A Designer's Warm, Modern Los Angeles Apartment

A Designer's Warm, Modern Los Angeles Apartment

Adrienne Breaux
Aug 24, 2017

Name: Magalie René-Hayes, her husband Mike Hayes and Prince the pup
Location: Los Angeles
Size: 1500 square feet
Years Lived In: 4 years, renting

Interior designer Magalie also goes by the title Conscious Designer. "I'm on a mission to create beautiful spaces for a better world and I apply a unique approach that combines holistic ideas, science, and design principles for smarter, happier, healthier living." She shares her design philosophies on residential and commercial projects around the US, but she also does institutional design projects, like elementary and middle schools.

In fact, Magalie recently finished writing her first book called "Kid-Smart Spaces: Decorating a Classroom That Changes Lives." She wrote it to help teachers create more inspiring, motivating classrooms. And it covers "the link between learning and design, using physical space to heal trauma, colors for learning, decluttering" and more. It's not a surprise, then, that her own home features vibrant colors, geometric shapes and many objects that have meaning to her.

Magalie's home was recommended to us by Angela Belt, whose home we toured earlier this year. Angela is a fellow designer and dedicated to the importance of positive Black imagery in interior design.

Though Magalie may excel in spaces for kids, she's also a master of creating colorful, playful homes for grown-ups, too. And her own LA apartment is proof. Simply designed, there is a clutter of elements, but there is an arrangement of soothing neutrals, pops of colors and some easy, temporary fixes for a rental that anyone could appreciate.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Eclectic, warm, modern, colorful

Inspiration: I'm inspired by color, geometry, jewelry and most of all sacred objects/symbols.

Favorite Element: It's a tie between the the wall art in my "Parisian" kitchen — canvases of travel photos I shot around the world from Belgium to Avon by The Sea — and a cluster of brass planters that hang from the ceiling in the corner of the living room. I'm reminded of beautiful earrings every time I see them.

Biggest Challenge: The hallway is narrow and dim so our home felt constricted upon entering. Dark entryways are also bad Feng Shui. Our solution was to use extra bright lighting, add a large mirror to expand the space and energy flow, and line the hallway with art and framed movie posters.

What Friends Say: "This place is SO you." And "Can you come design my place?"

Biggest Embarrassment: The previous renters painted over the glass of the bathroom window for privacy then scratched "I love you Scarlett!" into the blue paint. It's bizarre but it's also quicky and sweet and makes me feel like I'm living in an 80's movie. So, we kept it.

Proudest DIY: Another tie! I'm equally proud of the mantel in the living room (I chose the wood, had it cut, and stained it myself) and the oversized art above the bed. I stretched the canvas and made the gold frame.

Biggest Indulgence: The Lounge II sofa from Crate and Barrel. It has slim, modern arms and at 46 inches deep, it's extra comfy for sleeping and watching TV.

Best Advice: Create spaces in your home, large or small, that reflect what you love, remind you what you're grateful for, and encourage your goals. These elements consciously and subconsciously say "all is as it should be!" Also, know that budget does not dictate style. With patience you you can create an elevated aesthetic at any price point.

Dream Sources: Reflektion Design floor pillows, Holistic Spaces Mandalas, Artemide lighting, Arteriors everything, Aphrochic home decor, Rejuvenation and Anthropologie hardware, and Malene B carpets.


Living and Hallway & Kitchen — Benjamin Moore, Lily (DEW327 / LRV 81)
Bedroom — Benjamin Moore, Calm Waters (DEW373) with gold metallic trim (source unknown)

Nissel Mirror — IKEA
Art — Crystal Fischetti

Lounge II Sofa — Crate & Barrel
The Color of Song + The Color of Popular Music Posters — We Are Dorothy
Ombré Mongolian Fur Accent Pillow — Aha Life
Tufted Linen Coffee Table/Ottoman — Overstock
Magical Thinking Hanging Planters — Urban Outfitters
Carved Wood Lotus Panel — Viva Terra

Bistro Pub Table — Bellacor
French Bistro Barstools — World Market
Copper Stemless Wine Glasses — World Market

Alexis Ceramic Lampbase — Pottery Barn
Sydnee Lampshade — Lampsplus

Thanks, Magalie!

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