to do.

- Lauren

Comfort Zone

Step inside the Apodaca’s collected and casual Woodland Hills home that’s the perfect backdrop for their fun family life.

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