It feels hard to make end-of-year statements this year. Anything along the lines of “We learned so much,” or “How crazy was that?” sounds incredibly understated, and pretty much wrong. Yet, here we are, another year passed, and we can’t help but look back on the way things were. Despite everything, we kept finding so many beautiful, fabulous, jealously-inducing homes to help pass the time in 2020. We dug into our archive of home tours and found this year’s fan favorites. From genius small-space solutions to brilliant yet doable DIYs, and a slew of amazing vintage finds, these stories highlight the essence of Clever. Smart living can be beautiful too. Check out the best ones below.
Our fall cover star, Elsa Hosk, the supermodel and all-around stylish Swede, decorated a stunning space in downtown NYC that’s 100% her. “Design is the ultimate creative process—you can really reflect your feelings and your mood into your surroundings,” she says. From the candy-colored bedroom to her plush dressing room, the mood in Elsa’s loft is joyful, energetic, and incredibly cool.
Peter Sandel has a few tricks for making a studio apartment feel grand. For his own West Village home, the interior designer chose fresh finishes, statement furniture, and tons of texture.
Though interior designer Carla Lores rents an apartment in the Art Deco Historic District of Miami Beach, the only identifiable relic of the home’s 1930s origin is an ornate, nonworking fireplace. All of Carla’s furniture is secondhand, so she keeps her home current with tchotchkes from contemporary artists. “I like the idea of holding on to these new objects so at some point they become vintage,” she explains.
Five hundred square feet may not seem like much, but Sky Ting cofounder Krissy Jones turned her New York City walk-up into a truly dreamy space. “I love working with my friends in New York,” says Krissy when describing all her prized objects.
In her 350-square-foot Upper West Side studio, Natasha Nyanin managed to fit a living and dining area, home office, bed, bookshelf, and tons of bold art and decor.
Our very first digital cover star, actor Laura Harrier, opened the doors to her L.A. home, which is filled with major vintage gems and the most soothing shades of pink—just don’t call it millennial! “Well, when you call it that, it makes me like it less,” she says, laughing.
Personal beauty is imbued in every corner of Zoë Rayn, the founder of Caldera Magazine, and Eddie Russell’s home, which they share with their cat, Karen. The warm and eclectic space is minimally furnished with midcentury vintage finds and art pieces, which play well with the building’s architectural details and natural light.
Although Isabella Boylston, the award-winning principal ballet dancer, says her 1,500-square-foot space still feels like a work in progress, she’s enjoyed the process of putting her home together with husband, Daniel Shin. “Dan is the interior-decorating guru,” she says. Dan replies, “My mom has always been a really good interior decorator. I get it all from her. Except for the middle room—the middle room is probably more my dad.”
In her Brooklyn apartment, actor Molly Bernard let a piece of statement artwork by friend and fellow Clever home tour subject Ethan Cook guide her color palette and furnishing choices. “He brought it over the day I moved in,” Molly says, “and that ended up informing the design of the whole room.”
Minimalism requires meticulousness. It’s a mindset photographer Charlie Schuck and prop stylist Natasha Felker have mastered in their Brooklyn brownstone, where their curated possessions meet a clean palette awash in natural light. “If there’s something we fall in love with, we first look to see if it can be found used, at a discount, or for a trade,” Charlie says. “If not, then we buy or commission the piece to be constructed.”
Juan Moreno Lopéz-Calull is the founder and designer at John Brown Projects, a Barcelona-based interior design firm and art consultancy. As a 28-year-old city dweller, Juan had the luxury of creating a space catered exclusively to his own needs and vision. Upon securing the apartment, he excitedly imagined it as a canvas to showcase the artists he champions professionally, a platform to articulate his team’s mission and capabilities, and an opportunity to tell his story. The outcome is a home that exists as a living, breathing testament to Juan’s very personal aesthetic ideals, passions, and philosophies.
In 2017 candy store co-owner Alan Ledford purchased this exquisite 1890 Victorian, which is full of sweet surprises. Its innately adorned exterior, period molding, and original brickwork are just some of the things that initially drew him to the 3,000-square-foot condo in San Francisco.
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest