I met Jake after we've been ogling at each other's blogs for some time. He covers mostly sweet interiors. We share very similar design sensibilities, and one funny thing we absolutely abhor is putting a dent on pillows when it comes to styling. I call it the unfortunate fortune cookie cushion. This is what it looks like. You've probably seen it a million times in a million interior shots. It makes our skin itch. Anyway, Jake and I are constantly chatting about what to collaborate on. He had asked me to take photos of his home because he's getting ready to move and never did a home tour, so of course, I was totally down to shoot his smashing place. His home is warm and full of nifty design elements. The guy's got excellent taste and a wealth of interior design knowledge. He puts me to shame, seriously. And he's also getting ready to open up his own jewelry line, selling one of a kind, stone necklaces and bracelets. Talk about
We've lived in the space a year, it was our landing pad after moving to LA from NYC. It's about 750 square feet, which isn't tiny, but not too large, either. When we left Brooklyn, we purged so much stuff. It was all very magical, selling off one life in NYC to start a new one on the West coast. Starting fresh is something I highly recommend. I think too often we place an attachment to things we own, not because they truly mean something, but because we already have it. It's there. No work involved.
We knew we wanted something that was bright, airy, full of interesting textures and when we walked in, it was a blank canvas. I painted the walls, installed the bookshelves, swapped out the dining room chandelier. We started with the basics. A Room & Board sofa and coffee table. An IKEA Malm bed, which was a housewarming gift from our good friends in NYC. The entertainment center is Christopher's, the dresser is from Junk in Williamsburg. The living room has a pair of Milo Baughman chrome chairs, a Craiglist find, and a vintage Jens Risom leather armchair that we bought in Brooklyn. The bookshelves are an IKEA hack, which I will blog about when I reinstall them in the new apartment. The 1970s dining table is from Casa Victoria and the chairs are from DWR. The nesting bowls are from Lawson-Fenning. They are one of my favorites. Form and function in it's simplest state.
A few other favorite things are the lucite and penny paperweight on the bookshelves. It was a gift from my former boss in NYC. Heinz, the red Bitossi horse is an homage to my childhood horse, Heinz 57. I also love the vintage game of Roll-Ette. It's such a simple concept, but so much fun to play and so beautifully made. On the side table in the living room is a small chromed oil lamp. It's vintage Danish and they were originally designed for ships. It sways back and forth to counter act with the ocean's movements. It's fascinating. Oscar the cactus. He's so weird and wonderful. Just like LA. My guitar. My dad is a musician, so it reminds me of him every morning when I see it from bed. I should call him more. The artwork is a collection of things that Christopher has collected over the years. Some are old art gallery posters from NYC, some are fairly well known artists. It's a mix. The sketch of the woman above the sofa is from a former coworker of his that she drew at work one afternoon. It's based on an Inez & Vinoodh photograph of Eniko Mihalik. She also did the oil painting leaning against the wall in the bedroom. Inez & Vinoodh also did the baby face photograph in the dining room. Christopher really loves the Sophie Crumb sketch above the sofa, as well.
And then there's Daisy. She kinda fell into our lives in a really wonderful way. A friend was moving to LA and needed to find a home for her on account of his girlfriend's cat and Daisy do not get along. We had been toying around with the idea for a while and just went for it. I dunno how we ever lived without her. She's so quirky. And cute. I know all people say this about their cats, but it's true. I'm obsessed. She's an older cat, maybe 8 or 9 years old and I like to think that coming to LA was her retirement. She has total run of the place. We always joke that we hit the kitty jackpot, she's amazing AND she matches our apartment.
When it comes to accessories, it's all about curation. I'm a collector. It's an occupational hazard.
I always joke with Christopher that decorating is kind of like hoarding's stylish cousin.
When you see something you really love, get it. You'll find a place for it. And if not, save it. I've passed on amazing things that I still think about to this day.
I know it's a bit cliche, but move things around. Lighting, chairs, tchotchkes. It's the easiest way to freshen up a space. And free. And easily un-doable if you're not happy.
When it comes to small spaces, I think it's all about cohesion. The color palette here is very neutral throughout. I didn't want a statement sofa or bright rug. It was all about creating a home that would highlight the details: textures, books, artwork, and accessories. Since all the rooms essentially flow into one another, it all needed to blend well. There's no room for a palette cleanser. And it has to be livable. I look at interiors all day long and see gorgeous spaces, but always think, "Where do I put my coffee?" or "Where do I put my feet up?" I grew up in a house that had very proper spaces. A sofa that was for guests only. Was it beautiful? Absolutely, but it was a bit silly, when you think about it.
I'm also a firm believer that things should be special, but never precious. Life happens. Things get scratched, your cat will claw your new sofa. Take a deep breath and move on.
I love that things aren't perfect.