Kyle Schuneman: West Coast meets East Village

Kyle Schuneman shows an apartment some California love.

Kyle Schuneman wants to help you think inside the box — that is, the miniscule one-bedroom that commands half of your monthly income. Earlier this month, Hautelook.com asked the 26-year-old interior designer (recently named a “Tastemaker” by Los Angeles Magazine) to make over three typically small New York City apartments in his signature  California style. The challenge, he said, was to conjure a coastal theme in a small space “without making it feel like a seafood restaurant.” Select items from these makeovers are on sale today and tomorrow at Hautelook.com.

Schuneman, whose book “The First Apartment Book: Cool Design for Small Spaces” publishes this August, chatted with us about how to invite some much-needed West Coast ease into our often-cramped East Coast quarters.

How do you define West Coast style?
I think it’s casual, I think it’s approachable. I think if you look at it and it’s effortless, and it doesn’t feel like it’s designed by anyone specific and it just feels organic, then that’s really California for you.

So the size constraints of the typical East Coast apartment aren’t a problem?

Not at all. California is full of an eclectic mix; I think it’s important to embrace that and find your own style. It’s all about feeling — if people stop by, they can come in and it’s warm and inviting. It doesn’t feel uptight.

Can West Coasters take any tips from East Coasters?

You guys do crazy things with your storage, so I’ve learned a lot about using every nook and cranny. You have such beautiful architecture to pull from, but you don’t have the luxury of space. So you have a very structured approach to design, and I think that it can be really mixed well with California style at the same time.

What inspired you to focus on small spaces?

I grew up in a 1,200-square-foot apartment with four people; my parents turned the master bedroom into another bedroom and turned the closet into my sister’s room. … I think you guys have constraints, but they’re creative constraints. I think that having a box to work in is sometimes easier than having an unlimited space. Think from an architect’s point of view, start with function and build from there.

Kyle’s tips for small spaces:

1. “Everything has to function at least twice.” Choose furniture that also functions as storage.

2. “Think of your rug as your fifth wall.” Aggressive wall colors and patterns can make a small space feel smaller. Keep your walls neutral and go wild with your floor coverings.

3. “Bring the eye up.” What your apartment lacks in depth, it can usually make up for in height. Highlight decorative moldings and opt for floor-to-ceiling window treatments.

Before & After

Before:

After:

Before:

After:


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Teen stowaway spent hours undetected at California airport:…

A teen stowaway spent up to six hours undetected at a San Jose airport before climbing into the wheel well of a jet that flew to Hawaii, the LA Times…

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

National

U.S. soldier convicted of WikiLeaks crimes granted name…

By Carey Gillam(Reuters) - Former U.S. soldier Bradley Manning, who is serving 35 years in prison for turning over classified files to WikiLeaks, can exchange…

Local

NYPD #myNYPD Twitter campaign backfires

A NYPD campaign to improve its image via social media instead produced a flood of pictures of police brutality and tweets critical of the force.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

Movies

Review: 'The Railway Man' is a literal-minded look…

In "The Railway Man," Colin Firth plays a WWII vet suffering from massive trauma acquired from his days as a beaten POW.

Books

'#GIRLBOSS': Nasty Gal CEO shares unlikely success story

Nasty Gal CEO Sophia Amoruso shares her rags to riches, dumpster to Porsche tale in her new book "#GIRLBOSS."

Movies

App Appeal: Unf— Your Habitat is a sweary…

Guilt trip yourself into some spring cleaning with the app "Unf— Your Habitat," which uses swearing and some rudeness to get you to get your s— together.

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC 'targeting' US international Mix Diskerud

Metro New York has learned Mix Diskerud has drawn “interest” from the expansion MLS side, NYCFC.

NFL

Jets announce they will return to Cortland for…

The tradition of holding camp in Cortland began in 2009 when Rex Ryan wanted to get his Jets away from the distractions of New York City.

NHL

Rangers reclaim home ice with Game 3 road…

The Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the first period for the second straight game. This time, they held on.

NBA

Nets settle for 1-1 series tie with Game…

DeMar DeRozan, who was an All-Star this season, hit two huge jumpers back-to-back to give the Raptors an 89-85 lead over the Nets with 2:10 to play.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."

Tech

App Appeal: Unf— Your Habitat is a sweary…

Guilt trip yourself into some spring cleaning with the app "Unf— Your Habitat," which uses swearing and some rudeness to get you to get your s— together.

Education

The benefits and challenges of intensive summer programs

Get the facts on taking an advanced college course.

Wellbeing

Why you need a facial

What can a facial do for your face that a washcloth and soap can’t?