Name: Aya Sumika and Trevor John, President and Co-Owners of Midori Ribbon, with Baby Misa (who is almost 8 months), 2 kitties, and Indigo
Location: West Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Size: 1,400 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years
Aya and Trevor were very fortunate to move into a brand new condo building, though the units were pretty plain. As Aya got to know her neighbors, it turned out that one of them was an interior designer. She promised Aya that within 6 months, she could have her dream home. She stood true to her world — Aya couldn't believe the transformation!
Since Aya and Trevor's daughter is still very young, she still sleeps in their bedroom. However, the dark blue guest bedroom will soon be hers. It has special touches just for her, like the closet doors that were turned into a pinboard of Polaroid photos from when Aya and Trevor were kids. I can't wait to see how the room transitions when their little girl settles into the space.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Our style is eclectic, livable, and whimisical, with a dash of French urban flair.
Inspiration: We wanted to create a home that reflected our creativity and warmth, allowing us to have a little cocoon and escape from our hectic days at work.
Favorite Element: The hand painted wallpaper in our powder room and the openness of our layout. The condo was a blank canvas for us to establish many of our favorite elements in each room when collaborating with Knapp Interiors.
Biggest Challenge: Honestly, Trevor and I didn't face many challenges. We had a very clear vision of what we wanted, presenting a large 3 ring binder of many collected references and inspirational images and moods for each room in detail. With this vision along with the organization, professionalism and editing of Elizabeth Knapp Bobo from Knapp Interiors, we walked into a finished home within 6 months!
What Friends Say: When friends come into our building they are always surprised to find our little oasis and have fun discovering the attention to detail throughout our home. When visiting they always comment on how relaxed and calm they feel and what an escape from the hustle and bustle of LA it is.
Biggest Embarrassment: The built-in electric fireplace. We tried to make this eyesore diminish by distracting the eye with the custom built, simple mantel above.
Proudest DIY: The Midori ribbon flower bouquet (DIY instructions here), Midori ribbon velvet pillows, and the sliding door corkboards in our second bedroom. They started out as mirrored sliding doors. This particular room, which was also named "the blue room", had to have many functions. It had to serve as a guest bedroom, so the couch essentially has the firmness a mattress would (we didn't want to do a pull out bed, due to the discomfort). It is a favorite of our friends as the "conversation room", at one point it was Trevor's art studio, and now with our little girl Misa, it slowly but surely will evolve into her space, too.
Changing the mirrored doors to the corkboards has given us the flexibility to display our Polariods from over the years — from our wedding, when I was a little baby, to Trevor's inspirations and references for a project he is working on. And I'm sure we will have art from Misa we want to enjoy soon!
Biggest Indulgence: Chandeliers and lighting fixtures. I spent many hours browsing the internet for light fixtures that were a fit for each space. It really became the finishing touch to bring the whole room together. We also splurged on a few vintage pieces that are definitely statement pieces, like my Italian workman's desk, I can only imagine the history that is within this piece.
Best Advice: To know where you can mix in things at low price points without sacrificing style or aesthetic. We are strong believers that you can't buy taste. We had a budget that we wanted to stick to; there were many places that we found we could spend way less on certain pieces to achieve the same goals or feelings. For example, one of our side tables in our master bedroom came from JCPenney, our dining table from Crate&Barrel, many of our picture frames came from Ross… it's all about the eye! Don't sleep on your local garage sales too!
Dream Sources: 1stdibs - they have everything you can imagine! I spent many hours getting lost on this website. Definitely have a goal and a list in front of you before you begin your search at 9PM at night, or you will look up in disbelief to see 1AM creep up in a blink!
Resources of Note:
RUGS & CARPET
Thanks, Aya & Trevor!
(Images: Marcia Prentice)
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