Fashion designer Whitney Port is a pro when it comes to creating eye-catching clothing, but she’s strictly an amateur when it comes to home decor. So, when she decided to give the screening room a facelift in the Venice, Calif., townhouse she shares with husband Tim Rosenman, turned to interior design firm Homepolish.
“My vibe before was really feminine with bright colors,” says Port, who runs the successful clothing line Whitney Eve. “I had a bright blue couch with pastel pillows. Now with the mix of living with a guy and maturing, I want a little less girliness to my space.”
The screening room needed a new look that would work for both her and Rosenman, a TV producer. “I knew that I wanted to brighten and liven up the space a little bit,” says Port, 31, who gave PEOPLE an exclusive peek into her newly renovated space. “We also live near the beach so I wanted to that coastal feeling.”
When Orlando Soria (above left), Homepolish’s West Coast Creative Director, first looked at the room, his goal was to make sure that Port’s style was reflected in the space. “Whitney is definitely a classic beauty, but she’s also got some really edgy inclinations when it comes to wearing prints and unexpected layers,” says Soria. “I wanted the space to be vintage-inspired, eclectic and extremely elegant.”
Overall Soria says Port’s home, was very bright and open. “It’s three stories tall, so it kind of feels like a fancy downtown Manhattan townhouse but on a larger Californian scale.” The exception was the screening room (below), which he says was originally meant as a painting studio (complete with industrial sink!) and was the darkest room in the house.
After creating mood boards with general ideas, Soria helped Port select specific furnishings from home decor site Joss & Main. “I knew that I wanted a lot of seating,” says Port, “and I knew that I wanted to put some sort of texture and color on the walls, so it would make a happy space.” (You can shop for the furniture and decor used in Port’s project here.)
Soria says there are several tips to keep in mind with a space like Port’s:
– “For spaces that don’t receive a lot of natural sunlight, I generally advise clients to paint the wall anything but white. While it may seem like white will brighten up the space, what it actually does is look cold, lifeless, and dingy when it’s not adequately lit.” For Port, Soria went with a cool aqua – “Water Drops” by Benjamin Moore.
– “Rugs are a great way to add color to a space. The lovely Loloi rug we got from Joss & Main really made the space feel more vibrant and comfortable.” A similar one can be found here.
– “Window treatments are key for TV-viewing spaces. Since this was a screening room for Whitney, I made sure to include some blackout drapery to darken the space while she watches movies.”
For the art display (above) Port picked out the individual pieces (a mix of flea market finds and personal photos) and Soria suggested the sizes. “I would have done a bunch of smaller pieces, because that is usually how I create my gallery walls,” says Port. “But going for a mix of large and small photos created an awesome back drop on the stairwell.”
The fashion coffee table books inject more of Port’s personality and her passion for design. “We love to host people, and this will definitely become our main entertaining space,” says Port.