When actress Barrett Weed needed to fill her blank slate Hell’s Kitchen studio, she called in Homepolish designer Molly Torres to play up her personality.
Photos by Claire Esparros.
Barrett Weed’s acting career has been filled with riffs on the beloved—a turn in a musical version of ‘80s classic Heathers and now bringing to life Janis (one of the best people you’ll ever meet) in the Broadway production of Mean Girls.
That reverence seemed to extend to her real life as well. The bubbly actress had plenty of charming and sentimental pieces—but no clear path of how to style them (probably because she was insanely busy traveling back-and-forth to Washington D.C. for her play’s off-Broadway run). Enter Homepolish designer Molly Torres to help turn her empty Hell’s Kitchen studio space into a calming between shows crash pad in no time.
“When I first met with Barrett, she had just moved into her apartment and needed help articulating her ‘boho-chic’ aesthetic,” says Molly. “Specifically, she wanted to carve out an office area with shelving and thoughtfully style her existing décor, which consists of artwork and collections from her travels, throughout the space.”
“My aim for this space was to design a fun, quirky, millennial-minded haven—basically I wanted it to be an extension of her playful, engaging personality,” Molly tells us. “Barrett was so trusting and respectful of the design process, which enabled us to really push the limits of her apartment’s square footage and create a truly versatile space.”
To amplify the small space, Molly looked to the apartment’s floor-to-ceiling windows.
“Any New Yorker (actually, any human!) would covet the amount of natural light in Barrett’s home,” Molly explains, “It lends itself to a soft palette of neutrals, blushes and metallics, with a pop of bright color in the turquoise area rug to anchor the space.”
Those lighter tones do wonders to trick the eye into thinking there’s more space.
“I steered away from dark colors, opting to keep the space light and bright, which helps it feel larger,” she explains. “I also ‘built upwards’ to take advantage of the wall’s full height. To help save space, the daybed serves a dual purpose’ it’s the absolute best place to nap and a very small portion of Barrett’s shoe collection (the girl’s got a whole closet dedicated to shoes…insanely jealous!) is stored underneath.”
Barrett has a big, happy personality, so beyond maximizing space, Molly’s wanted to put her bubbly spirit on display. Along with countless photographs, memorabilia, favorite books and fable figurines, a set of one-of-a-kind best friend “charms,” line the walls.
“Most besties have friendship bracelets with a set of half-hearts,” recalls Molly. “Barrett, being the unconventional queen that she is, shares a vintage pool ball set with her best friend. The moment I set eyes on her half of the set, I knew I wanted them to be a main event in the space. Cue their new homes: perfect little display cubes from The Container Store!”
Unique art pieces speak to Barrett’s bold, cheeky sensibilities as well. “All of the art in the space is Barrett’s, collected, passed down or gifted throughout the years. When I arrived for our first consultation, the framed photo of Barrett and her Heathers cast members [the actress starred in the off-Broadway production] was still half inside its cardboard delivery box, sent courtesy of Barrett’s mom,” Molly tells us.
“She was unsure about displaying it, but the scale and color was so fun! It didn’t take much convincing for her to let me display the framed piece front and center over her bed. Barrett also has the coolest memorabilia from all of the plays she’s done, which was so much fun to work with and style. The Vogue mixed media piece leaning against the pennant wall is a gift from a friend she acted with in college.”
For a designer who loves shaping unorthodox spaces, creating Barrett’s space was a dream. Molly did her best to bring her client’s inner self to life in the space, and Barrett is thrilled with the results.
“Molly helped turn my apartment into a sanctuary in the middle of the busiest city on earth,” Barrett tells us. “The collaborative process was so fun and she used many little pieces I already had to create a stylish, calm, beautiful environment. I couldn’t be more psyched about my new space.”
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