The Best Nest: Mel Grover-Schwartz ’14

Eliza Graham

Seniors Mel Grover-Schwartz, Lizzy Blanchet and Ryan Orkrisz’s living room in their off-campus apartment is an innovative and inviting space. Grover-Schwartz decorated the room, which connects directly to the kitchen. It is light and spacious, due to the three large windows that look down onto Lebanon Street (which make it for prime people-watching), and the happy bursts of colors from cheerful wall hangings and woven patterned pillows. Chinese lanterns in similar hues and white Christmas lights suspended from the ceiling also add to this lively feel. Key to Grover-Schwartz’s use of color, though, is the way in which she contains it. The bright tones come out in pops, punctuating the white walls, couch and bookshelves. A variety of patterned throws and pillows, as well as two floor cushions, hark back to the fun floral fabrics of the 1960s and ’70s, while a striped rug brings the room back to a more traditional look. Combinations like this suspend the space between two very distinct styles. I immediately fell in love with Grover-Schwartz’s simple and linear but creative use of postcards lining the tops of the overhead kitchen cabinets. A last detail I loved was a vintage ladder put to use as a TV stand, a fantastic idea that perfectly exemplifies the creativity at work during her decoration of the entire space.

How does your room reflect your personal style?

I would describe my personal interior design style as Pottery Barn-Teen meets all of my parents’ old cutlery/furniture and then swaddled in a bulk package of Christmas lights.

Tell me about one particularly important item in your room.

I collect postcards and love showing off my favorites, so my roommates and I decided to tape them to our kitchen cabinets. It definitely adds color and personality to the otherwise white walls. 

Where/from whom did you get your inspiration?

I got really into decorating through this weird, unreciprocated elementary school obsession with Ty Pennington vis-a-vis Trading Spaces. Also, I went to boarding school and lived in a single on the third floor of my dorm so the only way to get people to come visit me was to entice them with ambiance. I need to feel comfortable in my living space!

Contact Eliza Graham at [email protected]