This Celebrity Chef’s Apartment Is as Bold as His Personality
If you’ve ever wanted proof that you can be stylish on a budget, this is it.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 7:51 AM
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“This apartment is kind of my love letter to myself,” jokes Travis London. “It had to be happy. If it didn’t make me happy instantly when I saw it, I didn’t want it in my apartment.”
Such was the impetus behind London’s boldly brilliant Brooklyn apartment decor. The celebrity chef, event planner, and lifestyle/travel expert wears many hats—the latest of which might just be interior design. After settling in New York City (for now at least) following stints in Paris and Milan, London set about creating a space as colorful and bright as his personality.
[In the lead image: RugsUSA Savanna Moroccan Diamonds Shag Rug, $129.35; West Elm Sphere + Stem 6-Light Chandelier in Brass, $499; CB2 Perforated Black Marble Side Table, $349]
[In this image: Brayden Studio “Build on Love” Tropical Textual Art, $63.99; CB2 16” Iceland Sheepskin Pillow, $139; West Elm Roar + Rabbit Swivel Chair in Dusty Blush, $799]
“In Paris, I lived in Montmartre and my apartment was very French—French fabrics, and high arch balcony windows. In Milan, my apartment was modern because Milan is a design capital, so it was all white and clean with lots of wood,” he explains. “This apartment is very New York. New York is a mix of cultures and people from around the world, and the inside is also a mix of all over instead of one place in particular.”
[In this image: Spoonflower Indigo Watercolor Dots; CB2 Fuzzy Sheepskin Stool, $349; CB2 Perforated Gold and Marble Console Table, $549]
It’s also quite literally a love letter to himself. In addition to the extremely casual Warhol-esque self-portrait adorning one wall, each room represents a different part of London’s persona.
[In this image: West Elm Sphere + Stem 6-Light Chandelier in Brass, $499; Lite Source Brushed Brass Cupola Single Light, $151; Rove Concepts Finn Mirror, $525; Rove Concepts Chloe Bed, $1,596; CB2 Vibrations Shag Rug, $899]
The bedroom, inspired by Los Angeles, is very masculine with clean lines, and even includes a photo of him taken on the beach by his parents’ house in LA. The combined office/guest room space is bright, white, and simple, which London says is reflective of his work ethic. “I’m very straight forward, very cut to the chase, and everything has to be perfect,” he says.
[In this image: Ikea Byas TV Unit, $129; CB2 Tres Floor Lamp, $249; CB2 Curator Cowhide Chair, $599]
And the living room, which happens to be London’s favorite, is an homage to his life abroad. Borrowing the European philosophy of “more is more,” bold fabrics and prints mix perfectly in this maximalist room.
“You should never be afraid to mix things that seem like they don’t go,” says London. “For example in the living room, I have black and white wallpaper, a blue and white patterned rug, pink chairs, and a green sofa. Saying it out loud it sounds like such a clash, but when you see it all together it works. Don’t be afraid to go out of the norm! It’s ok to go outside that box and mix things that make you happy.”
[In this image: CB2 Acacia Wood 40” Mirror, $299; CB2 16” Faux Fur Cheetah Pillow, $29.95; CB2 23” Cloud Distressed Pillow, $149; Article Sven Grass Green Sofa, $1,299; Spoonflower Yoruba Herringbone Fabric]
Luckily, the two-bedroom home by Level One Holdings was brand new when London moved in, requiring little renovation besides injecting some much-needed color. The first thing he did was buy a beautiful green
, setting the scene for his new place and creating a starting point around which to build out the rest of the apartment.
He’s also not afraid of mixing and matching prints, as evidenced by practically every room in the house.
, which has blue dots. It’s not this bold contrast because one is an actual print and one is just dots. When mixing wallpaper patterns specifically, try to stay away from mixing a print with another print, instead mixing a print with a pattern,” recommends London. “That way, they play off each other.”
[In this image: Parachute Linen Venice Set, $399-$439]
If you ever needed proof that you don’t have to sacrifice style for price, London’s apartment is just that. Despite his eclectic and seemingly luxe taste, most of the items in the space are surprisingly affordable and practical. London is a veritable expert on finding pieces that look more high-end than they actually are.
[In this image: CB2 Runway White Desk, $399; CB2 Rouka White Office Chair, $299]
“Everything I decorated the apartment with, I ordered online. If something was $10,000, clearly I would need to see it in person and feel it out. But with something affordable, it’s ok to take a gamble and order online because a lot of these companies will come pick it up if you don’t like it, or even set it up. It’s a win-win,” says London of the perks of ordering from generally more affordable online retailers. “Just order a fabric swatch first.”
[In this image: Brayden Studio Donuts Single Print, $32.99]
Other budget decorating tips include choosing matte over glossy hardware (“I chose muted brass because high gloss is cheap-looking”), adding a few decanters as accent pieces (“Even if you have Trader Joe’s wine, putting it in a decanter opens it up and makes it look fancy”), and incorporating a steady rotation of fresh blooms (“I have mine changed every Thursday, and they make a world of difference”).
He loves online stores like CB2, Wayfair, Overstock, West Elm, and custom fabric and wallpaper company Spoonflower. And as for his biggest shopping secret? Beware drop ship items.
[In this image: CB2 Tesso Bronze Wall Mounted Bookcase, $399]
“I love West Elm, but a lot of the options they sell are drop ship, and triple the [actual retail] price,” he says. “If an item is drop shipped and not an exclusive to a company, search online for cheaper pricing. Huge companies who drop ship will do a 300 percent markup, while Overstock will give you the lowest price.”
[In this image: CB2 Crane Floor Lamp, $149; Restoration Hardware Vintage Velvet Drapery, $119-$539; CB2 Halo Copper Velvet Armchair, $849]
London is not precious about the fabrics he uses either, opting for versatile fabrics that wash easily to accommodate his two dogs. For example, the all white, immaculate-looking couch in his office is actually a washable micro-suede that he calls a “lifesaver” when it comes to easy cleaning. This sensible approach to decorating is something evident throughout the apartment.
[In this image: APT2B Harper Queen Size Sleeper Sofa, $1,998; Framebridge Carson Custom Frame]
“Decorating is inclusive, not exclusive,” says London. “It’s for everyone, and we don’t all live these pristine lives. But I think you can have amazing things that look and feel incredible, and if they get damaged it’s not like they were a year’s rent. [Decorating] is all about getting fabrics that can be easily washed and changed to make them work for everyday life.”
Check out Travis London’s website and be sure to follow him on Instagram, @travislondon.
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