Monica’s Handmade Modern Hollywood Home

updated Jul 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Monica Schafer
Location: The Plaza — Kansas City, Missouri
Size: 650 square feet
Years lived in: 3.5 — owned

Tucked out of the way amidst some serious hustle and bustle resides this lovely and luxurious apartment in Kansas City. Located in the neighborhood called The Plaza, it boasts some serious Art Deco era design, complete with extra skinny hallways and round windows. Monica has done a marvelous job of echoing this vibe throughout her decor and in addition, many of her belongings were handmade or embellished to perfect the look without a tell-tale of her crafty ways — Martha Stewart would be proud!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

When I first started my trek up the stairs to Monica’s awesome apartment I had no idea how most of the furniture that I had seen in our exchanged emails could possibly make it up the stairs. The building itself had so much character but so little space. Once in her home the sense of cramped quarters that the stairway had previously imposed vanished with her sparkly style and clean floor plan.

This home is a bit sultry with bright with pops of color and an occasional hidden metallic element to catch you off guard. Many of the pieces in Monica’s home have been slightly altered to give her a truly custom look and feel. For instance, her coffee table is two traditional LACK tables from IKEA, but with custom cut glass tops they become a whole new animal. From adding upholstery tacks to the sofa, to raising the height (and changing the color) of her dining room table, she’s pretty much done it all.

So pull up a seat, pour yourself a drink and take a look at this modern twist on a Hollywood Regency home smack dab in the middle of the Midwest.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Hollywood Regency & Art Deco with a splash of Mid-Century Modern Glam

Inspiration: Kelly Wearstler, Elle Decor, botique hotels, Dwell, Preston Lee

Favorite Element: Bedroom Curtains. I found the ombre satin at a fabric store in South Dakota before I even purchased the condo. I fell in love with the smokey gray and burgundy plum heavy satin and bought the entire bolt. At the time I didn’t have any walls worthy of the super luxe fabric, but I envisioned it draped from floor to ceiling covering a bedroom wall. The fabric was actually the catalyst for my home search. I didn’t need a place to hang my hat; I needed a place to hang my curtains! (And not have to take them down 12 months later…) I travel a lot for work and play which equates many, many hotel stays. W Hotels are most always inspiring and was the design inspiration for my “hotel chic” bedroom and curtains. That said, the “Wild Horses” painting was a valentine from my boyfriend and my most favorite piece of art. It’s an original by Nieth Nevelson.

Biggest Challenge: I had the red couch and I had to make it work. It’s a modern style microfiber mammoth that I had to figure out how to make work and make look less modern (since I couldn’t make it less red, dang it.) There was the added challenge too of getting it up three tight flights of stairs (no freight elevator) and into the space. I started with the red couch in the living room and worked nearly everything else around it from the color of the wall color, to the artwork and furniture. To help make it look less modern, I added the upholstery tacks by hand on the front of the arms and along the back along the spine. This was a GREAT and easy DIY that changed the look for around $30.00.

What Friends Say: It’s a cool style that is very me. The mirrors are usually a hit. They help add dimension to the small space while creating an interesting, graphic composition on the wall.

Biggest Embarrassment: Headboard. An upholsterer who I had not used before made it though it did not turn out as desired. (Just don’t look too close!) I would like to disassemble and DIY it using some crown molding around the edges and upholstery tacks.

Proudest DIY: I’ve DIYed some part of nearly every piece of furniture and element in the space and have been happy with the end result of most all of them. I love the wall of mirrors, curtains, record cabinet and dresser.

Biggest Indulgence: Lighting throughout. The boy and girl lamps in the bedroom & chandelier.

Best Advice: Be patient and resourceful.

Dream Sources: Jonathan Adler, Barney’s New York, KWID, DWR, custom built furniture

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:


    • Red Couch: Famous Barr Dept. store and retrofitted with upholstery tacks
    • Round Table: Revival Home Furnishings in Overland Park, KS. The table top of this piece was mustard yellow and sat too low. I had it painted with a durable auto paint and built up a couple of inches to make it a standard sitting table height.
    • Sitting Chairs: Revival Home Furnishings, Overland Park, KS. I searched for two years for the perfect chairs and in a stroke of serendipitous luck found exactly what I was hoping for. They were royal blue velvet and in excellent condition. I bought the fabric at MOOD in NYC and had Revival reupholster them as well.
    • Coffee Tables: Ikea with custom cut smoke glass tops
    • Flokati Rug: Costco
    • Wall Mirrors: Home Goods and antique stores
    • Side Table: Antique store
    • Painting: My grandfather, 1945
    • Impala horns: Barbara Cosgrove
    • Cabinet: Antique store
    • Curtains: My mom and I handmade them from fabric flocked linen
    • Bar Cart: Nordstrom Home
    • Poster: Ron Berg limited edition print, matted and custom framed at the Frame Gallery, KCMO
    • Lamp: Family piece
    • Ghost Chairs: Kartell
    • Black & White Photos: My own taken at Abbey Road and Preservation Hall and Annie Liebowitz prints
    • Hanging Chandelier: Family piece circa 1920’s-30’s


    • Plate: Piero Fornasetti, Barney’s
    • Shelf: Restoration Hardware
    • Framed Magazines: My floral designs are gracing the cover


    • Curtains: Handmade
    • Bedspread: Vera Wang
    • Headboard: Custom made
    • Dresser & Nightstands: thrift store rehabs
    • Marilyn Monroe Prints & Frames: Z Gallerie
    • Vintage Peacocks: eBay
    • Chandelier: We Got Lights
    • Tissue Box: Jonathan Adler


    • Wallpaper: Graham & Brown
    • Art: Peregrine Honig original

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Monica!

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