Tuesday, June 26, 2012

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Style Tips from the Designer: Shoshanna's Apartment on "Girls"

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I'm officially obsessed with HBO's Girls, which is saying a lot, considering I don't even have cable. (I use my boyfriend's HBO password and watch it online. Shhh.) The show is the TV equivalent of New York magazineso culturally relevant that it makes you feel both in the know ("Hey, I got that reference!") and utterly out of touch ("People do that?!). 

       It's not just culturally that Girls is spot-on. The girls' apartments are the quintessential digs of NYC young professionals: small, air conditioner in the window, unmade bed, packed with a mish-mash of books, quirky accessories, and vintage/odd/IKEA furniture. It's real, not some Photoshopped version of reality, which, apparently, is all part of creator Lena Dunham's plan to position herself as "the voice of a generation." She reportedly refused HBO's larger sets because she wanted her characters to live in realistic apartments. As she said in a recent interview, "I love [New Girl], by the way, but every week there's a new room I didn't know was there!" She wanted her show to be different.

       Take, for example, Shoshanna's apartment (my personal favorite). Her bedroom, living room, and craft area are the same room. Her style isn't aspirational: Anybody, even studio dwellers, can easily imitate her playful, not too matchy-matchy approach to decorating. "The inspiration was really the character herself," says Laura Ballinger Gardner, the production designer for Girls. "Shosh knows what the current trends are, but not quite how to implement them. We referenced Apartment Therapy, DesignSponge, and The Selby." You, however, can stealand perfectly implementher favorite trends...

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       Gardner and Rich Devine, the set decorator, shopped at West Elm, Koch Antiques in Manhattan, Jonathan Adler, and IKEA to outfit Shoshanna's apartment. If you're going to invest in just one piece, make it the black-and-white West Elm couch (previously featured here). "Isn't the couch the thing you agonize over most?" says Gardner. "This one has a nice graphic print that I loved. Feminine but still graphic. We knew there would be a few juicy scenes on it." 

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       The defining design element in the craft area is also the easiest to recreate: the Christmas lights shaped in a heart above her desk. "She is a romantic college student!" says Gardner of her decision to hang the lights. 

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      Shoshanna's kitchen has been transformed into a dressing room, which helps explain the boudoir style of the space. Dressing room or not, I love bringing feminine details into the kitchen. (I have a pink mixer, measuring cups, utensils, etc.) Color is the easiest way to personalize a kitchen, especially in an apartment, where you're confined by the preexisting cabinets and countertops.

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If you want to recreate Shoshanna's foyer area, you'll have to get crafty. According to Gardner, the dresser was a DIY project, made from printed contact paper, "because Shosh is very crafty." (You can also adhere scrapbook paper to the surface with Mod Podge.) This gives the space a custom feel, which you can also achieve by switching out your dresser knobs for some that are more playful or stylish. 



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2 comments:

  1. hi..Im college student, thanks for sharing :)

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  2. These apartment designs are beautiful! I've been looking into getting an apartment with some furniture already in it. I have so many decorations to make my apartment feel like home!
    http://www.adelaidedresscircle.com.au/ads/apartments/itemid-233

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