Whew! Whew for a whirlwind of a project. Whew for me being SO friggen proud of myself for how it came out. Whew for me being done with it. I was hired by Emily Henderson to design a pop-up home for Air BnB in the middle of the Downtown L.A. Arts District. It was designed with actress Lake Bell in mind, and I also had to take into consideration the Arts District location and a short three-week time frame. It was crazy, and crazy fun… And here it is!!
The space inside was teeny tiny. Besides Ida’s nursery, it’s the smallest bedroom I’ve ever designed…
Here’s my little spiel on the interior of the space and why I chose everything that’s inside, where it’s from, etc.
The vibe: Eclectic North-African caravan goes on vacation in the Arts District.
The Moroccan feel, highlighted by Schumacher’s Cordoba and Medina wallpapers, the vintage Berber rug and the vintage Moroccan platform beds (from Badia) are juxtaposed with modern elements–like the faceted Hal side table from Twentieth and the copper Real Good Chair from Blu Dot.
The space features mixed metallics as a nod to the industrial nature of the Arts District.
The vintage copper reading lamp and the 1970’s gold side tables (from Hernandez) are prime examples. I chose the The Blu Dot Real Good Chair also because it looks like origami–and with Little Tokyo just blocks away it speaks to the cultural mix of the neighborhood. Similarly, the vintage Mexican floral tray is a nod to the Mexican heritage of the area–the Arts District is located just across the bridge from Boyle Heights– a predominantly Latino neighborhood.
The large King Palm Tree–a plant super prevalent in both Morocco and L.A. is used here to bridge the Moroccan flavor of the design with the L.A location. The airy fabric draped overhead is meant to create intimacy and warmth in the space.
Outside the Kithouse, Moroccan lanterns set the tone.
Bougainvillea trees (a huge, colorful part of the East L.A. landscape) frame the space. Disco-ball planters from local artist Bianca D’amico of Chapparal Studio give the outside a little sparkle and speaks to the nightlife in the area.
Huge thank-you’s are in order.
To my team: Jason Rosencrantz, Natalie Gluck and Faith Blakeney y’all squashed it.
To Emily and to AirBnB.
To Melissa and Carol, Adam and all the other helpers/rad folks making appearances.
And to Ida’s Grandparents for the extra babysitting!
And a HUGE thank you to Laure Joliet, one of my favorite lens ladies, for these AMAZING photos. Damn you make me look good lady!
Design by Justina Blakeney
Photos lovingly snapped by Laure Joliet