WAS [the newsletter] #23

Special Edition

I’m Paige Wassel. WAS the Newsletter is your weekly dose of design inspiration, currently featuring 100% more Kate.


I spend a lot of time offering critique here, so I’m going to change it up in this week’s newsletter. Instead of telling you how I wouldn’t do it, I’ll show you how I would do it. In this special edition, I’ll break down two projects you may have been following on my social media.

A while back, I was approached to design a couple of podcast sets, so I pulled in Kate. She and I both have jobs outside of prop styling now, so when we get the chance to do something as a team, we jump on it. We’re old friends, having met during our freshman year of college. Our styles are somewhat different, which is beneficial because we avoid group-think. Plus, this gives us more latitude in the ideas we bounce back and forth. Best part, we have such a mutual respect for each other that our projects rarely feel like “work” and that is key.

The first project was to design Gabby Windey’s podcast set. You know her from The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Dancing with the Stars. She found me on Instagram and asked for my help in creating her podcast set, so obviously she has impeccable taste.

The first step in designing a set is to create a mood board and a concept. The board shows a theme, a feeling, a—for lack of a better word—mood. We’ll display fabric samples, paint inspiration, potential layout, etc. We’ll go back and forth with the client until everyone’s on board and then we create a pitch deck so we can get approvals to source items.

I’m like a magician—I can’t show you exactly how the trick works, so this is only a portion of the deck photos:

The curtains were a key part of the look, both from a design standpoint as well as for acoustics, but we didn’t want to spend a ton. We got them from IKEA and had them custom dyed in DTLA. The sofa is from a vintage store and we had it reupholstered. The tapestry came from a guy I’ve been following on Instagram for a while. And you may recognize the pillows from the WAS pop-up store.

Here’s the final product:

This was such a fun project and we loved working with Gabby because she was so cool and open to our ideas. I feel like a lot of people don’t put the work into their podcast sets, and when they do, it shows. (It goes without saying it also shows when they don’t.)

Here’s where to shop the look:

The second project was equally fun. A producer from Smosh Games reached out asking for help designing multiple areas for them to film their YouTube channel. They do video games, board games, and more. They had some existing sets, so we revamped those.

The process was the same with mood boards. The vibe they were going for was hanging out in your grandpa’s basement, but elevated. The goal was for the space to be fun, like a garage hang.

Here’s where we started:

Then we moved onto the renderings:

That was a major installation day and the whole reason I’m documenting it here is because you guys had so many questions about the paint colors. Here’s the final sofa set:

Here’s the PC games set:

And, finally, the podcast set:

So this is what I’m up to when I’m not telling everyone how much I hate builder-grade gray plank flooring. If you thought this was a fun change of pace, let me know and I can take you to work with me again.


Sherwin Williams : Red Bay

Finish: Semigloss

Room Light Level: Any