Here it is, the transformation of my sister's completely bare LA apartment, done on a shoe string thrift store budget with TONS of DIYs that I broke down for you here and here.
Because of the open floor plan, I really had to decorate three spaces in one, since they all led into each other via these beautiful archways.
Here's the vantage point from the entry, looking through the living room and into the dining room:
And from the dining room looking into the living room and beyond to the entry:
I talked my sister into going with an old-world Parisian apartment vibe in keeping with the classic era of the building. A layered, "more is more" aesthetic piled high with books, art, and gold gilt ... the more ornate and crustier the better.
And it's really the only way this space could have come together in such a tight time frame and without a much more massive budget. Not having to run every selection past my client and having the freedom to collect thrifted and vintage treasures as I found them allowed me to buy things that only a
Another thing: old school European is not exactly my usual design purview, so the biggest challenge I had to constantly work at with this project was balancing enough modern elements with all the old-world design to keep it fresh, not frumpy. I had to continually check myself when I was out shopping to be sure I wasn't going all grandma. Which is not necessarily a bad thing ... my Grandma had miles of style .. but my imaginary friend might notice that the Norman Rockwell framed collector's plates did not make it onto the walsl. What was I thinking?? So yeah, keeping my perspective was a tiny bit tricky when out looking for things I don't normally design with, like big-ass gold Liberace mirrors. Again, having Melanie as an extra set of eyes on things helped immeasurably. At the end of a long installation I can feel pretty cross-eyed and the line between good design and bad design gets a little blurry :)
One of the ways I managed to balance the traditional decor with a more modern vibe was with the wall art, a lot of which was DIY'd.
The sofa, I'm proud to say, is one of my own designs and we're featuring this exact style in my new furniture line being putting together right now (it will be affordable and available online soon, with nationwide shipping!) Sort of a simplified, streamlined version of a classic tufted chesterfield sofa.
The lamp was a long-shot DIY that worked out actually, and it instantly transformed the room! We needed just that sort of dose of weird mid-century Italian modern.
I love it a lot.
And that brings us to the dining area, where the big news is the grisaille wall mural we hung ourselves. It's ahhhhmaaaaaaazing ...
The opposite side of the room got a floor-to-ceiling gallery wall with wide mats because I love that look. We also made a fabric-covered screen for more visual interest and to hide the wall heater in the corner.
And that's pretty much what happened around here over the course of the past 6 weeks! (Oh yeah, plus my usual load of client projects. That too.)
Plus this, just for kicks, since we had a legit photographer onsite and all!
(Thank you thank you thank to my Marc, not only for taking ridiculously beautiful photos, but also for always having a warm meal on the table the nights I stumble in all worn out from working late.)
It's been an eventful few days and I'm about to fall asleep on my keyboard, so I'm signing off, but I promise I'll be back with more behind-the-scenes details and a run-down of all the DIY projects and refurbished vintage stuff we used here.
Big huge thanks to Linda from Calling It Home for conceiving of the One Room Challenge and bringing us all together in such a fabulous way. This was my first time participating and I've loved seeing what came out of it, both in my own work and from all the other uber-talented participants! Loved it so much that I hope to find myself among the 20 core designers next time around. Just sayin'. Count me in :)
Everything is from thrift stores, Craigslist, and Ebay except:
Anthropologie wall mural
Z Gallerie wings sculpture
Pier 1 foo dog lamp (cleared out online but still in some stores)
Rosa Beltran Design sofa and pillows
Ikea Aina curtains
Ikea Songe tall entry mirror (spray painted gold)
Ikea Klubbo coffee table, discontinued (base spray painted gold)
Arron Brothers gallery wall frames
Target brass sea urchin (spray painted gold)