When associate designer for M. Design Interiors Kate Schintzius moved into this West Hollywood apartment, she was after a “Palm Beach in the ’70s” vibe. The apartment building is a Streamline Moderne Art Deco style, so it features great period details like crown moldings, curved walls and a porthole-style peephole. But Kate is a typical designer in that, by the time she’s finished with one space, she’s already itching to make changes! While she loves the Palm Beach look, she is currently toying with the idea of taking the apartment in a more masculine direction, a ’70s James Bond sort of feel — dark, dusky and moody! Would love to see what she does with that! Thanks Kate and thanks to Molly for the tip! All images by Justin Officer. — Amy A.
My thing is vintage, thrift, eBay and Craigslist shopping. I have a hard time buying new or paying retail, because I know if I keep my eyes open, I’ll find what I want at the right price and it will be much more well-built, unusual and fabulous than anything made today. Pretty much everything I have was a family piece or a good deal, with the exception of a few splurges.
Image above: This is the second dining room I’ve had that I’ve painted this high-gloss, navy blue color by Fine Paints of Europe. It’s dark and sexy but fresh at the same time. The credenza is really clever — the frame around the doors pulls out, bringing an expanding accordion support layer with it, so it becomes a pull-out table that seats two to ten people, depending on how many leaves you add (which are stored inside). My everyday table is a ’70s brass and rattan-wrapped base with a round glass-top that seats four, surrounded by those vintage S-shaped brass chairs, which are upholstered in navy blue Ultrasuede that was from the bargain bin at the fabric store. You can spill anything on it and it wipes off with a wet sponge like magic. There are also four étagère (open-sided) bookcases in this room, so the room pulls double duty as a library.
Image above: Design, architecture, fashion and art books are my bag — I have a ton of them, so I used a stack of them here as a side table. My favorites are on vintage design and ’70s Southern California surf and skateboarding culture. Even lifestyle or biographical books include photos of people in some kind of room, so you can scope out the interiors of the era. I got these chairs for around $35 for the pair at a thrift store, and the fabric on the cushions is a vintage deep-green jungle print.
Image above: This is the original 1930s kitchen, and while that might be a bummer to some people, I prefer the original tile with red accent liner tiles, chrome trim and wood cabinetry to today’s cookie-cutter and flimsy builder’s special materials. The kitchen is a nice, clean, classic slate, so I pimped it out with a mod fabric on the roman shade that to me looks like gas flames, so it’s a pretty literal reference to cooking. The palette in here also gives me an excuse to collect that great Le Creuset enameled cookware in the original orange (and red and taxicab yellow!). Tip: Get on the mailing list for their coupons and shop the outlet!
Image above: Several things in this photo came with the apartment. The tree was hand painted and is inspired by a mural by French fashion designer Paul Poiret. The style of the mural is a nice counterpoint to the clean lines of the mid-century sofa. I found the lamps in Palm Springs, which were a major score — they are possibly by genius ’70s furniture designer and photographer Willy Rizzo. The coffee tables open up to reveal bars with built-in ice buckets! Sadly, the lamps do not contain storage for airplane booze bottles.
CLICK HERE for the rest of Kate’s sneak peek after the jump!
Image above: The bathroom is original as well, and to compliment the yellow tile, I brought in the light touches of avocado green. It may sound awful, but it works. I inherited the “necklace wall” from Molly. It’s a great form-meets-function moment — it’s decorative, and it lets you see what you have, better than an angry tangle of necklaces in the bottom of the jewelry box. I installed Art Deco-style towel bars and even though I rent, I replaced the el cheapo plastic-handled faucet with a nicer, vintage-inspired one, and the expense was totally worth it — it’s more like a nice home and less like a roadside motel.
Image above: My collection of needlepoint and Bargello pillows makes me happy — they bring in unusual color combos and graphic pattern, and are a nod to the good old days when even traditional design included crazy elements of pop-art. I found most of these on eBay or flea markets (they go right to the dry cleaners first). I try to slip one in to every room and every shot, it’s kind of my signature.
