Food & Home

A small space makeover

A small space makeover

When our goop guy, Kevin Keating, moved into a gorgeous and light-filled apartment in West Hollywood after several years in London, he found himself drawing a blank on how to even begin decorating it—to the extent that he furnished it with only a bed and a yoga mat for two months. Ultimately, Kevin had abandoned all of his disposable, post-college furniture in England since it wasn’t worthy of the shipping fees, and wanted to invest in timeless, modern pieces that he could keep for at least a decade. On a budget, and constrained by a tight, West Hollywood floor plan, Kevin had resolved himself to eating take-out in his bed. Convinced that this wasn’t a great, long-term solution, we sent him to Design Services at Restoration Hardware, RH (complimentary), and then to a pretty ingenious interior design resource, Homepolish. RH helped him find a few investment pieces, including a couch from their “Small Spaces” collection, all in keeping with the classic style of the ‘20s, historically-landmarked building where he lives. And then Homepolish completed the transformation. Rad and disruptive, Homepolish provides access to great interior designers at attainable, non-budget breaking prices: During an initial meeting with your designer—at between $50 and $85, depending on their level—they’ll scope out the hours required for your project, whether it’s a few small tweaks or a complete home refurb. Then, they’ll get to work at $100-$130 an hour. For Kevin’s apartment, they assigned Orlando Soria, their Creative Director in Los Angeles. You can see their inspiration here, and the results, below.


The Homepolish Touch


Living Room

“Kevin’s style is a mixture of Cape Cod traditional and California hipster so I wanted to create a space that felt sophisticated and formal while also being as playful and youthful as he is. The foundational pieces from Restoration Hardware provide an old world element, so I added in Mid-Century pieces from Chairish and used Kevin’s awesome art collection to make the space feel fresh.” – Orlando Soria, Los Angeles Creative Director, Homepolish

Rugs USA, Natura Handspun Jute Rug1. Rug

Orlando used a base layer of jute and then a bright aqua rug to create distinction between the floor and the sofa, as they’re a similar shade of brown.

Vendimia Rug, Rugs USA, $542

Chairish, Vintage French Slipper Chair3. Slipper Chair

Choose accent furniture in lighter shades, like this slipper chair from Chairish, a great app and online vintage marketplace.

Vintage French Slipper Chair, Chairish, $450

Home Depot, Areca Palm
5. Palm

Everyone needs something living in their space—it adds a great shot of color, plus it breaks up the room’s edges.

Palm, $150, The Tropic Inc.

Rob Reynolds, “Note To Self: Be Kind, Be Kind, Be Kind.” print
7. Print

Orlando created a gallery wall using art from Kevin’s own collection, including this screen print by Rob Reynolds.

Rob Reynolds, “Note To Self: Be Kind, Be Kind, Be Kind.” print, $100

RH, Petite Kensington Sofa2. Couch

This leather couch is part of RH’s “Small Spaces” collection—it’s made to fit a more petite living area, but still makes a big statement. It’s also really masculine, which makes it ideal for a single (emphasis on single, gentlemen) guy’s apartment.

Petite Kensington Sofa, RH, around $2,595

RH, Mayfair Steamer Trunk Coffee Table4. Coffee Table

This trunk-style coffee table is great for cocktail parties—after all, every great party ends with people kicking off their shoes and sitting on the floor. As an added bonus, the trunk holds plenty of storage.

Mayfair Steamer Trunk Coffee Table, RH, $1,440

Bar Cart, French Crank-Lift Bar Cart6. Bar Cart

You wouldn’t necessarily think of a bar cart as a living room necessity, but this one adds great height and nicely fills a slice of the room that would otherwise go unused.

French Crank-Lift Bar Cart, RH, $1,495

Orlando accessorized the industrial Restoration Hardware bar with colorful accessories, an old-school record player, and a few sets of glassware from Kevin’s travels: “Anything bright, colorful or reflective can help a space feel more light and airy.”

“Make sure you’re not getting all your
furniture and accessories from one store, no
matter how much you like them”

TV Nook

TV Nook

A TV stand doesn’t need to be tech-y in order to get the job done of concealing unsightly cords, modems, and DVD players. The rounded edges are a nice contrast to the sharp angles of the TV, too.

Chairish, Vintage Mid-Century Media Credenza, approximately

Opt for vintage, like this Mid-Century credenza. “It’s a great way to get furniture that is high quality and less expensive,” explains Orlando.

