February 29, 2016
By Jody Hume
SEE HOW THE ROW’S INTERIOR DESIGNER STYLED OUR LA VALUATION OFFICEVISIT OUR OFFICE FOR A FREE VALUATION
Thanks to Courtney Applebaum, our new Los Angeles Valuation Office is likely the most chic gemology space you’ll ever lay eyes on. Known as the Interior Designer behind The Row’s celebrated Melrose Place boutique, as well as impeccably stylish homes like Maggie Kayne’s, Applebaum applied her unique, sophisticated-yet-laid-back style to our newest location. There, among the vintage 20th-century furniture, perfectly worn-in antique rugs and expertly curated gemology and design books, is certainly the most serene and stylish place to find out the true value of your fine jewelry and watch collection. “I wanted to make the design very personal to the space and LA,” says Applebaum.
“The gemologists are wearing Jil Sander lab coats and Manolos, and I kept thinking about that. How do you make this nerdy, scientific concept chic? We tried to do that and it was fun. It was an interesting idea and something I’ve never done before, so it was a cool challenge.” While her tried-and-true design m.o. may be the starting point for each project, creating a space devoted the art and science of gemology required some new twists. Read on to see the space and discover her go-to interior design advice.
You’re known for designing chic retail spaces, like the The Row boutique on Melrose, as well as homes. Did you approach this project differently?
I approached this project in the same way that I normally do. I always want it to be about the client and the location, and to reflect my aesthetic. Then I go from there.
How would you describe the look you were going for in the Los Angeles Valuation Office?
I wanted to make it feel like a space in Los Angeles. We were trying to avoid making it feel too corporate or office-like. We wanted it to be more comfortable in that sense, and also make it feel as though you’re not in a typical gemologist’s scientific workspace. Instead, we wanted to combine these different elements into a chic look and atmosphere.
How did the idea of fine jewelry play into your design of the space?
We made custom desks with pieces of suede inset in the middle, which function as a trays to lay jewelry on. I tried to incorporate metal and found this really cool antique tribal necklace for the waiting area. We also selected books on jewelry.
What is your design process like? Do you start with moodboards, fabric swatches, one particular piece?
I start with a moodboard and then I like to find certain pieces and build from there. It’s always about the individual pieces.
How did you select the furnishings?
Some of the furniture we had custom-made and then we tried to bring in cool vintage pieces to combine with the newer designs to give it a layered, eclectic spirit.
Do you have a go-to piece of advice for styling interiors?
Mix and match as much as you can, but pay attention to proportion.
What’s the most common mistake people make when designing a space?
Sticking to just one style, which gets boring. Mixing styles works best because each house is a reflection of the people who live there, and people aren’t one-dimensional.
Images by Shade Degges