We’re back with a new guest tastemaker for some quick-fire questions and a mini-curation of some fab Chairish finds!
This week, we sat down with makeup artist Kim White, who has become synonymous with small space glamor after her gorgeous 296 sq ft Brooklyn studio was featured in Apartment Therapy last year. Kim moved into the space following a breakup, and was determined to add her personal touches to it to make it all her own. Kim’s love of design stems from a passion for enhancing inherent beauty — a skill she exercises regularly in her day job. This past December, she moved to a ground-level unit two floors down and started sharing her renovation and decorating tips and tricks with her Instagram and TikTok followers. Soon the new apartment will be decked out floor to ceiling in her signature Kim White Style.
Read on to find out what design element she’s most excited to tackle in her new space, and the story of how she met her ultimate style icon.
What are you most excited for regarding your new living space?
I’m extremely excited to have outdoor space in Brooklyn. I’m from Ohio and I’ve missed hanging out in the backyard. While I know very little about landscaping, I’m looking forward to the challenge of transforming the unused yard into an outdoor haven. Since I just moved recently, the entire apartment is an upcoming project!
The idea of voluntarily uprooting in the midst of a pandemic (while we’re all clamoring for stability, peace, and safe spaces) made me question if I was mentally ready to deal with the disarray of moving. Even though I didn’t move far, there’s still a process to putting your home life back together in a new space. This time I’m documenting it as I go.
You have become known for how masterfully you curated and designed a new apartment to suit your personal needs, following a breakup. What would you say was the best change you made to that previous space?
The most impactful changes that I’d made to my studio apartment had to be the addition of all of the vertical storage. The floor to ceiling gold cabinets in the kitchen and the large closet units in the bathroom made that 296 square foot space a lot more functional. After that, I’d say that the laundry room and the “cloffice” were icing on the cake, and flanking the walls with mirrors made that little studio feel a lot bigger.
What was the biggest challenge when designing your current space?
I live in an older building, so none of the walls, floors, windows or doors are plumb. The ceiling height might vary by two inches from one corner of the room to the next. I’m learning to embrace imperfection and have a few shims on deck.
What’s helping you get through quarantine? What are you excited to do once it ends?
Currently, unpacking and getting organized in my new apartment is helping me get through quarantine, I have lots of tasks to complete! I’m excited to share my space with family and friends once quarantine is over. I really miss entertaining.
Who is your ultimate style icon, and why?
I’m a huge Iris Apfel fan. Her style and look are iconic. I had the privilege of doing her makeup in her home, and I became even more enamored. Her wardrobe, her jewelry, her home, are all a feast for your eyes! It was like being a kid in a candy shop. There were so many stunning pieces that undoubtedly hold many beautiful memories. I’d love to hear some of her secrets.
What is the coolest vintage piece in your house?
I have lots of vintage pieces in my home, but my grandma’s lamp is by far my favorite vintage decor piece. Once when I was a young kid, she caught me standing on the back of a chair swatting the dangly balls on it. Needless to say, I was not allowed to touch the lamp for several years. Now the lamp is in my hands, and I touch it everyday. It makes me smile.