Before and After: A Designer Glams Up a Texas Rental with Luxe Gold Touches

published May 27, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Before: a while living room with a tan couch and blank walls
Credit: Courtesy of Lauren Ashley Experiences

When designing an 850-square-foot rental apartment for a young professional living in Houston, Texas, designer Lauren Ashley of Lauren Ashley Experiences — working alongside her team member, Kerchalyn Mayhorn — went all in with color, but in an elevated way. “She specifically loved marigold as well as blush and blue and did not want any gray,” Ashley says of her client. “I integrated the more ‘feminine’ colors in her bedroom, while weaving in the marigold throughout all of her spaces.” 

Credit: Courtesy of Lauren Ashley Experiences

The marigold sofa, a special statement piece and focal point in the living room, kicked off the entire design project. “The client had actually found the couch herself when she came to me for my services but was unsure whether to use that color or a rust color,” Ashley explains. “We ultimately decided on the marigold based on her overall vision of her space.” 

From that sunny but still sophisticated item, the trio decided on a dazzling geometric patterned Hooker Furniture media console with glitzy undertones. “I had this beautiful piece saved to my ‘use in a future project’ folder,” Ashley says. “As I was designing and putting this client’s space together, I thought of this piece and loved how it would integrate so well with the sofa, art, and other accessories already picked for the space.” Fortunately, the design went over well in her project presentation. “This client was a fun client and allowed me to really bring in and suggest fun striking pieces,” she explains. 

Because the one-bedroom/one-bathroom apartment is a rental, Ashley was tasked with making it feel as eye-catching as possible without making any permanent alterations. The major finishes — flooring, walls — would stay as they were out of convenience and practicality, so the designer had to find workarounds for these more builder-grade features. “We knew the carpet was an aspect that couldn’t be changed, so my focus was to make the other pieces in the room stand out with color but more so with texture,” Ashley says, specifically referencing the bedroom. To achieve this goal, she layered pillows and throws on the bed and introduced additional color and texture through her choice of window coverings, which, in a lovely goldenrod velvet, visually echo the living room sofa. “Of course, the large colorful art piece above the bed also helps to draw the eyes upward versus focusing on the floor,” Ashley adds. 

Ashley’s client doubled down on art to make the plain walls sing. The piece above the sofa is “particularly striking,” according to Ashley, and meaningful to her client, who sought out representative works that would resonate with her likeness and interests. “It shows three young ladies who happen to be Diana Ross and The Supremes traveling,” she explains. “Traveling is one of my client’s favorite pastimes.” You’ll also find three-dimensional jujus in jewel tones over a half-moon shelving unit that’s being used like a bar. 

In the end, all it took to transform this bland space into a spot that feels like golden hour — all day long — were a few hits of marigold, shiny golden finishes, and statement art. Now, Ashley’s client couldn’t be happier with her glowed-up apartment.