Hi LDV Readers!!! It’s Vanessa Stern from Vanessa & Valentine and I’m so excited to share with you my favorite room! When I found out in January that I was pregnant with my 2nd child (a girl!), we (my husband, 13 month old son at the time, and I) were living in an 1100 sq. ft. 1 bedroom condo in Brentwood (a neighborhood in West Los Angeles). I immediately started panicking that there was no way I was bringing a 4th person into the space that my husband and I were living in before we were married. I set out to find us a new home in the same neighborhood and had always loved walking down the street Gretna Green Way, a few blocks over. As my luck would have it, there was an opening for a large 2bd 2ba + a den and wet bar in a building I loved that I knew was meant for us! What sold me the most was the vision of making the den/wet bar into my dream office! After months of measuring, sourcing, and planning, this is the final result and I couldn’t be happier!
On one side of the room is the sitting area where I read and hang out with my guests who enjoy cocktails when they come over. I wanted to stick with a mostly black and white palette so I could easily change the colors and accessories throughout the seasons. The walls were already painted Behr’s Gobi Desert, which I wasn’t crazy about, but decided it wasn’t worth my time changing it, so it stayed as is. I first started with 2 large white Billy Bookcases from Ikea since I knew I needed extra storage and wanted to balance the shelving with the built in bookcase already on the other side of the room. I envisioned a seating area for at least 4 people and found the Nate Berkus Studio Sofa in Black Linen the perfect solution to fit between the bookcases. I bought an ottoman to act as a coffee table and place to kick up my feet at a Home Goods in La Quinta (near Palm Springs) in the clearance aisle for $40!!! It had hideous fabric on it and and the legs were ugly, so I hired my Furniture Upholsterer, my Mom, to recover it and paint the legs glossy black. We found black and cream Waverly fabric on discount at a Jo Ann Fabric also in La Quinta and made a semi-custom piece for the space. We also found the bold graphic print silk fabric in a $6 bin at the same Jo Ann and recovered some old pillows I had for the black linen sofa.
I scored this small scale Queen Anne style chair at a second hand store in Century City on Santa Monica Blvd for $50. It had a terrible looking slip cover on it and when I pulled it up, I uncovered a pristine white cotton canvas fabric underneath in perfect condition! After many Febreezes and sitting in the bright sun, I brought it into the office and fell in love with how well it fits in the space! The black and white striped rug was another score on that same trip to Home Goods in the desert and it was a only $25 for a 5′ x 8′!!!
My bookcases are styled with old editions of my beloved Domino and fashion books as well as a framed postcard of Mrs. Robinson from my favorite movie "The Graduate." I also keep fabric swatches and paint chips organized here in a woven basket, as well as old yearbooks, wedding photos, and wedding albums. I bought a ton of white storage boxes from Ikea to keep unsightly things concealed and saved my Tory Burch shoe boxes for their stylish design to store old love letters from my husband, thank you notes from friends, and birthday cards. I collect matches from my travels and have them displayed in a clear hurricane vase.
The little black Vincent Sheppard Loom Chair on the left I picked up from my days working as a Project Manager at Janus et Cie. When damaged merchandise was returned we had access to buy pieces at a very deep discount. I picked up 3 different styles for $5 each and spray painted them all glossy black. The chair retailed at some ridiculously high price of $700 and it’s gone with me everywhere I’ve moved. The floor lamp is another cheap Ikea purchase and the art work I made years ago from saving old issues of W. I just love the halcyon days of Studio 54 and adore the black and white images of Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, and the Playboy Bunnies circa 1977. The other pic is Elke Sommer painting in her studio designed by architect Paul Williams that I’ve kept since my early 20s.
I moved my desk a million times before deciding I liked it this way best. The desk itself is an old writing desk that I swapped with my Mom. It was a dark wood before I got my hands on it, and now it’s painted black and trimmed out in gold paint. It looks really stunning and glamorous now!!! The little faux bamboo ottoman I picked up for $40 (and bought a pair) at Hotel Surplus in Van Nuys and had my Mom recover them in leopard, my favorite print. I’m sure you recognize the infamous Expedit from Ikea, which I think is one of the best designed pieces for organization!!! By far my favorite item in this area is the framed pic in the left corner of Mick and Bianca Jagger circa the Studio 54 days!
On top of my desk I use this little chevron tray from Z Gallerie to organize things neatly. I recently found this Iomoi iPhone Case I had been wanting on sale at Nordstrom! The only thing it’s missing is my monogram, but it was half the price and I love the design, so I bought it! I pick up fresh flowers every Sunday at the Brentwood Farmer’s Market which is just steps away from my front door. I love having fresh flowers in pretty vases throughout the house for the week.
Above the Expedit is my inspiration board. The antique mirror candle holders were a wedding gift from a friend who purchased them at Pottery Barn. I burn Target’s Tahitian Vanilla votives year round. I ordered a copy of "The Perfectly Imperfect Home" by Deborah Needleman from Amazon and used it as a great resource and inspiration guide while decorating my office. I highly recommend that if you don’t own this book, buy it for your collection! It’s so charming!!! The mirrored lamp I found in the clearance aisle at Bed, Bath, and Beyond years ago and it’s been a favorite of mine ever since!
I use a monogrammed mug from Anthropology to hold my markers and an antique piece of china that is part of a collection given to me by my Grandparent’s to hold my business cards. Check out the Greek Key candle I scored at Home Goods! When the wicks burn out, I’m going to use it to store my keys or sunglasses.
I had to share with you my inspiration board. My next project is going to be the nursery and I am super excited to get started! Since my little boy Barron will be sharing a room with his sissy (for the time being) I am going to use the bedding I used for him in the aqua houndstooth and aqua stripe but give it a twist by adding coral to the palette! The walls will be painted Behr’s Dolphin Fin to keep it neutral and I found the most adorable coral flamingo fabric at F&S on Pico that I am recovering an ottoman in and making small crib pillows with. All the furniture will be white with a few accents of black and white thrown in the mix. Stay tuned!
In case you missed it, check out my post here on Chic Black Tote Bags. I recently purchased this East West Tote from Tory Burch and absolutely love how much it holds! It’s my new work bag and keeps me super organized. When I come home from a long day at work, I plop my things down here and sit down at my computer, with the iTunes bumping, and little Barron jumping all over the furniture dancing around while I send out a few more emails. We love to spend time in my office and once I have this baby, the wet bar located to the left of my desk, will be open for business!!!
Thanks Paloma for including me in this series and see you all next time!!!
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