POPSUGAR Home

An Island Retreat That Justifies Studio Living

Aug 6 2014 - 12:10pm

Tucked away on the island of Maui lies a studio that would have anyone willing to downsize. Filled with a mashup of modern, vintage, and earthy elements, this loft is island living at its finest. Both the home and workspace for interior-designer-turned-Pandeia [1]-founder Kelsi Vande Velden reflect her creative, carefree vibe. Here's a look inside Kelsi's (perfect) bohemian hideout, which is effortlessly styled and filled with small-space secrets.

Photo by Ashley Camper [2]

POPSUGAR: Do you have any advice for small-space living?

Kelsi Vande Velden: Get creative. Reimagine the possibilities, and make a floor plan to identify the "dead spaces" that could be better used. In my house, I removed shelves and a door to turn a closet into a foyer. Take advantage of the height of a room; mirrors and light colors will make any space feel larger.

Photo by Ashley Camper [3]

PS: How would you define your sense of style?

KVV: I would say my style is eclectic. It's a clean, bohemian mashup of modern, vintage, and natural elements.

Photo by Ashley Camper [4]

PS: Coming from Wisconsin, what's the biggest design difference between the mainland and Hawaii?

KVV: The major design difference is that you have more options for outdoor living. I spend more time outside my house than inside. It's also harder to find specific things, since resources are limited and shipping can be outrageous.

What has really made me sink my roots on Maui is the overall vibe of the people. The sense of "aloha" is real. It's how I would imagine the days that my grandma speaks of . . . the days when everyone knew each other, you didn't have to lock your doors, strangers smiled at each other, and shared what they have — even if it's not much.

Photo by Ashley Camper [5]

We love how the cream-colored beach cruiser fits seamlessly with Kelsi's decor.

Photo by Ashley Camper [6]

PS: What are your top three sources for home decor?

KVV: I am 26 years old, a small-business owner, and living in one of the most expensive places in the world. Therefore, I am probably on a tighter budget than most. I appreciate handmade items and small businesses like myself, so I love to order things on Etsy. I also like West Elm [7] and Urban Outfitters [8] for budget-friendly options.

Photo by Ashley Camper [9]

Tucked away in the upper level of her loft, crisp linens and an intricate headboard hide under a white canopy.

Photo by Ashley Camper [10]

PS: Where do you go to get inspired?

KVV: As far as design, I am never not inspired. . . . It's almost a problem! Since I easily get bored, I rearrange or add something to my home on a weekly basis. Exchanging decor from one room to another offers an entirely new look at no cost and brings a fresh, new energy to your space.

Photo by Ashley Camper [11]

PS: Who has influenced your decorating philosophy?

KVV: I went to college for interior design and got hired at my dream firm, Designs of the Interior [12], upon graduation. I was the youngest in the firm by many years and was inspired by all the other more-experienced designers. They really took me under their wing, showed me the ropes, and really helped refine my design eye. I'm also really inspired by Kelly Hoppen [13]. She's my favorite interior designer. I keep a signed book of hers on my coffee table!

Photo by Ashley Camper [14]

PS: How has your past in interiors influenced your current company, Pandeia?

KVV: My past as an interior designer has impacted Pandeia [15], in many ways. It has mostly helped my photo shoots, which are my favorite part of Pandeia. Since most of my sales come from Instagram [16] and Facebook [17], I need to have a constant feed of images. I always have a shoot (or four) in the works. I jokingly call myself an "exterior designer," since most of my shoots are now outdoors!

Photo by Ashley Camper [18]

Almost no part of her home is untouched! Potted succulents dress up the windowsill, and bamboo moldings add a tropical vibe.

Photo by Ashley Camper [19]

PS: What's your best piece of decorating advice?

KVV: Interior design is lawless; rules are made to be broken. Don't believe the hype, and do what you like. Go nuts, and remember: if it doesn't turn out how you expected, you can always redo it!

Photo by Ashley Camper [20]

PS: When it comes to decor, what is one thing you can't live without?

KVV: If I had to choose one thing, I'd say candles, but there is never a shortage of textiles, lamps, pillows, blankets in my home. I try to build a vibe and an environment that creates a feeling within. I believe the easiest way to do this is through lighting, texture, and a good use of space.

Photo by Ashley Camper [21]

A closer look at Kelsi's cozy balcony and Pandeia [22] workspace.

Photo by Ashley Camper [23]

PS: Your ideal day looks like . . .

KVV: Taking the ferry from Maui to Lana'i, setting up camp, chilling at the beach, hiking, and throwing back a few too many Sierra Nevadas around the campfire. I'm a simple girl when it comes down to it. . . . Put me outside by water, and I'll be stoked.

Photo by Ashley Camper [24]


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