Krysta Rodriguez got her first glimpse of New York City through the windows of the motor home her family was taking on an extensive road trip across the country. There was a pause to see a show along the way – the 1990 Broadway revival of "Fiddler on the Roof".
"And that got me where I am today," said Ms. Rodriguez, now 36, whose résumé includes the musicals "Spring Awakening" and "The Addams Family" as well as a number of television series "Smash" and "Quantico" and Netflix productions such as the post-apocalyptic comedy drama "Daybreak" and the five-episode organic drama "Halston," which premieres on May 14th.
Ewan McGregor is the fashion designer whose minimalist cashmere and ultrasuede womenswear became synonymous with 1970s elegance and whose hard parties became synonymous with the decadence of the 70s. Krysta with a Y plays Liza with a Z, one of Halston's best friends.
Ms. Rodriguez, who lives in a two bedroom condo in Harlem, has her own designer chops. "My mom is a California realtor and I'm her decorator," she said. "When I was growing up we would buy and renovate and sell houses, which I didn't love because it always meant you moved to the worst house in the neighborhood and then left the best house. It wasn't good for your status in the community School. "
She added, "But then I decorated all over the place."
Krysta Rodriguez, 36
New stages: "I'm starting an interior design business. I'll always be an actor – I love acting – but I think there are parallels between the two professions: you inhabit a character the way you inhabit a room."
For example, when Ms. Rodriguez is on a Broadway show, she paints and furnishes her dressing room, leaving everything behind for the next presumably grateful trouper. While filming "Daybreak" in Albuquerque, while some of her castmates were opting for luxury apartments, she opted for an adobe house, moved all the furniture into one room, and fitted out the rest of the rent to her own liking. “I have a passion for beautification,” she said.
Ms. Rodriguez was cast in her first Broadway musical, the short-lived Good Vibrations, in 2005 when she was studying at New York University. The following roles enabled her to buy a tiny studio apartment in Chelsea. She held onto it for seven years before selling in 2017, buying the sunny, high-ceilinged apartment in Harlem, and moving her boyfriend there. (The relationship has since ended.)
The nearly 900 square foot space put an end to the careful maneuvering around this object or piece of furniture that is so much a part of life in Chelsea.
"Things fit, and that was a big improvement for me," said Ms. Rodriguez, who renovated the bathroom, added a Japanese toilet ("it's so civilized," she said), and replaced several folding doors. The washing machine and dryer are now covered by an old sliding door from a piano factory. "I love that it is a little bit stained and has a patina," she said. The front cabinet has a carved Moroccan door.
Of course, now that Ms. Rodriguez is the only resident of the apartment, only her needs need to be considered and her sense of style is the only one that needs to be considered. "I can explore space in new ways," she said.
The inspiration for the do-over came during the "Halston" shoot. She had always viewed the 1970s as the dark age of design: shaggy carpets and an amazing festival of orange. But on the set, she discovered a fancier aspect of the decade, an aesthetic that was glamorous and tactile, neat and streamlined, monochrome and luxurious.
"I remember thinking, 'This is my style," said Ms. Rodriguez, who was fully committed and even interested in the discreet charm of fluffy carpets.
"My apartment pays homage to Halston and Liza," said Ms. Rodriguez. “I wanted it to feel like the place you go after the party that you danced at all night. That was Halston's townhouse – the swing area. "
At Chez Rodriguez, night owls who gather in small hours after the pandemic will lean on the tufted sofa made of cream-colored velvet on the cream-colored carpet made of shaggy wool or against the sculptural camel. colored ultrasuede stool. Paintings by Keren Toledano match the space's limited color palette. Ceiling lights and sconces have recently been installed. They were fitted with Philips Hue lights "so that I can choose different colors to set different moods," she said.
The floating white lacquered wooden shelf in the living room shows the building blocks of an artistic jet set life: a vintage record player, retro barware, a working vintage Polaroid camera, a bowl of foreign currency and an ashtray with a "Halston" prop Cigarette.
The second bedroom of the apartment embodies the more glamorous, anything but neutral side of the 70s. She painted the walls plaster pink and there is a vanity, a rust-colored velvet bench and – hello Studio 54 – a rust-colored disco ball.
The space has been carefully thought out from the entryway – vintage metal chair with a shaggy pillow; White plaster framed mirrors – in the corners of the room "where people can sit and hang out and feel fabulous," Ms. Rodriguez said.
“I want everything to feel very good. I am curated. I'm meticulous, ”she added firmly. "I'm not versatile."
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