Apartment Fashion: Love Where You Live

We all wake up, get out of bed, brush our teeth, and dress ourselves every morning. Most days our outfits look good—sure, some days bad—but we usually manage to do so with little to no fuss at all. So why is it that so many of us seem paralyzed when it comes to home decorating decisions? The drapes, the drains, those confounding little tchotchkes—it’s enough to bewilder the best of us. Well fear not my fellow interior-impaired fashionistas, because the solution to all of your design debacles exists mere footsteps away…hanging in your closet.

Alexander McQueen dress

Alexander McQueen Butterfly Dress and sitting room in SoHo designed by Noa Santos for

I’ve recently become enrolled, if not principal, in the school of thought that teaches Fashion as Apartment Therapy 101. Are you clueless when it comes to curtains? I understand. Baffled when it comes to bathroom rugs? Been there! If you, like me, can easily differentiate between Valentino Red and Versace Red, but don’t know the difference between armchairs and armoires—breathe—just let inspirations from the runway be your guide. Turns out, the basic rules of fashion and home décor go hand in hand:

  1. invest in classic vintage pieces
  2. utilize color for personality
  3. always embellish the features you like and, of course, play down the areas you don’t

Sweeping fashion trends can also be easily translated into the home…

Navajo cloak and entryway inspired by it

Lindsey Thornburg Cloak (via and West Village entry way designed by Noa Santos for

Example: I’ve always had an affinity for the high-contrast, bold-color look of Navajo pieces. From Rodarte’s infamous prairie coats to Proenza Schouler’s bold-patterned silks, to well, Isabel Marant’s entire Fall 2011 collection, I just can’t get enough of the trend’s rich colors and intricate details. So what better way to make Navajo Nouveau again than in the bedroom?

Just ask Noa Santos, the designer and owner of ‘50 for Fifty’, a new company making interior design available for young New Yorkers, who suggests “dressing your home as you would dress yourself.” Lusting over the new Missoni maxi skirt? Just purchase the shower curtain (from Target, if you can find it) and hang it on the wall!

“For a bold bedroom statement this Fall, it’s all about the warm tones and complex textures of Navajo furniture,” says Santos. “And like fashion, these pieces look best paired with color-blocked separates, bold blacks, classic whites, or even wildly layered on top of one another.”

Pendleton Dopp Bag via and West Village Bedroom designed by Noa Santos for

The concept behind 50 for Fifty may be simple ($50 buys you a 50-minute personal consultation), but the company’s dashing designer and innovative interior solutions make it more than just your run-of-the-mill decorating service. Take the photo above for instance. I mean, really… a bed frame made out of wooden shipping pallets?! Cheap, funky, and just think of all the extra shoe storage!

If chandeliers are the home’s jewelry and rugs are the home’s shoes, then decorators like Santos are fashion’s equivalent of a couture designer. And honestly, who wouldn’t want a piece of that?

Chanel Runway Spring 2007 and SoHo Bed designed by Noa Santos for

50 for Fifty is a Manhattan-based company making interior design available to young New Yorkers who work hard, play hard, and deserve to love where they live.