Image above: This is my master bedroom, which I wanted to have a rock-n-roll vibe. In another corner of this room is my black drum set, which works in harmony with (I couldn’t resist the music metaphor) the black-lacquered side tables. When I got those, they were “granny” — cream with gold trim, that 1950s/early ’60s French style, but now they rock. The upholstered headboard is covered in a re-issued fabric by Marimekko. This pattern has a giant repeat, which necessitated the piece’s height, and I railroaded the fabric (which means [arranging] it horizontally rather than the more typical vertical orientation). I had the upholsterer quilt the line where the black meets the white, so the design has extra dimension. The lamps were from eBay, but the seller was in my hometown (small world!). The bedding is from Leontine Linens, out of New Orleans (shout-out to where I went to college), and illustrates that I will monogram anything that isn’t moving.
Image above: The dirty little secret of my living room is that my TV actually sits on the far end of this room, in front of the windows, where the pair of caned chairs are in the picture. The way I like to watch TV is in a position that I call the “sofa luge,” where you lay down and the TV is past your feet, like you’re riding a luge sled. The faux Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chrome X-base coffee table is a family hand-me-down.
Image above: I inherited the malachite-patterned wallpaper in the hallway with the apartment and I love it so much. The living rooms in the houses I grew up in were always painted dark green, and one totally chic version was faux-painted malachite, so it’s a bizarre but cool coincidence. The chair that you see in the background is a family piece, it’s by Kittinger, a classic furniture company out of my hometown of Buffalo, and according to their website, their chairs in this style are all over the White House and are used at presidential inaugurations. Isn’t that fancy?! It’s one of the most traditional pieces I have, but it has a cool story and is a classic, and it makes a great platform for a fabric — it’s a nice, uninterrupted plane. I need to get something really nutty on there soon! Hanging from the entry ceiling is a brass lantern I got on eBay that might actually be an outdoor fixture, but who’s checking?
Image above: The room with the daybed is my guest room/office (but my laptop now seems to permanently live on my dining room table). I started in here with the fabric for the bedding, and thought, “why not punch up the safe light blue with hot orange?” So I did the chair-rail and picture frame molding in glossy orange, making it really stand out from the chalky light blue walls and ceiling. Prior to this, when the room was all white, I honestly didn’t even notice that the room had all that detail, which was a shame. The tall side table was in my room when I was a baby; it was white with yellow trim, and what a transformation the teal blue lacquer and brass pyramid knob make! The lamp was my mom’s, and the hand-painted bird pillow is by fellow Buffalonian John Robshaw. This room came together slowly over the last four years — the bed and paint were around at the outset, the chair was added about two years ago and the two blue tables, lamp and photograph are the most recent additions. I wish I could say it always looks like this, but it’s sort of the catchall overflow room.
Image above: I bought 1972 Kris Kristofferson album (on the right) at a thrift store in Palm Springs, just for the cover. I don’t even have a record player, I just loved how the photo on it totally encapsulates the Allman Brothers-esque, shaggy style of the ’70s. This is a narrow wall near my entry, and I had just gotten the demi-lune table refinished in a weathered gray, so I hung a gallery wall of various art and photos above the table and did a tablescape of stuff that related to the album cover vibe. My aviators were just sitting there and they worked so they made it into the shot. Can you tell I wish I was around and hanging out in the ’70s?
Image above: This tall, shallow table has worked in every entry area I’ve had since college. My dad built it out of very heavy, thick oak planks he salvaged from a 1903 industrial plant that was being torn down in Syracuse, NY. The table skirt hides perfect storage for stacks of magazines. I splurged on the fabric for the skirt, a Brunschwig & Fils authorized adaptation of a cotton fragment hand-painted in India in the 1700s from the Winterthur Textile Study Collection. I love the giant birds and man-eating flowers! And imagine what life was like in 1700s India — there probably were giant birds and man-eating flowers, yet someone was designing over-scaled, highly decorative fabric designs. Isn’t that cool?!