TikToker Transforms a Los Angeles Apartment with Tenant-Friendly Tips

Over 500,000 followers follow the TikToker’s friendly designs.
Marco Zamora

  • TikToker Marco Zamora shares the non-permanent interior updates he’s making to his apartment.
  • The Los Angeles-based designer has amassed a large following thanks to his renter-friendly tips.
  • He told Insider he hopes his simple projects will help educate and inspire others.

By the summer of 2021, Marco Zamora had already spent months scouring Los Angeles, California, looking for an apartment that would meet his basic needs. He wasn’t looking for anything fancy at the time, just a place that met the basic criteria, like being able to work comfortably from home.

He ended up discovering an apartment from the 1920s with an open plan living room and French doors that he immediately fell in love with, although he had a few ideas to improve it further.

Zamora, who is now 26, told Insider that he had always loved architecture and interior design, and that the potential of the location inspired him to create a series of elaborate projects that helped s ‘appropriate the apartment, without causing permanent changes to the place. .

After sharing her designs online, Zamora has amassed more than 505,000 followers on TikTok, who tune in for tips and inspiration while sharing step-by-step guides to her tenant-friendly renovations.

Zamora found a cost-effective way to update the tiles in what he dubbed his “simple” rental kitchen.

The TikToker took a gamble on tile stickers he found online.
Marco Zamora

In March, Zamora I uploaded a panoramic photo of her white kitchen and asked her audience if theirs was as “plain and boring” as hers, then told them to keep watching if it was. It was part of what became her kitchen makeover series featuring “renter-friendly DIY projects.”

The upload, which received 1.5 million views, showed Zamora cleaning his white tiles before sharing a series of on-screen images featuring various settings, most with checkerboard floors, which he said were a “inspiration” for his “dream kitchen” and prompted this particular hack.

He said he spent a few hours looking for “peel and stick tiles” on the Internet and tried a product that only had a four-star rating.

When they arrived, he cut the burgundy stickers to scale with a cutter and ruler, before applying them to his own floor, and onlookers were blown away by the end result.

More than 12,800 people favorited the video and viewers asked Zamora to leave the link to the tile sticker product so they could try it for themselves.

The TikToker added a wooden door to remodel her grand kitchen entryway.

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Zamora told Insider that he thinks his projects resonate with viewers because he tries to make them “accessible to everyone” and partly because they are “a little bit off the beaten path” and are not not the sort of thing you usually consider in a rental property. , like the time he added a new door frame to his kitchen entryway.

In April, the TikToker posted a video where he was thinking about what he was going to do with the “huge door”. He said in a video voiceover that he brainstormed ideas and considered making a DIY arch, but opted for a wooden frame instead.

After collecting wood from the store and testing a variety of tones and colors, he cut the boards to shape, stained them, nailed them together, then nailed them into the wall to hold the frame in place.

He asked the 1.3 million viewers who ultimately watched the video if they liked the result, and there was an overwhelming consensus.

“This looks SO good, wow,” one viewer wrote in a comment that received over 3,700 likes, while many others described the custom hack as “stunning” and “amazing” and wrote that They were invested in the transformation series.

Zamora’s Mexican heritage plays an important role in his design decisions.

Zamora used faux glass to achieve a colorful effect
Marco Zamora

Both of Zamora’s parents are from Mexico, and he told Insider that the culture “is really a part of me” and that he is particularly inspired by Mexican architect Luis Barragán.

In May, Zamora published one of his most popular videos to date, an upload in which he built and added a homemade stained glass window to his own DIY door inspired by Barragán’s designs, which has been viewed over 10.3 million times.

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In the video, Zamora said he went to home improvement retailer Lowe’s where he purchased plexiglass, a substitute for real glass that is lighter and easier to cut.

He added faux lead lines and colors to create a cost-effective stained glass effect, before attaching it to the frame using another piece of wood, with more nails and caulking to hold it in place .

Zamora told Insider that he has a background in civil engineering, which is what he studied in school, but when it comes to projects, he’s “learning the skills as he goes.”

This wasn’t the first time he introduced a temporary stained glass effect into his apartment

Zamora had already experimented with stained glass color on her living room windows.
Marco Zamora

The TikToker previously added a stained glass effect to his living room windows in April, a video which received 614,000 views and over 400 comments, many of whom asked him to create a tutorial so they could do the same.

He told Insider that he decided to post his projects on TikTok to help educate and inspire people about the potential of their home, and shared a detailed step-by-step guide of this particular process with his viewers, which he said, in a video voiceover, took him “less than an hour.”

He said he discovered a color kit online that created a similar stained glass effect and cost just $41, and made absolutely sure it was suitable for tenants by first doing a mini-test. He applied some to the window to ensure he could remove it completely, which was a success, and checked off the tenant-friendly requirement.

“If I could have found an apartment with stained glass windows, I would have. But I always thought it was something so unattainable,” Zamora told Insider, which prompted him to propose this solution which was favorited by 12,500 viewers.

A viewer posted their own version of Zamora’s hack and went mega-viral in the process

A fan who recreated Zamora’s wall art hack has gone mega viral.
Marco Zamora

Since his videos went viral online, Zamora told Insider, people have started recognizing him on the streets of Los Angeles, complimenting his tips and thanking him for the advice in person, which he says, is always exciting.

In June, Zamora continued to share her renovations with a video which showed him opening a piece of wall art in his kitchen to reveal a microwave built into the wall behind, which was now out of view.

The idea, which Zamora dubbed his “coolest party hack,” was favorited by more than 1,300 users, and a viewer put together the video to show that she took direct inspiration from Zamora to create her own version, which included a canvas covering a set of knives on her wall.

“Thanks for the idea,” she said at the end of the short clip, viewed more than 13.4 million times.

Inspiration works both ways, as Zamora takes ideas suggested by her viewers.

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After the success of the microwave in disguise, Zamora posted a follow-up video responding to a comment suggesting he add a spice rack underneath, which would also be covered by the swinging artwork, which he said was “an amazing idea”.

He joked that he was angry at himself for not thinking of it first “because it’s pretty perfect” and created another step-by-step tutorial that showed how the idea went from ‘a concept in the comments to a real thing in his apartment.

The video received 1.7 million views and over 430 comments who praised the final look and offered other suggestions for how it could be further improved, such as adding room for more spices or slightly change the position.

Zamora has advice for those looking to make their temporary rental space feel more like a home.

Zamora believes that even small changes can have a big impact.
Marco Zamora

Zamora understands why people may be nervous about making changes to their rental space. His own landlord has yet to see the updates he’s made to his apartment, but Zamora said he’s had “a little bit of freedom” but made sure he’s “very conscious ” of his projects because it is not his property.

“Everyone wants their home to look special and elevated,” Zamora said. “But you know, you also want to be conscious of how you get there.”

He said he wants to make sure his updates are still feasible for viewers interested in trying the same thing, which he highly encourages because just a small change can have a big impact.

“Even if it’s something small, you know, even if it’s just like adding a little stained glass window or even just painting a wall,” he said.

But just finding furniture or a small piece of art that suits your home can also be a good start.

“It totally pays off,” he said.

For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider’s Digital Culture team here.


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