September 29, 2015

{INTERIORS} Our Los Angeles Home Makeover

The most exciting thing about moving into our new townhouse in Los Angeles, besides the promise of better weather and closer proximity to my amazing family, was having the opportunity for Ali and I to decorate a space together. Though we've been living together for over two years, when Ali moved into my apartment in Brooklyn, the space was definitely, unequivocally mine. Ali had very few personal items other than clothes that she added to the space, and though it was equally ours, it never totally felt like it. Starting from scratch in LA gave us the chance to equally contribute to our decorating plans, picking out pieces together that would shape this new chapter in our lives. 

Shortly after moving, my friends at Target reached out with an incredibly generous offer to help us design and outfit our new home - all under the guidance of home decorating genius and incredible spirit Emily Henderson and her super talented, super patient team, (to say we were distracted with wedding planning, honemooning, and moving our things across country would be an enormous understatement). I knew instantly when Ali and I met Emily for the first time that she completely got us, our lifestyle, and our goals for our new home. We wanted to create a space that was warm, inviting, reflected our personalities (and my love of pink and Ali's love of my love for pink), and that also allowed us to evolve as we welcome life changes. We wanted a space that was sophisticated and pulled together, but still had the whimsy and playful energy that we seek in our everyday lives. In a short amount of time, Emily and her team were able to transform our mostly-blank-canvas into a gorgeous space that really feels like our home

Before Emily and her team came in, we only had our couch (a custom mega-splurge from Cococo Home), our brass coffee table (a wedding gift from my grandparents), and a lone fiddle leaf fig tree. It was basically a big empty space - one that felt empty, cold, and had a world of untapped potential. 

Because we had this space virtually empty for so long, I was so nervous that we'd lose the open, airy feel of the room once we started bringing furniture into the space. The last thing I wanted was to make this large, bright space feel claustrophobic and small - and yet even though we brought in a lot of furniture, the space still manages to feel incredibly open. Emily taught me lots of fun (and easy) tricks for maintaining an open, airy feel: though I had purchased bold, graphic black & white vertical striped curtains, Emily encouraged me to stick with subdued, white panels. The result? We got the luxurious, lengthening effect of curtains while maximizing on the potential to allow natural light in. Another amazing trick? Floating furniture! We found the super versatile cabinets that would become our media console at IKEA -- and with some added hardware (a vintage find by Emily's team), and wall-mounting the units, we created a luxe looking piece with breathing room underneath. The solid grey-green rug, courtesy of Lulu & Georgia, also helped the floor space feel expansive while tying in the sage tones of the upholstered chairs and the graphic wallpaper. 

I love, love cooking, entertaining, and finding an excuse to throw an elaborate dinner party, and so I was really excited about having a dining space that would accommodate that. Emily's team sourced a vintage, oval dining table that they had professional lacquered to a modern, sophisticated white finish - which was the perfect contrast to the black dining chairs and black bar stools we had picked out for the breakfast counter. 

I had also included the Jonathan Adler Sputnik chandelier on my very first mood boards I created for my home, and it was absolutely one of the defining bucket-list pieces that I hoped to have in our home. When Emily told me that Lamps Plus was supplying the fixture, I was beyond ecstatic (I'm actually pretty sure I cried). Both Ali and I (yes, really, both of us), also really wanted to have a pink wall somewhere in the space - to pick up on the pink accents in our kitchen (we lucked out with lots of pink Le Creuset and CuisinArt). 

The gallery wall over the dining table is also not something I would have thought of myself. I loved the idea of having a gallery wall in general, but without Emily's guidance, I would have thought additional artwork would compete with the gorgeous chandelier. However, because the artwork all tied in with the wall color (Pirouette from Target), it had amazing harmony. Plus, like Emily kept repeating to me throughout the decorating and styling process, "pretty always goes with pretty," touche! 

Make sure to check out Emily's blog for more home style how-to's, and grab a copy of her brand new book, coming out in just two weeks! I got a chance to take a sneak peek inside the pages of Styled and it is equal parts major eye-candy and innovative decorating tips! 

Thank you SO much to Target for providing home furnishings and Emily Henderson's design services!!! Special thanks to Annie, Sonya, Emily, Brady, Ginny, Sara, Brian, Chandler, and the Target team for making this experience so special!

Thank you to Zeke Ruelas for the photos of the space and Jessica Isaac for the portraits.


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