Vintage Mid-Century Media Credenza, Chairish, approximately $800

Home Office

Home Office

Don’t be scared by things that don’t match. “Matching is our enemy because it can make the space feel artificial and overly composed,” Orlando explains.

West Elm, Mid-Century Task Table Lamp
1. Desk Lamp

This bright white Mid-Century-style desk lamp adds necessary contrast and lightness to the dark and imposing desk.

Mid-Century Task Table Lamp, West Elm, $149

RH, Mayfair Steamer Trunk Desk
2. Desk

Kevin added a few old-fashioned, dark leather pieces from RH, which are dotted throughout the room, adding continuity to the space.

Mayfair Steamer Trunk Desk, RH, $1,275

HD Buttercup, OMG Chair
3. Chair

The desk chair brings a pop of color.

OMG Chair, HD Buttercup, $350


Harvey Milk Stamp edition, USPS, $9.80 sheet of 20


4. Framed Stamps

One of Kevin’s heroes, Harvey Milk, holds pride of place on the desk in the form of a strip of commemorative postage stamps.

Harvey Milk Stamp edition, USPS, $9.80 sheet of 20

Dining Room

Dining Room

“Spend on the things you care about, scrimp on what you don’t,” explains Orlando. He sourced a Saarinen-style Tulip table for the dining room, and Kevin fell in love with the marble top (which doubled the price), but he got a deal on the vintage chairs, and the Haring-inspired wall decals were a steal, balancing out the room’s expense.

Blik Keith Haring Wall Tiles
1. Wall Decals

Rather than wallpaper or painting the wall an accent color, Orlando found these Keith Haring wall decals from Blik, which make the whole dining area pop.

Keith Haring Wall Tiles, Blik, $50

Rove Concepts, Eero Saarinen-style Tulip Table
2. Table

When you have an eye for Modern design, but not the budget, sometimes a reproduction piece is the only way to go—there are many top-notch furniture companies like Rove Concepts that make quality pieces at a fraction of the price.

Eero Saarinen-Style Tulip Table, Rove Concepts, $1,295


Chairish, Vintage Abacus Back Chairs
3. Chair

Each room features at least a few vintage items, like these Abacus Back chairs, a steal at $425 for the pair. They add texture and a sense of history to the space.

Vintage Abacus Back Chairs, Chairish, $425

Ben Medansky
4. Vase

Orlando turned us on to Ben Medansky, whose ceramics are stunning. This stark, black piece perfectly complements the pop-y Keith Haring print behind it.

Vase, Ben Medansky, $800



“When a space gets a lot of natural light like Kevin’s does, I like to choose a paint color that is a light hue and allows light to bounce around the room. The living room wall color is a natural ivory, and the bedroom is a super light grey. If a space gets less natural light, I like to paint it a darker, more saturated color so it doesn’t look dead. A common mistake a lot of people make is painting a dark room white in order to make it appear lighter: Normally, this just makes the walls look dingy and the room, depressing.” – Orlando


Never compromise on comfort: DwellStudio’s beds and bedding are known to be pretty luxurious, but when you’re spending 8 hours of your day in there, you should invest.



“Throw blankets and bright pillows are easy to find at more affordable retailers. Don’t waste money buying these at fancy stores,” explains Orlando.

Perfect Throw, West Elm, $29

Tappan Collective, Isaac Zoller Photograph

The large, bright beach photograph from Tappan Collective and the colorful cushions and throws on the bed keep the eyes moving around the room.

Isaac Zoller Photograph, Tappan Collective, starts at $1,200

Chairish Vintage Pair of Mid-Century Modern Night Stands

These Mid-Century night stands in a rich, almost reddish Walnut, add warmth to the otherwise cool blues, greys, and greens in the space.

Vintage Pair of Mid-Century Modern Night Stands, Chairish, $1,450 for pair

RH, Paris Arrondissement Map

The antique looking set of six framed Paris city maps from RH tie in some of that old-world feel from the living room.

Paris Arrondissement Map, RH, $295 each


The mismatched Isamu Noguchi-designed table lamps from the Noguchi Museum’s shop add to the Mid-Century feel—plus, these authentic design treasures come at a pretty great price.

Noguchi, Akari Light Sculptures: XP1, $105; YA2, $145

Zeke Ruelas

Homepolish for donating their services and to RH, Chairish, Dwell Studio,
and Rove Concepts for the furnishings.