I have been looking forward to sharing this project for so long. A lot of you know I've been doing freelance work in so many different areas over the last couple of years (photography, writing, styling... and of course the magazine.) I've mostly been taking work wherever I can find it, but recently I decided I really want to focus in more on just styling. I've always known I would have to choose at some point, so the time has come, and here we are! I love styling props, interiors and events the most, so I'm in the process of growing my portfolio right now.
My decision to focus on styling couldn't have come at a better time, because right around the same time, my friend Michelle asked me to design her new house! I met Michelle 4 years ago during my first summer in LA when I was interning for the amazing Taye Hansberry. I remember walking into the room, seeing Michelle and just knowing we would end up being friends. We did (haha), and since then I have also worked for Michelle on and off, taking photos, creating blog posts, etc. etc. We can't seem to stay away from each other :)
Michelle and I have really similar styles (and many people have even claimed we are the same person), so when she asked me to work on her house, I was v excited. This is a dream project for me and I said YES ABSOLUTELY right away!
Michelle just moved into a new place in West Hollywood and it has some amazing features but it is "outdated," to put it a nice way. It has perfect wood floors and lots of natural light but it also has green fringe on all of the kitchen cabinets (LOL) and a couple of actual holes in the walls. We are so excited to renovate everything and give it a fresh look!
We want to go for something that has sort of a minimal, clean feel, but with a few more pops of color, lots of plants and of course -- it needs to be ultra Instagrammable. My biggest inspirations for this project so far have been Elsie Larson and Sarah Sherman Samuel. Both of their styles capture exactly the feel we're going for so we've been searching through their work quite a bit! You can see all of our inspiration (and sources for the pics below) on our shared Pinterest board here.
We are going to be vlogging/blogging the entire process from start to finish (See Michelle's blog post here!), so I now present to you Vlog #1! Here is a "before tour" of Michelle's house:
Here are some before pictures and more details about what we plan to do!
KITCHEN/DINING ROOM PLANS: The kitchen is the room I'm the most excited about! We still need to confirm that we will be able to take out the inside wall (on the left in the picture)... if we can, we'll replace that with an island and it will open up into the dining room (just call me Joanna Gaines). Either way, we plan on having all white cabinets and open shelving on the top. Depending on the wall/dining room situation, we also love the idea of a little kitchen nook in the corner by the window. We're planning on a white marble backsplash and terrazzo floor (thanks to SSS for that idea) and lots of plants!
LIVING ROOM PLANS: Michelle's house is basically one, long unit so one of the biggest challenges design-wise so far has been figuring out how to use the space well. The living room is so nice and open, so I debated so many different arrangements for the furniture for a while before settling on exactly the same set up she has now :) I want to hang the TV on the wall and add a really cool, big mid-century-modern media console below it, update the couch and add in some colorful accent chairs (we are both suckers for blush velvet).
FIREPLACE PLANS: So this wall is one that we hope to partially remove if HOA allows, but we both agreed that the fireplace would be worthwhile to save and update. There are so many great ways to make a fireplace cute (also considering a wood-burning stove!) but I'm leaning towards covering it with brick (maybe faux brick) or re-doing the tile. I want to leave space for little decorative items above it for sure -- I love the round mirror above look.
OFFICE PLANS: One thing Michelle has been saying is that right now she has papers and things just floating around her desk and she wants something that allows for more easy organization. She also knows she's pretty affected by her environment when it comes to productivity, so we want to make this a really feel-good spot. One part I'm excited about is hopefully getting a custom-made neon sign that says "take aim."
BEDROOM / CLOSET PLANS: Michelle's closet is a bit of a DREAM already because of what's in it. If you're not a blogger yourself you're probably already drooling over all the amazing space (oh, and all the amazing Gucci bags). Since this is obviously the room she needs most for her job, she's spent a good amount of time organizing it all, but we still have plans to make it a little more personal. We want to add a cowhide rug (faux of course), an accent chair and a floor lamp to make a little seating area. We'll probably leave a few copies of Vogue (or hey, the Crea mag!) in there for some daily inspiration. As for the bed, we already love the look of it over all too. We're going to add a bed frame (haha), a nightstand and a wall sconce. We're planning to refresh the bedding but stick to the same white and cream color combo; and my dream is to add in a wooden wall divider like this one to separate it from the closet area. Hopefully we can make it all fit!
BATHROOM PLANS: There are two bathrooms in Michelle's house, and we plan to re-do both of them, but it's this main master bath that needs the most work of the entire house. It has potential to be an amaaaazing bathroom because there is a lot of natural light and it's very spacious. Depending again on what walls we can remove, we're hoping to have space for a standing tub (necessary for all bloggers) and lots of storage space! I love the round mirrors trend right now, so we'll probably incorporate that. We want lots of plants in here too!
BALCONY PLANS: Last but not least is the balcony! Currently the balcony is covered in rotting turf so we're prooobably going to remove that ;) We really want the balcony to be the perfect spot for a relaxing evening. Planning to add string lights, natural chairs, and lots of plants.