Not everyone is lucky enough to start a renovation project with a clear jumping-off point, but designer Ashley Scott of Scout Modern knew exactly where to begin. “I love the concrete wall. It was my inspiration from the beginning,” she shares.
After digging around for the perfect wall accent piece, Scott eventually bought an Australian-made raffia hanging, which she found to be even more perfect given the fact that her client was from Sydney. “I wanted to find some pieces that were handmade in Australia to make him feel at home,” says the designer. “That raffia wall hanging is such a special piece.”
Located in L.A., the 795-square-foot bachelor pad is part of a building designed by Kelly Wearstler. Those design-friendly bones (for example, beautiful hardwood floors and warm kitchen cabinets) proved to be especially useful as they were the only thing Scott had to go on for the project. Everything you see here is completely new, brought in as part of a two-month-long quest to furnish the rental apartment and turn it into her client’s dream space.
“What he most wanted was to have a hotel experience at home; really clean and clutter-free, with an emphasis on the styling and finding nice statement pieces,” says Scott. “Like something you might find in a boutique hotel.”
Mission accomplished: Sticking to a neutral palette for a timeless, versatile look and mixing in unique vintage finds with affordable retailer purchases, Scott transformed the apartment into a place that’s a calming escape from Los Angeles’ busy city center.
We spoke to the designer to learn about where she sourced the gorgeous details that make this space so cozy—plus, her tips on making neutrals feel fresh.
How did you make wall-to-wall carpeting work in the bedroom?
The carpet in that space is actually pretty nice—it’s almost like a cashmere! It was neutral enough. [It’s all about] playing with neutral tones, playing with the pattern mixing, and really focusing on the bedding.
Speaking of neutrals, can you tell us about your style inspiration for the place?
I knew I wanted it to feel masculine but still earthy; I wanted an organic touch, so I pulled in a lot of different textures and patterns that are still within that neutral palette.
How do you avoid making a neutral palette feel one-note?
It’s all about the texture—if you’re within a neutral palette but playing with different shades and tones, that gives you a layered effect. I mixed wood tones for a look that feels comfortable and a bit masculine and added plenty of plants and florals throughout the space to soften [it]. I always suggest that my clients keep fresh florals in their space, as it drastically changes the look of a room.
You also use texture in more unconventional ways; I love that the artwork on the walls isn’t all just traditional art and includes some cool textured finds. Tell me about the shell necklace hanging near the kitchen.
I’m all about a wall necklace! That’s actually a cuttlefish bone strand—I just wanted to add some texture and dimension to the wall. Play with negative space and add something to it.
Where do you source unique decor and art finds?
Pretty much all over—I especially source heavily from Etsy.
Can you share some of your tips for shopping on Etsy?
I have a running “favorites” from browsing in my spare time. Then, it’s really easy to go to my account and see what I’ve saved for future projects.
I always check the reviews and how many sales they have because it’s nice to see customer photos. Also, I recommend checking out their Instagram or website; I really like to get invested in the artist and learn about who they are. There’s something to me about things that are handcrafted and tell their own story. Etsy is such a go-to for art. Don’t be afraid to ask an artist to custom-make something for you.
Do you have a favorite part of the home?
The lamp next to my sofa is one of my favorite pieces. Lighting design is key in creating that boutique hotel vibe; I gave each space a moment with handcrafted hanging wall sconces in the bedroom, a three-arm chandelier above the dining table, and a polished nickel pole sconce in the entry.
Because this is a rental, I used plug-in lighting options in the bedroom and entry; plus, I love the look of exposed cords! My client set up all the lighting with his Alexa so that they are voice commanded. This is a great touch that adds to the “hotel” experience.