Designer’s Storied Study in ‘Unstyled’ Décor

A tour of Interior Designer Wendy Haworth’s boho chic rental at first seems to be a study in home décor styling. But the longer you look around, the more you realize it’s a grand, leisurely symphony in how to collect the things you love and live alongside them “unstyled” in comfort and grace.

The designer moved from New York to LA 12 years ago, and has been filling this apartment with finds for eight. She says she was drawn to the 1920s apartment building in West Hollywood for its 11.5-feet-high ceilings and historical details. She adds that one of the keener historical details is that Marilyn Monroe once lived there. The building has only six apartments, and some stories suggest the said unit was Haworth’s very own, though it’s not certain.

Living large @bohosusan
One Kings Lane

The roomy 300-square-foot living room is bigger than some of the NYC apartments Haworth says she lived in. And by the looks of it, she moved west just in time. Who would want to give up or, heaven forbid, pass over some of the unique objects here, sourced everywhere from Parisian flea markets to Maine antique shops?

 “I don’t really ‘decorate’ so much as collect—or acquire—then arrange,” she says. “I tend to buy stuff I love, then play around with it until it works. But if it’s a large piece, I measure it, then tape it out on the floor before I commit.”

The result is an inspired boho mix of global, midcentury and glam that Norma Jean (aka Marilyn), who was a little boho herself, would be comfortable surrounded by. @bohosusan
One Kings Lane

Books in the entryway are shelved in a mostly horizontal orientation, which makes for a great display base, and grouped by subject matter. Haworth’s favorite item on this shelf? The portrait her grandfather painted of her as a child (middle left). The gorgeous Samarkand rug adds to the richness of the arrangement. @bohosusan
One Kings Lane

Built-ins that flank doors leading to a balcony are another example of the historical detail that drew Haworth to the apartment. “I love little niches and nooks,” she says.

Notice how packed the shelves are—like a real readers’ shelves would be—with photos and keepsakes in front. The glass-and-chrome display table shows off favorite pottery, with some stacked on books to elevate the look. Very boho, very chic! @bohosusan
One Kings Lane

The display gathered on top of and above the burled wood credenza in Haworth’s living room is a microcosm of interests and loves. Yes, she uses that record player to listen to “70s rock, Nina Simone and jazz” on vinyl. She also loves opera and takes along a pair of late-1800s opera glasses from her collection to see the show better and to people-watch.

“I tell clients: Everything in your house doesn’t have to be precious. You don’t have to agonize over every detail. You’ll drive yourself crazy if you do.” That said, she admits to arranging artwork on the floor to get the placement right before hanging. In this vignette, which includes more work by her grandfather, the art adds definition. @bohosusan
One Kings Lane

Also in the living room is a midcentury chair tucked into a mod, lacquered-wood desk. A bold Russian abstract painting hangs overhead. “The desk and the chair work together because though they contrast in textures and materials—light and dark, rough and smooth—their shapes and sizes are quite proportional,” she says.

Mixing it up in the bedroom @bohosusan
One Kings Lane

The vanity mirror on a bedroom dresser came from a Palm Springs antiques mall, while baubles and perfume bottles lend a glam girly vibe. “I have a ridiculous amount of jewelry,” Haworth admits. (Me too!!) “Usually only my current favorites are out, and everything else is in a huge jewelry box.” Corraling items in trays and glass display cases shows off “pretty” while also making items easy to access. @bohosusan
One Kings Lane
I like how Haworth has displayed some of her more unique wardrobe items on the bifold doors—a lovely kimono, a sleek leather jacket, an embroidered kaftan, and two very different purses, which altogether add both color and texture.

What time is dinnertime on Mars? @bohosusan
One Kings Lane

How ’bout that bit of fun she has with clocks and blackboard paint in her kitchen?! The vintage range is killer cool, and check out the pottery vase used to hold utensils AND prop up an oil painting—a boho gal after my own heart! @bohosusan
One Kings Lane

“Because I’m renting, I couldn’t do major renovations, so I did little fixes,” Haworth explains. “I changed out kitchen hardware, built shoe shelves, had window treatments made, and painted a few walls (that I’ll have to paint white when I move out).”

One of those walls was in her dining room, where the gray paint and niched architecture add extra dimension to the pair of Todd Williamson paintings. “I love Gerhard Richter, and these are really reminiscent of his work,” she says. The bookshelf below shows off even more of Haworth’s pottery collection. The arrangement works so well together because of the variety of shapes and sizes that share similar color families.

Methinks the window treatment in this room looks like a beachmat corraled by a pair of fancy curtain tiebacks—an uber cool idea!

Want more?

Continue your tour of Haworth’s home and shop the look at One Kings Lane, view more of Haworth’s client work on her website, and follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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