Rich paint, antique prints and tabletop treasures give furniture designer and decorator Laura Yaggy’s rental apartment a storied feel. Best of all, she can take all of it with her.
create history through paint
Because wallpaper would be a pain to remove, she created an alternative graphic wall treatment: a striking collection of silhouettes that advance the historical fantasy. To perk up the sedate tones, Yaggy incorporated pieces from her company Lorely in luxe skins (the end tables), unusual objets (the candlesticks) and other hits of red.
Paprika Mohair Throw
Serena & Lily
“You have to paint in a rental
—it makes such a huge difference,” Yaggy says. Choosing an ethereal blue for the walls provides instant 18th-century atmosphere. Her sofa, chairs and coffee table are in shades of beige, white and brown—neutrals that could work in a future room that’s painted an entirely new color.
entertain according to the space
Yaggy loves to have people over—for cocktails only—and since she doesn’t have a proper dining room, friends gather round the coffee table. She serves cocktails in cut-glass champagne coupes that were her grandmother’s, plus simple snacks that don’t keep the hostess in the kitchen. For intimate groups, she pulls over the armchairs by the windows (she bought them for their angular shape, had their mahogany frames glazed white, then replaced the ghastly yellow upholstery with an English print). If it’s a big party, the living-room furniture gets pushed to the wall.
Frontier FT-41 Red Flat Weave Area Rug
distract from flaws with theatrical color
Confederate Red walls draw the eye from the cheap laminate cabinets that came with Yaggy’s kitchen, while a Jonathan Adler shower curtain (as window shade!) and a Chinese carpet lend Far East flair. Visitors, she hopes, will focus on the white built-in shelf, stocked with liquor and vintage glasses.
The spacious front hall doubles as a design library. Four inexpensive bookshelves fill the wall, giving the appearance of a proper built-in.
drop spot for her
bag and keys.
choose furniture carefully
“For me, the worst thing that could happen is for someone to walk into my apartment and say, ‘Oh, I have that fabric, I have those chairs.’” For the office niche carved out of the living room, she designed a desk to complement the rest of the decor—key in a small space. The shape is classic English, but Yaggy tricked it out by putting a racing stripe around the top and painting the insides of the drawers a matching red. An ergonomic chair wouldn’t have looked right, so she bought the Philippe Starck chair for its contemporary transparency and Louis XVI curves.
make the little
“I’d love to have an apartment filled with antiques,” Yaggy says, “but for now, while I’m still defining my style, I’m starting small with accessories.” She adds, “Everything on my walls is old.” Or at least has a period vibe. Between the windows hangs a framed piece of wallpaper that recalls an old tapestry (and, again, can be easily removed), while two aged silhouettes sweeten up the closet area. For the curtains, she layered Target matchstick shades and taffeta panels from The Silk Trading Co. to create a formal, not frilly, effect. The four-poster bed, while brand-new, suits her aesthetic, as do the tiered tables by the side and in front of the bed (both her designs).
center here—there’s a
TV hidden beneath