Social media spawned ‘The Blanco Bungalow’ and will now help sell it – press telegram


  • The living room. (Photo by Chris Saldivar, Tea Tree Productions)

  • The dining room.  (Photo by Chris Saldivar, Tea Tree Productions)

    The dining room. (Photo by Chris Saldivar, Tea Tree Productions)

  • The kitchen.  (Photo by Chris Saldivar, Tea Tree Productions)

    The kitchen. (Photo by Chris Saldivar, Tea Tree Productions)

  • The kitchen.  (Photo by Chris Saldivar, Tea Tree Productions)

    The kitchen. (Photo by Chris Saldivar, Tea Tree Productions)

  • The pizza oven.  (Photo by Chris Saldivar, Tea Tree Productions)

    The pizza oven. (Photo by Chris Saldivar, Tea Tree Productions)

  • The laundry area.  (Photo by Chris Saldivar, Tea Tree Productions)

    The laundry area. (Photo by Chris Saldivar, Tea Tree Productions)

  • The master bedroom.  (Photo by Chris Saldivar, Tea Tree Productions)

    The master bedroom. (Photo by Chris Saldivar, Tea Tree Productions)

  • The backyard.  (Photo by Chris Saldivar, Tea Tree Productions)

    The backyard. (Photo by Chris Saldivar, Tea Tree Productions)

When interior designer Laura Paige Strader and her restaurateur Jonathan began interviewing realtors to sell their renovated 1920s Spanish home in Long Beach, they had one condition.

The agent had to be as savvy on social media as the customers themselves.

Strader used her family’s first home — a 1,230-square-foot, two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment — as the launch pad for The Blanco Bungalow, an interior design studio with just over 44,000 followers on Instagram alone.

“We put our hearts and souls into designing, restoring and returning this home to its original beauty,” says design and lifestyle website The Blanco Bungalow, where you can also buy the home.

They were perfect for Taya DiCarlo, the Compass agent who now holds the list.

“The reason we’re working together is because I have an equally large organic following on Instagram,” said DiCarlo, who speaks with fellow agents at real estate conferences about how to grow your business through social media. “Of the $50 million in volume I made last year, over 80% of it came directly from Instagram. Half of that came from agent recommendations from around the world, and the rest are either repeat customers or customers who follow me on Instagram.”

She also has a loyal following on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok.

Ownership records show her clients purchased the home in October 2018 for $555,000.

Despite the dated finishes and garden, the arched windows and doors, built-ins, and original hardwood floors preserved beneath the purple wall-to-wall carpeting caught the eye.

“It had had good bones,” Strader said. “Even the landscape in the background was framed perfectly with cement and everything. We saw that straight away, but no, it definitely didn’t look like that.”

Warm woods emphasize a completely white interior.

Built-in arched bookshelves flank an arched picture window in the living room, which features a decorative fireplace.

The dining room leads into the new concrete kitchen with open shelving, Samsung Bespoke appliances, a Forté range hood and a cast-iron Kohler sink. There is an original breakfast corner nearby.

Built-in linen racks and drawers are located in the hallway between bedrooms, the largest of which has a small walk-in closet.

A Mirabelle deep soaking tub, Kohler shower and bathtub faucets, and floating vanity add character to the shared bathroom.

The outdoor area features a pizza oven, fire pit with built in sectional and a detached two car garage with a polished cement floor.

A newly installed HVAC system, upgraded plumbing and electrical and smart home appliances add to the property’s benefits.

While the couple hired professionals to do the floors, renovate the kitchen and bathroom, and tackle the brickwork, Strader said she and her husband did the rest — while raising their young son (she), who Attended online courses at the New School at Parsons in New York, and (he) runs a successful business. Jonathan is one half of Little Coyote, described by Press-Telegram as the most popular old-school pizza joint with two locations in Long Beach.

“It was never an issue with this home — this was to be our forever home,” Strader said.

Now the family plans to move to Europe and build on the The Blanco Bungalow brand with their next project (once they find it).

The Straders have decided to part with the “relaxing little private oasis in the middle of the city” they created and flaunted on social media.

“To have a client who is very savvy when it comes to their blog, website and Instagram, that’s great! But it means nothing if your agent doesn’t know how to join forces and work together,” DiCarlo said. “Marketing a home together has an amplifying effect. On paper it’s just a humble little bungalow that has been restored. But what really makes it special is the fact that my clients have done such an amazing job of telling the story and creating magic around this property. And I did a good job of generating enthusiasm.”