Name: Carly Kuhn
Location: Larchmont — Los Angeles, California
Size: 1,303 square feet
Years Lived In: 1.5 years, renting
“I moved into this space about year and a half ago. I was drawn to this space because of the great location. As a New Yorker, I love this Larchmont area that’s really walkable. It also has insane light, which is always a priority, especially since I work from home and need a lot of light to feel inspired,” admits Carly Kuhn, artist and founder of The Cartorialist. But even after over a year in this loft space, she didn’t quite feel like she had her home’s layout right. There’s lots of light and beautiful views, but also a wide open floor plan. She explains that “it was difficult to conceptualize the entire design and layout without seeing everything together.”
Carly became well known in the Instagram and art world when one of her fashion illustration drawings was reposted by Sarah Jessica Parker. Today, she’s a “serious artist who doesn’t take herself too seriously,” according to her website. And it’s true that her work — line drawings that simply and subtly depict figures and witty scenes — is lighthearted and airy. It’s a look that she was able to translate into her home by using the virtual decorating app Hutch, which allowed her “to visualize how everything would look together in my space, which was helpful when figuring out an open concept style apartment.” It was a process she says made her feel both confident and excited in her home.
“I think the way I approach the design of my home is similar to the way I approach my work: both with a sense of spontaneity and acting off gut feelings. When I sit down to draw or paint, I don’t really have a set plan…I kind of just go. I approach my home in a similar way, I start with the basics which tend to be neutrals but then build off of that from a place of instinct.”
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: California relaxed, neutrals with hints of mid-century modern and eclectic art accents.
Inspiration: I don’t know if I can point to one place as my inspiration for the space. I accumulated an array of design inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram over time, which served as a great source of inspiration. Overall, I think it ultimately just came down to going with my gut on which pieces I loved.
Favorite Element: What I love about my space is that it’s an open concept with a lot of natural light. I tend to bop around the apartment on any given day and work from different areas, depending on my mood. I have a lot of staple pieces that I do work from the most. First, my two large Croft House chairs in the living room. Not only do I love them, but pretty much any time I have friends over, they immediately head to the chairs. My bed is also dangerously tempting to work from…it’s like one big cloud. Lastly, I love my new dining room table benches that I found through Hutch. I had cheap chairs before, which weren’t too stable! The benches are sturdy, functional and look great in the space…I may be Cartorializing them with some faces soon. 🙂
Biggest Challenge: Anytime you move into a new space, it can feel as though you have to figure out the design right away. However, it takes time to find the right setup. My space specifically is an open floor plan, which felt like even more of a challenge to figure out. I think the key to creating a space you feel good in is patience. That has helped me create a space that organically came together over time.
Proudest DIY: I have a white vase that I painted female figures on. While it’s a simple item, it is one of the first pieces — beyond ones on paper — that I created. As an artist, I love exploring new mediums. This vase represents that love of exploration.
Biggest Indulgence: My Croft House chairs.
Best Advice: Unless you’re a maximalist/solely eclectic in your design aesthetic, I recommend sticking with neutrals when selecting your staple pieces. This allows you to infuse your personality with other decor items and build upon the design of your space over time. And if you decide you’d like to change up your decor, you can do so easily since you started with a neutral palette.
Taraval 3-Seat Oak Wood Base Sofa — Crate and Barrel
Croft House Sierra Chairs — Hutch
3 Globe Table Lamp — Lawson Fenning
Croft House Rivera Credenza — Hutch
Round Woven Poufs — The Mine
Tiny Surfers — The Cartorialist
Wood Leona Farmhouse Dining Benches — World Market
Leaning Ladies — The Cartorialist
Smoke & Suspenders — The Cartorialist
Blue Umbrellas — The Cartorialist
Face Mounted Face — The Cartorialist
The Light was Perfect (Framed) — The Cartorialist
Apartment Therapy supports our readers with carefully chosen product recommendations to improve life at home. You support us through our independently chosen links, many of which earn us a commission.