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House Beautiful Senior Editor Orli Ben-Dor on "El Cap"

"It was a studio apartment in Tucson, Ariz., and it was perfect. I first laid eyes on it when I visited a friend who lived there. He was two years ahead of me in school. Sure, I’ll miss you, I remember thinking, but go on, get, graduate! And may I please have your landlord’s number? El Capitan Court, aka El Cap, was part of a small apartment complex made of little two-bedroom casitas lining the length of a courtyard, and at the far end, a stucco building with four studios. Mine was top right. It was rumored that in the 1940s and ‘50s the movie stars and crew filming at nearby Old Tucson Studios lived there—the stars in the little houses, the crew in the studios.

For us in 2002, it was more Melrose Place—love! A pool! We left our doors and windows open and spent the dry, warm desert days and nights moving from one patio to the next. I moved in after a summer internship in the home department of InStyle magazine, an adult—or so I thought—inspired to decorate. Dark wood floors, white walls, a clean slate with good bones. I painted a table a primary blue I’d never have in my house now. Of course there was a futon. And some furniture I can’t even describe—a magazine rack/room screen hybrid—yikes! I cringe now, but then, it worked. It was just what I needed, and wouldn’t have it any other way!

P.S. I also found this video googling around...it’s a lot less crumbly now!"

· House Beautiful [official site]
· @bendoro [Twitter]