Sisters Hollister and Porter Hovey live And We work together. They run a company – Hove Design – To place homes for the property. (Basically, they take apartments with great bones and remodel to look their best.) Here, the sisters reveal the before and after an apartment in Soho …
Balance the proportions of the furniture. Most city apartments have rectangular living rooms, so you may feel that the partitions are visually unbalanced. Instead, think a sofa and a couple of comfy chairs. This is also a good conversation setting when you have more people.
Hang basement art in living rooms. The artwork should be about eight inches above the sofa so you can see it while you are seated. You don’t want to raise your neck to see art – it gives you a feeling of discomfort. (For a hallway, you can hang things up a notch because it’s more like walking through an art gallery.) Also, we’ve gotten quite big with the artwork here, since we have a lot of bigger furniture. If we were younger, art wouldn’t feel influential.
Try to create your own art. We’re big on DIY and demystifying art. You can also paint a solid color fabric and hang it on the sofa and it will look cool.
Mix materials. The kitchen has an industrial feel, so we added ceramic lighting to make it softer and more organic. The contrast between smooth and hard lines is great. Etsy is a good source of lighting – we especially like the store Barberry.
Tend to be drama! This apartment is very cool with huge windows, so this space was craving a bigger table. We also went with Noguchi ball lamp To create more drama. The addition of art brought color and made a huge difference. We also got rid of shelves that were too tall.
Choose neutral furniture. If the furniture is neutral and too classic, you can always change things up by swapping out artwork or a flower pot.
Switch shapes. Here, you have square chairs, a rectangular table, and a rectangular mirror that contrast nicely with the large hanging ball.
Don’t ignore the hallway. People often neglect the aisles, but it’s a great opportunity for a fun experience. Anytime you have a hallway, if it’s wide enough, go for a slim table and artwork.
Consider painting the walls. Another tip – although we haven’t done that here – is to paint the entryway a dramatic dark color. The watercress will hide, and the dark moody hallway will make walking into the brighter room like a breath of fresh air. They do this in hotels and it is a great experience.
Close the door handles. If you are moving into a home with many different colors of metal, change all door handles to black. Here, swapping out the heavy duty door handles made it feel snappy. Black is a good neutral agent.
Let the light flow. In the previous photo, the curtains cut out half of the window. But even if you have floor-to-ceiling curtains, they’ll still be stuck to the wall. For these windows we go with shade.
Consider the spine mirror. We use the round Ambra’s mirror All Time. It’s cool and affordable, especially for its size.
Click on a corner desk, if you can. These days, a lot of people work from home, so we added an office. (In our staging projects, people used to order nurseries and now they want home offices.) It’s also funny how adding more furniture makes the space look bigger – it just doesn’t make any sense!
thank you very much, Hollister and Porter!
(Photos by Hovey Design; List of Tracy Goulding.)