Megan Henderson needed to cope with the inevitable “What do I hold?” query when she downsized from a 2,200-sq.-foot home in Beachwood Canyon to a rented townhouse about half that measurement in West Hollywood. The KTLA morning information anchor additionally was disenchanted with the impartial palette that had suffused her earlier residence.

“I used to be afraid of colour,” Henderson stated. “I knew I needed to incorporate it by some means however it will all the time go flawed.”

Enter Dee Murphy, founding father of Los Angeles-based mostly Murphy Deesign, who favors colour and patterns in her aesthetic. Murphy helped Henderson winnow by way of all that beige furnishings and embrace a extra trendy and upbeat design plan — whereas working inside a smaller area that couldn’t be radically or completely altered.

Murphy was additionally tasked with determining the best way to change the configuration of the dwelling and eating areas that Henderson described as “awkward.” They needed to make use of each inch of area whereas avoiding muddle and discovering a option to mirror the Spanish-impressed exterior of the historic improvement. (Legend has it that one among famed illusionist Harry Houdini’s beloved canine is buried within the courtyard.)

This is how they did it:

Switching issues round

When Murphy first noticed the area, the areas allotted to the dwelling and eating sections felt complicated.

“There have been no clear boundaries or apparent methods to dedicate it,” Murphy stated. “The TV plug was within the flawed place, and there was room for less than a miniature couch. We knew it wasn’t going to work.”

She discovered a barely rustic pastel pink-and-sky blue- hued rug from Lulu & Georgia, and used that as a leaping-off level.

“It has a whole lot of colour and was our first piece, after which we labored from there,” Murphy stated. The rug sits atop the unique Spanish tile flooring and adjoining to a navy couch customized-made by Article.

“We needed the sofa to be a grounding shade, and one thing extra masculine, subsequent to the pastels,” stated Murphy, including that customization by means of on-line sources has turn out to be more and more reasonably priced. (At Article, two-seater couches in a buyer’s decide of shade begin at underneath $1,000.) “You get to have a whole lot of decisions at costs that gained’t scare you off,” Murphy stated .

A small eating desk is off to at least one aspect, close to a bar cart. With a classic credenza and rattan chair from Sunbeam Classic, mint-coloured pillows and planter and low pendant lighting above the eating desk, the area that was as soon as off-placing is now heat and alluring.

Short-term trappings

A chief concern, related to many throughout Los Angeles, was the restrictions that include dwelling in a rental.

“You’ll be able to all the time change the fixtures of an condo you don’t personal,” stated the designer, simply maintain on to the originals to return to the proprietor whenever you transfer. One other answer to a colorless rental? Detachable wallpaper in a delicate palm sample, which she discovered on Etsy. It went onto the plain white partitions.

“It gained’t spoil your partitions, and also you simply peel it off once you’re finished,” she stated. “The colours and print are calming however mirror that California vibe. We didn’t need to do something too loopy however it ought to nonetheless be enjoyable and playful.”

She added plug-in sconces (from Sazerac Stitches) that have been a extra fascinating choice than typical tableside lamps and are “a simple repair so as to add character.”

Upstairs, outdoors the main bedroom, Henderson, did somewhat adorning of her personal, because of inspiration from Murphy: She created a small focal space with a palm-print short-term wallpaper behind a slender console desk, including a pop of curiosity to what would in any other case be an unused area.

Letting go

Shopper and designer labored collectively on what to donate or toss and what to include into the brand new house. Henderson used to reside in Wichita Falls, Texas, the place she acquired lots of her items.

“However a variety of it didn’t really feel like California,” stated Henderson. “I invested in good furnishings 10 years in the past for the primary time in my life, and letting go of stuff that you simply spend money on early is troublesome. So I held on to issues longer than I ought to have. It was time for a change, and for my place to mirror one thing that was extra me.”

Mixing it up

Henderson stated she had to withstand the temptation to go for the straightforward repair — outfitting the city home in every part from one retailer.

“With Dee, I knew every thing can be fascinating and totally different. I’d by no means have considered placing sure issues collectively, nevertheless it appears so cohesive,” she stated. An instance: a big pair of brass horns, an ode to Henderson’s time in Texas, occupies satisfaction of place within the dwelling space, near a shiny, sunny print of a yellow coronary heart by artist Kerri Rosenthal in a bit referred to as “Mad Love.” Henderson balked the primary time she noticed it.

See extra photographs of the West Hollyhood townhome »

“I assumed, ‘Oh, that’s so yellow!’” she stated. “In fact, I like it now.”

Maximizing area

As soon as Murphy and Henderson determined the place the tv can be, they needed to assume in another way about it.

“We didn’t need it to be an enormous focus of the room,” Murphy stated. Henderson bought a low sideboard from Sunbeam Classic to carry the TV, and Murphy added numerous small artworks and crops round it “to create a three-D gallery state of affairs.”

“It has all these factors of view — the partitions lent themselves to that, and we needed to make the most of totally different elements of them,” she stated.

Mellowing out

When it got here to the main bedroom, Henderson needed to maintain the palette impartial and calm, so she caught with predominantly white furnishings.

“I get up at 2 a.m. to be at work by three:15 a.m.,” she stated. “I wanted to maintain the area mellow.”

She used the mattress and nightstands from her earlier house and added fairly lamps with a swirl of shade from Jana Bek, a beige chair from West Elm and a dresser from Pottery Barn. Further punches of shade come from the cushions on the mattress, carried out in a painterly watercolor sample and purchased from Consort Design.

“I’m fortunately not a muddle individual,” Henderson stated. “I have a tendency to not acquire pointless issues, which is sweet. I additionally really feel like I’m accomplished with adorning this place, which can also be good. I’d somewhat not eliminate issues once more, so I needed to decide on items that may work anyplace.”