THE DOSSIER: NAME: Nicole Simone TRADE: Singer-songwriter. VIBE: Marie Antoinette meets rustic midcentury modern. ABODE: Renovated two-bedroom, one-bath apartment in Hollywood, Los Angeles.
A jazz student since the age of nine, rising singer-songwriter Nicole Simone (who has opened for the likes of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and Grouplove) has soul -- and if her sultry, desert-set music videos aren't proof, her Hollywood apartment most certainly is.
Simone's seductive, Parisian nightclub sound is echoed in her Francophile interiors, which feature pieces scored at the City of Lights' famous flea markets, including an ornately carved armoire and bed. "Since I was a little girl, I've always had a huge fascination with French history," Simone tells us. "I grew up going there every summer, so it's always been such a part of me. I love the aesthetic of Versailles, Marie Antoinette, and Napoleon. I love the way everything was decorated then, and the way the French have always made their furniture."
In stark contrast to the interior's feminine French furnishings are a simple copper pendant shade, a pair of worn leather sling chairs, and a rustic wicker bar cart that would look right at home beside a Palm Springs pool. "As I grew up, I started to fall in love with midcentury," Simone says. "In LA, we just have such amazing architecture and furniture designers. My love affair with midcentury happened a little more recently, I guess."
Another love of Simone's is literature, and it's quite evident in the well-appointed salvaged-wood bookcase she purchased from Venice furniture store Obsolete. "From coffee table books to novels, I'm a reader and a researcher, and books inspire so much of the aesthetic of my work," Simone says. "I love referencing old photos for music videos and photo shoots."
Simone's collecting habit spills over into her entryway, where a coterie of straw and wool hats have made a home. "I'm a huge hat-wearer, and I don't go out in the sun," she says. "I love the drama of them. But [the collection] really had more to do with storage. Because it's a 1920s building -- it was actually originally a hotel -- there's no closet space. So I thought I might as well make a décor statement with them."
In addition to tackling storage issues, Simone actually gutted her whole apartment, installing new hardwood floors and crown moldings and renovating the kitchen and bath. Beyond that, her design goal was "just to really surround myself with things that I find beautiful and inspiring," the singer says. "What it comes down to when I add something to my home is what story does this piece tell me? Where do I think it has been? I write most of my music at home, so I find it important to have an environment that feels inspiring."
|Dining Room Light Fixture Rewire||Arthur Umanoff Bar Cart Lawson-Fenning||Bookcase Obsolete|
|Tie-Dye Tea Towels Dream Collective||Dining Room Chairs Mohawk General Store||Floor Lamp in Bedroom JF Chen|
|Leather Chair in Bedroom JF Chen||Wood and Lucite Coffee Table Lawson-Fenning||Burl Wood Telephone The Window|
|Italian Modern Rattan Scoop Chair, $2200, 1st Dibs||Bonaparte French Bed, $4395, The French Bedroom Company||Arthur Umanoff Serving Cart, $650, 1st Dibs|
|Redlands Table, Price Upon Request, Lawson-Fenning||Savon De Marseille Hand Soap, $18, Anthropologie||Colonial Safari Chair, $363, Brass Binnacle|
|East Mitten Butte #3 by Matthew Porter, Price Upon Request, M+B||Sculpted Redwood Burl Telephone, $1500, 1st Dibs||Bella French Wreath Armoire, $1850, The Bella Cottage|
|Seagrass Ottoman, $135, Lawson-Fenning||Pernilla Lounge Chair and Ottoman by Bruno Mathsson, $3650, 1st Dibs||Wine Rack by Arthur Umanoff, $3500, 1st Dibs|
Photographer: Andrew Arthur