Sisters Hollister and Porter Hovey live i to cooperate. They run the company – Hovey Design – which sets up homes for real estate. (Basically, they take apartments with shiny bones and redecorate them to look their best.) Here the sisters discover before and after the Soho apartment …
Balance the proportions of the furniture. Most city apartments have rectangular living rooms, so parts can visually feel unbalanced. Instead, consider a sofa and a few comfortable chairs. It’s also a good conversation setting when you have people.
Hang art lower in the living rooms. The artwork should be about eight inches above your sofa so you can see it as you sit. You don’t want to lift your neck to see art – it makes you feel uncomfortable. (You can hang things on a higher level for the hallway, because it’s more like walking through an art gallery.) Also, we went here with great works of art, because we had much bigger furniture. If we had become smaller, art would not have felt so influential.
Try to make your own art. We deal with the art of “do it yourself” and demystify. You can even simply paint the canvas in a solid color and hang it on your sofa and it will look cool.
Mix materials. The kitchen has an industrial feel, so we added ceramic lighting to make it feel softer and more organic. It’s great to contrast between soft and hard lines. Etsy is such a good source for lighting – we especially love the store baradaXceramics.
Lean into the drama! This apartment is super dramatic with huge windows, so this space yearned for a bigger table. We went with Noguchi ball lamp create more drama. Adding art brought color and made a big difference. We also got rid of shelves that were too high.
Go for neutral furniture. If the furniture is super neutral and classic, then you can always change things by replacing artwork or a flower vase.
Change the shapes. Here are square chairs and a rectangular table and a rectangular mirror that contrasts with the large ball.
Do not neglect the hallway. People often neglect the hallways, but it’s a great opportunity for a fun experience. Whenever you have a hallway, if it’s wide enough, go for a skinny table and artwork.
Consider painting the walls. Another tip – though we haven’t done it here – is to paint the hallway a dramatic dark color. It will hide scratches, and the dark moody hallway makes entering a brighter room like a breath of fresh air. They do it in hotels and it’s a nice experience.
Turn off the handles. If you are moving into a home that has a lot of different colors of metal, change all the handles to black. Here, by turning off the awkward handles, it felt cohesive. Black is a good neutralizer.
Let the light pour in. In the previous photo, the curtains cut off half the window. But even if you had curtains from ceiling to floor, they will still be stuck in the wall. For these windows we would go with the shade.
Consider a workhorse mirror. We use a round Umbra mirror everything time. It is great and affordable, especially because of its size.
Squeeze into the corner table, if you can. These days many work from home, so we’ve added a desk. (In our stage projects, people used to look for cribs, and now they want home offices.) Also, it’s so funny how adding more furniture makes the place look bigger – it’s counterintuitive!
Thank you very much, Hollister and Porter!!
(Photos by Hovey Design; list of Tracie Golding.)