Name: Troy Solomon and Ian Mofford
Location: West Hollywood, California
Size: 800 square feet
Years Lived In: 3 years for Troy, 2 years for Ian, renting
I first learned of Troy Solomon (aka ABearNamedTroy) from his Instagram, where his brazen feed strikes a colorful balance between fierce and playful, a strong aesthetic that is reflected in the apartment he shares with fiance Ian Mofford. Citing Palm Springs and Miami as strong stylistic influences, the couple's apartment is full of perky pastels, a fun mix of patterns, and a variety of lush textures, which make their modest West Hollywood apartment feel like a lavish, poolside retreat.
Troy is from Miami and Ian is from the Boston area, and their worlds collided in West Hollywood, where they moved in together two years ago. From the colorful DIY pom-pom wall in the dining room to the wall-to-wall wallpaper, the two have put their own blood, sweat, and tears into making this apartment represent something that felt like home. Anyone who has ever tried to hang wallpaper or make a pom-pom knows outfitting this playful pad was no easy task. As a result of their hard work, the couple's combined love for whimsy and lust for life is undeniable to anyone who steps foot over the threshold.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: "West Hollywood" California Eclectic Meets DIY Fantasy
Inspiration: Our inspiration ultimately stemmed from the lack of inspiration that existed in this apartment prior to this redesign. We knew we wanted lots of colors and textures but that was the extent of our planning. We took the apartment section by section, found pieces or concepts we loved, and created these bright colorful moments that somehow all work together.
Favorite Element: Our favorite element is the bar cart. It was handmade by Troy's best friend Gab so in addition to being really cute and looking perfect within the space, it also holds the most sentimental value.
Biggest Challenge: Our biggest challenge occurred at the beginning of this process when we were trying to decide what the final product should look like. At that point we had been living together for almost two years but we had never come together on a project of this scale that was also so deeply personal. We knew going into it that we had very different aesthetics and communication styles so the biggest hurdle was coming together to create a unified look we were both happy with. However, that's what we were able to achieve: a look that neither of us would have created alone but yet somehow works together and reflects us both equally.
What Friends Say: The most common feedback we've received from friends is that our apartment is full of endless surprising details, which is exactly what we were aiming for. We wanted to create a space that was comfortable but constantly stimulating and full of surprises.
Biggest Embarrassment: We wouldn't use the term "embarrassment" because we knew going into this process that there was going to be things we didn't know how to do, so every mishap that occurred was a learning experience. Our biggest frustration within the apartment came from the faux hedge entry wall. I (Ian) had attached the hedge panels to the wall once with strong double-sided mounting tape, which seemed to work great. However, because the hedge panels are an open grid on the back, the tape dried out shortly after, so we watched the whole thing fall off the wall within two weeks. We eventually figured out a different (much more secure) way of attaching it to the wall but having to do the same project twice was not a fun time.
Proudest DIY: The Pom-Pom Wall. It started off as a seemingly simple idea that I (Ian) found on Pinterest on a much smaller scale (this is the original inspo, just for comical size comparison) and then Troy basically said "that's cute but I want it to be… the whole wall." We eventually compromised on a size (about a 5' x 5' square) and set to work. Every single pom-pom on that wall was hand made (mostly by us but we enlisted some additional friend hands on occasion) and it look three months (on and off) and about five trips to the yarn store. We nearly drove ourselves insane trying to get it done but it really ties the whole place together and we can't help but smile every time we look at it.
Biggest Indulgence: Phillips Hue Lights. They're absolutely unnecessary but they're a great party trick (and super energy efficient).
Best Advice: Don't be afraid to teach yourself new skills. There were a lot of things neither of us knew how to do before starting this project (changing a light fixture, wall mounting a TV, attaching fake hedges to an entryway…) but the internet is a neverending resource so we were able to teach ourselves everything we needed to know to execute the ideas we had in mind. If you have an idea for your space but don't readily have the skills to execute it, go get them.
- YouTube: Our saving grace for home improvement tutorials. I (Ian) was petrified about changing a light fixture (literally just constant mental images of electrocuting myself) but I watched enough videos to feel decently confident and I was able to swap out all the fixtures we needed.
- Interior Design Instagram Accounts: Before we started this process, we looked at a lot of accounts for inspiration to see what was even possible. A personal favorite is London-based 2LGStudio (Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead). Their use of color is seriously #goals and was really a source of inspiration and confidence to play with color combos in our own home.
- Pop Culture: We used a lot of our favorite pop culture references as inspiration for the space. For instance, the flowers on either side of the painting above the couch were inspired by the huge shiny flowers of Munchkinland in The Wizard of Oz which is my all-time favorite movie from my childhood.
PAINT & COLORS
Chasing Paper — "Parrots" in Blush (Main Living Room Wall)
Chasing Paper — "Banana Leaves" in Color (Main Bedroom Wall) *Discontinued*
Devine Color by Valspar — Penny (Kitchen Half Wall)
Behr Premium Plus Interior Semi Gloss— Svelte (Door Color)
IKEA PS Wall Clock in Yellow — IKEA
Artificial Boxwood Hedge Mats — Amazon
Entryway Table — Found on the sidewalk across the street
Red Coat Rack — Found on the sidewalk around the corner
Pink Felt Letter Board — Ban.do
"Poolside" by Jack Oliver Coles — Nine by Nine
The Bayer Unicorn Wall Mount, White with Gold Glitter Staff — White Faux Taxidermy
Interior Illusions Hang Wall Hooks — Amazon: Rock On, Come Here and Bang Bang
3D Butterfly Wall Decals — Amazon
Carson Sofa — Apt2B
Octavia Coffee Table — Apt2B
Ophelia Shag Pillows — Apt2B and Apt2B
Tropical Painting — Troy's Grandmother
Vinyl Record "Flowers" — Made by Ian
Room Essentials Modern Nightstand — Target
Samsung 1080p Smart LED TV — Amazon
Yellow Floral Storage Bench — Target
White Faux Fur Stools — Ross Dress for Less
NISSEDAL Mirror — IKEA
Zinus Farmhouse Large Wood Dining Table — Amazon
Green Forest Velvet Dining Chairs in Rose — Amazon
Opalhouse Glass Taper Candle Holders — Target
Pink and Gold Pineapple Pitcher — Nordstrom Rack
Custom Bar Cart — Gab, Troy's Best Friend
Monstera Mirror by Bien Bueno — Tictail
Kanna Gold Wall Mirror — Memoky
NYMÖ Pendant Lamp Shade — IKEA
Pom-Pom Wall — Troy and Ian DIY
Cyclops Mirror by Aventyr — Tictail
Troy and Ian Illustrated Portraits — Hey Rooney
NESSTUN Bed Frame — IKEA
KRISTALLER Chandelier — IKEA
Unicorn Table Lamp — Target
"Slumber Party" by Sam Prentice — Nine by Nine
Yellow Floral Storage Bench — Target
VALLMORA Wall Lamp — IKEA
LANGESUND Mirror — IKEA
Traditional Floating Wall Shelves — Target
Melon Boat Lotus Cotton Swab Holder — Amazon
Fourchen Wall Mounted Toothbrush Holder — Amazon
Ceramic Melon Knob in Maize — Anthropologie