Hubert May Transforms an Empty apartment into a Home

The coming of a new year calls for a new outlook and a custom renovation.

“The client was telling me about moving into a new place. I told him that once he picked his apartment, I would come and help him decorate,” says Hubert May, owner of StudioHue, LLC.

“I started with the ABCs. We went through the basics—does he like color? Does he like texture? Does he want it to feel sparsely furnished or stuffed with furniture? Does he prefer a more modern style? I gave him a ‘homework assignment’ to look through magazines and note anything that caught his attention even if he didn’t like it.” 

Through this process, Hubert and the client began to customize the apartment for a fresh look and feel.

“The client’s biggest goal was to create a space that his children would feel welcome in and proud of when they came to visit him,” Hubert says. “The idea was to make it inviting to them as well as make it his own space.” 

In this apartment, many elements were customized to fit the smaller space. The painting in the living area over the sofa was a custom design.

“The artist traditionally paints small canvases in an 8-by-11 size. We asked him to take on this project, and he created a 30-by-60 custom piece that perfectly complemented the room,” Hubert says. 

Another custom piece is the blown glass chandelier over the dining table. Hubert and the client worked directly with the lighting designer to create the chandelier, giving input on the colors and the shape of the glass fixtures. The sofa was also a custom piece that was made smaller by the vendor in order to fit the living room. The original design was too large and overwhelmed the room.

“We had looked for a different piece but kept coming back to this particular sofa and asked the vendor if they could make it fit the space.” 

The size of the apartment was a significant factor in the design process. The glass coffee table gives the appearance of more space because it is see-through. The dining table seats four when it is condensed but can extend to seat six or right people. The television is mounted on the wall, and a bold color was used to accent the area above the fireplace that would have traditionally held a television.

One of the intricate pieces in the apartment is called the “Little People Screen.”

“I found the Little People Screen in my search to cover the return air grill. I had originally thought we would use a Japanese screen, but it didn’t allow air to come through,” Hubert says. “The Little People Screen gives the space a beautiful visual component and functionality.”

“The client really connected with his space, and it gave him confidence and joy. He had a place to come home to that really felt like home and made him want to be there. It changed his whole outlook. When you are happy with something, it really shines through in your work and in your life,” Hubert says. 

In need of a facelift for your living space this holiday season? Here is an expert tip from Hubert May: “For the holiday season, I would find really cool throw pillows in multiple sizes and textures. They can be holiday-themed, or they can be different festive colors or textures to change the whole feel of a room.”

To learn more about Hubert May and StudioHue, LLC, call 202.660.0446 or visit