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
“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
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.
Choose accent furniture in lighter shades, like this slipper chair from Chairish, a great app and online vintage marketplace.
Everyone needs something living in their space—it adds a great shot of color, plus it breaks up the room’s edges.
Orlando created a gallery wall using art from Kevin’s own collection, including this screen print by Rob Reynolds.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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.
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.
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.
1. Desk Lamp
This bright white Mid-Century-style desk lamp adds necessary contrast and lightness to the dark and imposing desk.
The desk chair brings a pop of color.
One of Kevin’s heroes, Harvey Milk, holds pride of place on the desk in the form of a strip of commemorative postage stamps.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
3 & 4. BLANKETS & PILLOWS
“Throw blankets and bright pillows are easy to find at more affordable retailers. Don’t waste money buying these at fancy stores,” explains Orlando.
The large, bright beach photograph from Tappan Collective and the colorful cushions and throws on the bed keep the eyes moving around the room.
6. BEDSIDE TABLE
These Mid-Century night stands in a rich, almost reddish Walnut, add warmth to the otherwise cool blues, greys, and greens in the space.
The antique looking set of six framed Paris city maps from RH tie in some of that old-world feel from the living room.