VIDEO: YouTube Star Desi Perkins's Living Room Makeover
Laurel & Wolf helps the beauty vlogger create a live/work space that reflects her glamorous personal style.
There's no doubt that beauty vlogger Desi Perkins knows how to compose a stunning look on a face: Over 1.7 million subscribers tune in to the freelance makeup artist turned YouTube star's weekly instructional videos to learn how to master tricks—from Kylie's lips or JLo's glow to the ultimate bare brow rehab or subtle smokey eye. But when it came to beautifying her own home, the stylesetter was at a loss. "I'm terrible at putting anything together with interior design, which is how I imagine some people might feel watching my makeup tutorials," explains Perkins. What she did know firsthand was that the best place to learn something new is often online. So, she reached out to digital design service Laurel & Wolf to help transform her California living room into a space that reflects her much-admired aesthetic—a flawless, neutral base with a feminine palette and strategic hits of shimmer—and suits her busy life as an online entrepreneur.
Her existing open-plan living area had been set up in separate formal seating and dining areas, but the former was serving too many purposes while the latter stood unused. "I think for a lot of YouTubers it’s hard to differentiate between the space where you want to work, and where you want to come home and watch a movie with your husband," says Perkins. "When they’re both the same space, it can get really muddy." Priority number one was turning the dining room into a dedicated office area to buckle down in. For the living area, she dreamed of something chic, relaxed and lounge-inspired, and, of course, the help of a style-savvy pro to make it all happen.
Based on the results of her personal style quiz, Perkins received customized design boards from Laurel & Wolf's roster of decorators and chose her favorite to work with. "Having somebody who had all of these ideas was really exciting," she says. The designer she selected, DeAnna Mackensen, envisioned a hybrid space that was not only suited to Perkins's requirements, but based on the girly, glam persona that comes through on her YouTube channel. "I started watching her videos and could see her playful personality, her dedication to the beauty industry, and her sense of fashion. All of these things influenced me," says Mackensen.
Much like Perkins's beauty looks, the room began as a pristine canvas. Ethereal white walls and pale, luminescent floor coverings are accented by carefully layered in moments of dramatic depth, for an effect not unlike the contouring techniques she applies in her tutorials. Luxe white and gold furnishings pop against a charcoal wall in the office area like expertly applied highlights on brow bones and cheeks. As for the warmth added by a soft, blush-tone sofa in the living area, the makeup parallel is almost too obvious.
Tiny hits of bold color were the only choice that left the neutral-loving star uncertain. "Pretty much anything in this room that you see that has color is something that I was a little wary about," she says. "I didn't think that the painting [behind the desk] was going to work, but it looks amazing." Her advice for those considering the process is something her dedicated viewers know well: Trust the expert. "Just sit back and let them really give you the overall vibe you’re looking for. The little pieces you think you might not like, you may really love once they're all together."