When interior designer Lauren Wills’ significant other moved out of their shared apartment mid-lease, her rent instantly doubled. But because she loved the sunny, loft-like space on the top floor of an older multi-unit building, she decided to stay and make it work.
That meant embarking on a redecorating juggernaut. “It was extremely freeing to start anew and turn the apartment into a home for myself and also into what I hoped would be a showcase for what I do,” Wills said.
The high-ceilinged one-bedroom has a loft above the kitchen, which serves as headquarters for Wills Design Associates. Wills set up the company three years ago, after graduating from Pratt Institute and working for Ralph Lauren Home and two top Manhattan designers.
“I’m a huge fan of color,” said Wills, who was inspired by the exuberant visuals of Wes Anderson films like The Royal Tennenbaums and The Grand Budapest Hotel. She painted the bedroom salmon pink and the office aqua. The living room remains white, with a bright rug.
Since money was an issue, any new purchases came from sources like IKEA, Wayfair and Target. “Friends helped me paint, and I changed out a few light fixtures,” the designer said. Much of the process was about editing down and letting go of stuff she had accumulated over the years. “That was the hardest part.”
The large living room benefits from an abundance of sunlight through south- and west-facing windows, as well as a wood-burning fireplace.
Wills has owned the IKEA sofa for years (the model is discontinued). The rug came from Wayfair.com, the bar cart from Target.
In the corner that serves as a dining area, Wills placed a small table from IKEA and a pair of chairs from Wayfair.
The white dresser, a freebie from an acquaintance, fits perfectly in a corner of the living room.
Wills painted a long-owned bed from IKEA brilliant yellow. “I just decided it to paint it one day,” she said. She found the ottoman on Wayfair.
The very basic kitchen was existing, including the breakfast bar. Wills removed the cabinet doors for easy access and hung a pendant light from Pottery Barn Kids.
The aqua home office is fitted out wall-to-wall with a desk and shelving components from IKEA.
The interior of the skylight is painted what Wills calls “bubble gum pink.”
Wills painted the bathroom walls herself with a mural inspired by wallpaper from the pricey French company de Gournay, and replaced the mirror and light fixture.
[Photos by Jeff Anzulewicz]
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