Kit Williamson and John Halbach love collecting vintage finds but wanted to strike a balance between past and present. Enter Orlando Soria.
Photos by Chad Mellon
Kit Williamson and John Halbach are Hollywood triple threats. The handsome pair act, produce—and shoot their Emmy-nominated LGBT Netflix series EastSiders in their own home. They are even branching into lifestyle content with their site, WhereGentlemenGo.com, covering travel, design, and fashion. (If it’s bugging you, you recognize Kit from his three-year stint on Mad Men playing bespeckled copywriter, Ed Gifford.) While their Hollywood bona fides are top-notch, their design talents were a little lacking.
When their spacious apartment needed a refresh and critical eye to refine their vintage treasures, they contacted Homepolish pal, interior designer, and author, Instagram (and bumping into him around LA) and were excited to enlist his help to add a little cohesion to their apartment.. Kit and John had been following Orlando’s projects for years on
“We’d been in our place for more than six years now and a lot of our old furniture was cobbled together from thrift store finds in our early twenties. It was time for the apartment to grow up a little,” explained Kit.
“Kit and John have a very eclectic sense of style,” Orlando explains. “They have collected a ton of art and objects over the years which I had fun incorporating into the design of their apartment. They’ve definitely got a vintage vibe about them, they love accessories and furnishings that reference the 1950s and 1960s, so there’s a mod-vintage theme going on in their home.”
Two cross country moves left the furniture worse for the wear. Luckily, sourcing modern furniture that still projects a curated vibe is well within Orlando’s expertise. He teamed up with Apt2B, Article, Big Chill Appliances, Leesa, Interior Define, Morrow Soft Goods, Natalie Kaelin Home, and Snowe Home to add more contemporary pieces to their space. Fresh paint and new window treatments helped to brighten and enhance the existing architectural details too.
The first (and most important) area to revamp was the living room. “The layout for the room was a challenge because it’s a long space and it’s the first room you enter in the apartment,” says Orlando. “We had to leave adequate space to move through the space while also creating a great lounge-y area for them to curl up and relax or entertain in.”
For the main seating area, Orlando added in some sleek but roomy, Mid-Century Modern pieces like a sectional sofa, a blue leather lounge chair, and a sculptural coffee table. The clean lines and muted colors allowed their vintage accessories to shine, while finishes like white marble and hints of copper and brass still feel very current.
“The amount of vintage accessories they have are more than I’m used to, but it was a nice surprise to have pieces like faded green lockers in the living room to add some age, character, and storage,” says Orlando. “The space uniquely reflects Kit and John thanks to their amazing collections, but it still feels streamlined and elegant.”
The art in the living room was a nod to all of the places Kit and John have lived in up till now—Minnestoa, Missisippi, Los Angeles, and New York. Since they’ve both moved several times the subway sign is a happy reminder of their time in New York. And it has sentimental meaning for the couple too.
“We had our first kiss underneath the 49th street subway sign after our first date almost eleven years ago,” says Kit. “Our first week back in New York we were looking for furniture at a tag sale in Brooklyn and saw this sign buried in the back of a stack in the corner. It felt meant to be!” The gallery wall, made up of things like oversized vintage postcard prints, a felt pennant, a faded wooden sign, and map of New York, help incorporate the TV. The retro-feel from the art is balanced by the sleek lines of the walnut sideboard which offers another spot for hidden storage.
Like the multi-hyphenates themselves, their living room does double duty. Since both Kit and John occassionally work from home, an inspiring office was necessary.
“I wanted to give them a bright, cheery space to set up a computer and look out into the neighborhood. The beautiful arched windows in the living room were the perfect place for this sleek desk with brass accents from Apt2B,” says Orlando.
The different shades of blue and vintage vibes were carried into the bedroom too. To add visual interest, a deep blue paint was applied to the bottom half of the wall to act as a faux paneling detail. The rest of the room remains simple and serene. Neutral linens, functional walnut nightstands, and modern table lamps add texture and warmth to the space. The old-school world map on the wall adds just the right hit of color against the white half of the wall.
The couple’s apartment features a luxurious detail that is rare in crowded cities—outdoor space. Orlando didn’t want to squander the chance for extra entertaining room. He chose minimal metal chairs that provide the necessary seating but won’t compete with the view. The bistro table in the center adds a hint of color with a pink base and a white marble top, it’s just the right size for a glass of wine or a meal al fresco.
Now the couple’s Silver Lake space strikes the perfect balance between the past and the present. Not to mention it lets this social couple do what they love most: put on a show.