The Ultimate Studio Apartment with Alex English

Hi! I’m Alex English, a San Francisco-based writer and consultant. And, a new voice here on the blog.

Fashion is my first aesthetic love, and it’s the most natural way I express myself.

But as a well-rounded aesthete, I love to discuss art, industrial design, and pillow choices almost as much as the right pair shoes.  When I do have to make decisions on interior design and decor, I apply the same principles I would with fashion.

Some of my favorite pieces here on the site follow a similar taste profile as what’s in my closet: I aim for lots of neutral, earthy base colors, like white, gray, tan, olive, and brown. I love gentle texture, clean lines, some subtle flash, and an element of the organic, like wood or stone.

And, I insist on quality—of materials, of construction, and overall finish.

Wendy and Nicholas have assembled an impressive collection of products from the best design brands at Atlanta, High Point, and New York markets. From those, here are some of my picks for my ultimate studio apartment:

As the focal point, the Arteriors Home Turner Small Sofa in Mist Velvet.

Shop Arteriors Turner Sofa from Clayton Gray Home

Curvaceous, Sixties-modern is inspiring menswear lately, along with popular TV shows and movies. This elegant sofa is a timeless distillation of that look. The ever-so-light gray-green is perfectly neutral, and the velvet upholstery is a cozy texture against the skin, no matter the season.

I also love that it’s curved, so two people can sit on it and more easily face each other to talk or cuddle.

Add to the center of it this Lacefield Designs Color Blocked Velvet Pillow with Heavy Basket Lumbar, which has panels of velvet mixed with contrasting linen fabrics, all in tonal cream—a worthy counter to the gray-green of the sofa.

Shop Lacefield Designs Color Blocked Pillow from Clayton Gray Home

In keeping with the retro modern theme, I love this wood and hammered-silver Nicholas Cabinet by Worlds Away.

Shop Nicholas Cabinet from Clayton Gray Home

It has the warmth of reddish brown with the cool flash of silver on the doors. It is also big enough to store miscellany like books, electronics, candles, and blankets.

Though not always possible, I prefer to be clutter-free in my spaces, storing anything that isn’t essential. I find that it’s calming and reassuring when everything is stored, tidied, and neat.

Next to the sofa, I see this simple geometric glass and nickel Mixon Side Table, also by Worlds Away.

Shop Worlds Away Mixon Table from Clayton Gray Home


I love unfussy design, and this is about as simple and upscale as you can get. In the gentle incandescent light of dusk, this side table will twinkle nicely.

In front of the couch, or at least somewhere close to any seating, place this Made Goods Roger Single Bench in Hide and Silver. It’s useful as an ottoman (I must put my feet up if I’m truly relaxing), or as extra seating during a party.

Shop Made Goods Roger Bench from Clayton Gray Home


Small benches or stools are great landing spots for handbags, too, instead of putting them on the ground, on the bed, or on the couch.

Another multifunctional footrest/seat/pedestal is the Teo Stool by Made Goods, which is created from petrified wood and resin for an organic look balanced with glossy polish. It’s also the right height and size to be used as an extra side table or seat, depending on the moment.

Shop Made Goods Teo Stool from Clayton Gray Home

To round out this vignette, I choose the Made Goods Eskor Table Lamp, in the same natural yet angular look as the Teo Stool, topped with a perfectly simple, creamy white linen shade.

White in its various iterations goes with almost anything, and can serve to brighten an otherwise neutral color scheme.

Shop Made Goods Eskor Table Lamp from Clayton Gray Home

And last, for a dash of eccentricity, this Tyce Hand Object in Flat White, also by Made Goods. It’s rustic and hefty, with a powerful stance (a fist) akin to classical Renaissance sculptures.

Shop Made Goods Tyce Hand from Clayton Gray Home

There are many more excellent items I’d choose for my space, but these are some of the most versatile essentials to start with.

I’ve learned that all design, from fashion to living spaces, adds up to a richer, more beautiful everyday existence.

I can’t wait to delve further into the brands we carry to explore their artistry, technique, and origins with you, among other topics to come.

Until next time, from San Francisco...

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Alex English

Contributing Editor

Alex is a consultant and writer. He loves style, quality experiences, great brands, and stories of authenticity.