Kate Schelter Gives an L.A. Motel the Makeover of Its Lifetime
Our #wcw is transforming 29 historic bungalows into a garden of earthly delights for hotelier Jeff Klein
You know those satisfying Instagram wormholes you find yourself in late at night, hopping from one beautiful and inspiring account to another? Well, that happened to us recently when we stumbled upon Kate Schelter—stylist, branding and image consultant, illustrator, and all around creative. Turns out that at the time of our Insta discovery, Kate was out in L.A., paintbrush in hand, creating lush, floral murals of lemon trees, palm fronds, peonies, and hydrangeas on the walls of the San Vicente Bungalows in West Hollywood. Our interest peaked (not only from the visual eye-candy, but also admittedly because of her cheeky hashtags like #chintzbomb and #geraniumsgonewild) we had to know more. We chatted her up and found she's even more awesome than we thought. Meet our new #wcw:
Lonny: Hi, Kate! We have so enjoyed seeing the beautiful images you've been painting out in L.A. Will you tell us about this project of yours?
Kate Schelter: I would be thrilled to! The San Vicente Bungalows are an insanely charming and gorgeous place, and I have totally had a ball painting the murals!
L: We hear the bungalows have a rather intriguing past, no?
KS: They are the oldest structures in West Hollywood, built in the 1880’s. They aren't new but the hotel is new in its current form. About a year ago Jeff Klein (of Sunset Tower and Monkey Bar) bought it and has been slowly renovating and carefully improving since.
L: What was it like painting on location?
KS: For eight days I was set free to improvise on a massive scale. Jeff is a dream to collaborate with. And we are not done yet!
L: Did you paint just the walls, or other surfaces as well?
KS: I painted walls, ceilings, eves, built-ins. Jeff gave me free-reign to paint what and wherever I wanted. No rules. I painted watercolors, too, which we will incorporate into the decor.
L: Was every room painted differently?
KS: I chose a species of flower for each room. Then I chose my colors, climbed my ladder, and began painting. I had no sketches. It just came out of my brush. Sometimes the location spoke to me. The room I slept in, for example, had a gorgeous peaked roof with beams over the bed. I knew I had to paint a lemon tree that spanned three walls and the ceiling so it would be like waking up in an orchard. We brought the outside flora inside.
L: Tell us about your materials of choice.
KS: I used Farrow&Ball and Benjamin Moore paints, and custom-mixed each color that hit the wall.
L: How would you describe the aesthetic and vibe of the bungalows?
KS: Cashmere hippy. It's like a very special secret garden (you must have the private code to enter), a charming, groovy, old-Hollywood vibe that’s intimate as hell. An exclusive poolside tropical oasis dotted with adorable bungalows amongst the treetops, hidden from the outside world.
We don't know about you, but we're glued to our phones waiting to see what's next for Kate and the Bungalows.