When it comes to rentals, in most cases, our options are limited – a little bit of paint, furniture, and accessories, and we do our best to make the space our own. When a young grad student approached interior designer Olivia Stutz with the task of transforming her New York City apartment that she was renting she wanted to create the ideal oasis for hanging out with friends and studying.

“Her lifestyle is all about studying so she wanted to make sure this space was super conducive to reading and being in a calm atmosphere with not a lot of distractions,” Olivia shared. “She went to school in Southern California and then stayed and worked in LA after school. The look and feel of the California lifestyle were important to her and wanted to bring that concept to New York upon her move last year to the city.” Inspired by beach-side locations such as the Edition Hotel and the 1 Hotel in Miami, it was clear that she wanted a calming all-white space with natural elements.

“For the living room we chose a white Belgian linen for the sofa because there was no other option in my mind,” the designer said. “It had to be a white sofa or else the space wouldn’t have achieved the vibe I needed it to.” Paired with the sofa was a silk blend rug from Stark Carpet that added a luxurious feel to the space. However, the showstopping element in the room was the custom picture cabinet made by The Build with Ethan that was inspired by Soho House Malibu. “At first, we really didn’t understand or know how it was going to make the room feel,” Olivia said. “It ended up being unique, creative and just what the space craved in order to feel genuine and not like anyone else’s home.” She sourced artwork such as the large Kate Holstein photograph over the sofa from Clic Gallery and other pieces from Tappan Collective.

The bedrooms exude organic modernism with white oak furniture, brass accent wall sconces from Aerin, and knit accents. Olivia looked to Kelly Behun Interiors, Jenni Kayne’s LA home, Calvin Klein’s Homes in LA and Miami and also Todo Ando, for inspiration. “We chose organic white linen sheets from Parachute in the master bedroom,” she said, “Creating the vibe of living in Malibu on the water. If we had used a sateen sheet set from any other company, it wouldn’t have worked for this room or have that ‘lived in’ feel.” A reclaimed wood bedframe from west elm sets that casual tone that they were going for.

The result is a warm, monochromatic space, that looks custom head-to-toe. “She loves entertaining in this space because everyone can actually snuggle up and be cozy and comfortable because everything is meant to feel soft and organic to the touch,” Oliva shared. “I think she’s found a happy medium to entertaining her friends and studying in the big city.”