Ho Ho Ho, everyone! It’s an Apt2B Kyle Schuneman Makeover Story: Holiday Edition! We wanted to do something very special to end the year right and were lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with actress and singer Megan Hilty and her husband and actor/singer/songwriter, Brian Gallagher.
They just moved to LA from NYC and bought a beautiful new home with a fantastic guest house in back for family and friends to stay in when they visit. They have holiday guests on the way and the guest house is completely bare. They need some help and that’s where we come in. The space needs to serve a few purposes- the perfect challenge for small space expert Kyle and us at Apt2B!
Megan is a Tony Award Nominated Broadway actress known most for her roles in Wicked, 9 to 5, and Noises Off but many know her best for starring on the TV shows, Smash and Sean Saves the World. Brian is also and actor and singer/songwriter who has appeared on Broadway and actually has an acclaimed Blues record as well. The two spend much of the year touring together with their own band, actually, where Megan is the lead singer and Brian is the guitarist and vocalist. They’re just finishing up a nationwide tour promoting Megan’s new Christmas Album, A Merry Little Christmas. It is, like her, amazing.
We sat down with Kyle to talk about the project and provide some more insight into the process:
What attracted you to this project from a design perspective?
I love designing small spaces. There’s something about creative constraints that really attracts me to projects cause it shows that design isn’t just about pretty things but also about problem solving. I treated this space as a “studio apartment” where it needed a zone for sleeping, a zone for living, and a zone for light eating and drinking coffee. Wanting to solve all those problems in a cohesive design is what excited me most.
What was the biggest challenge of the space?
The way the room was laid out definitely had its challenges because of where the French Doors were placed and the bathroom door. I wanted to fill the room with comfortable furniture but also still be able to move through it comfortably and get to those doors.
What are you most proud of about the finished product?
I love that all the furniture is incredibly comfortable and in a large enough scale. A lot of times people decorate small spaces with tiny furniture that isn’t comfortable and feels like a dollhouse. I’m really proud that this space has “adult size” furniture even though the space is tight. I actually have a theory that small spaces can look bigger with more furniture in them. It’s just about picking the right stuff. Seeing multiple layers and furnished areas in a space tricks the eye into thinking the space must be larger than it is.
How long did it take you to actually do the stencil? It looked really hard.
It actually only took a couple of hours! It’s more about patience than anything else! Put on some music and the repetition can actually be relaxing. The result is totally worth it. You get a wallpaper look for a fraction of the cost.
Do you like to sing like Megan and Brian?
I do like to sing but unfortunately no one else does when I do…
We hear you’re a big fan of using popcorn in your designs- is that true?
Popcorn is the new black. Pantone might have named greenery as the color of the year but I’m sticking with popcorn.
How important are accessories in your designs? What’s the biggest thing you were looking for in accessorizing their guest house?
Accessories are incredibly important in design just like in an outfit. They really bring a space to life and a great way to personalize it. I wanted to add their own spirit so hanging Brian’s guitars really helped. I also loved using textural elements like the layered bedding and the soft wool throw pillows. Lastly, I wanted to add an edge to the space so the industrial lamps and kitchen accessories really helped give a yin to the yang.
SPECIAL HOLIDAY TREAT: A KYLE SCHUNEMAN MAKEOVER BONUS ROUND!
Interior design, like any art, is often seen as a constant work in progress. Sometimes a little change after the primary design goals are achieved is a very healthy thing! After the initial makeover, Brian and Megan decided that the big refrigerator they had was a bit much for the space so Kyle hunted around for the perfect smaller space solution fridge and found it!
The great people at SMEG ended up partnering up with us on this part of the project and helped us source this awesome mini fridge. SMEG has been around since the 1940’s and has always been focused on creating “Technology With Style”- find out more about them and their full line of iconic domestic products here. This particular SMEG mini fridge design fits in perfectly with the rest of the room’s aesthetic that Kyle created. We did have to move some of their house guest’s bottles of holiday bubbly to the main house fridge, however 😉