When Sheeva Sairafi – founder of popular decor company Local + Lejos – first moved into her Culver City home, it had a very different aesthetic than her own. The colors were all quite dark, which is just the opposite of her style. She spent about 6 months working on it — painting, collecting unique items, and filling it with worldly treasures. But it just didn’t feel finished, so she reached out to Homepolish designer Haley Weidenbaum for help. Sheeva explains, “I knew that, in the living room especially, the furniture arrangement was off and I couldn’t get it quite right.”
Sheeva actually first discovered Haley through Rue — my home, to be exact! She says, “I really wanted to work with Haley because I absolutely loved her work on your place and the mix off different feels you guys incorporated.” And mixing styles was key. Local + Lejos an online shop that brings consumers decor from all over the globe — Cambodia, Guatemala, India, and Rwanda. Naturally, her own home is filled with these same wares, and she didn’t want it to look too bohemian. “I wanted to incorporate more modern accents to give it a fresher feel. Haley completely understood that and helped me work with items I already had and sprinkling in new items. Throughout the process with Homepolish, we only bought a few extra pieces for the space.”
Her first meeting with Haley was a clear indicator that the duo would hit it off. “Haley is seriously like rain (wo)man with furniture / room layout. I was actually amazed at how some of her very simple suggestions, could really change the feel of the whole room,” Sheeva laughs.
In the living room, Haley brought in two leather chairs from West Elm and a bench from Urban Outfitters, offering more seating and making the layout feel more intentional. She swapped out the coffee table for something smaller and more proportional to the space. Of course, with Sheeva’s love for sustainable design, they had to include a DIY. “We dyed the curtains together to give the stark white curtains a warmer look, and tie the blue into the rug.”
In the bedroom, it’s hard to notice anything but those incredible arches. But, before the redesign, the space actually felt pretty stark — there was just a small bench at the end of the bed. It just took a second set of eyes and a lot of rearranging to find that perfect harmony. “One afternoon we worked with what we had to rearrange furniture for an hour to see if we could fill it out. Haley’s idea of moving the bench to the side, and create a little vignette with a plant and some books, really helped to round out the left side of the room without putting something bulky there. I loved it immediately!”
The dining room saw a major transformation as well. “When Haley came we only had the one pink/red rug there. It really wasn’t quite large enough for the table & chairs, but I didn’t want to spend to buy a larger printed rug. Haley suggested a less expensive jute rug for underneath, to fill in the space. Once the rug came in, I was blown away at how different it made the room feel, it instantly felt more complete.” They added a mirror, which made the space seem much more open, and added the rattan shelving. (One of our favorite details!) The dining room included a few DIYS as well. “Both the chairs and barcart came from my old place, and both were teal. I’d had them each for about 4 years, and just didn’t want to have the same look I did before,” Sheeva says. All it took was a little spray paint! (Click here for Homepolish’s bar cart tutorial.)
As for the office, Sheeva has to laugh. “Before Haley’s magical touch, the fengshui — I don’t even know what that really means — but something just didn’t feel right. My desk was all the way in one corner, towards the window, and I really didn’t feel like I got a great work energy out of it. Also, instead of one long desk on the opposite corner, there was a smaller desk on the right hand side, against the hallway wall.” Haley suggested centering everything and keeping the middle open and getting rid of the bulky storage unit. Since Sheeva runs Local & Lejos out of that room, she knew she couldn’t downsize on storage. As a replacement, they got 2 smaller pieces, and made shelves — a DIY you can find on the Homepolish blog.
The home truly became a reflection of Sheeva — not just her style, but the values she instills in running her business. To help you achieve something similar, here are her top 3 tips for incorporating sustainable design into your home without breaking the budget:
1) Assess what you really need before you start, and repurpose items you already have. A little bit of spray paint / paint goes along way.
2) Take your time. Rome wasn’t build in a day. Its easy to get caught up in just wanting your place “done”, but finding the right pieces at the right price takes time. And its worth the wait – that coffee table took me 9 months to decide on (Haley found it on Instagram!), and it was the pinnacle piece for the living room.
3) Support brands whose ethics align with your own. Its really cool to see these pieces integrated into your space when you know the story, the face and the impact behind the product.