Step Inside Kathleen Whitaker’s Crazy-Stunning L.A. House
Maybe she’ll invite us to move in?
Kathleen Whitaker’s clean and effortless aesthetic is as evident in her home as it is in her so-amazing jewelry line. Built in 1909, her sun-filled Echo Park casa is in the process of being renovated (with her husband doing all the work himself—whoa!), but she showed us around the parts that are not construction zones. Get ready to be very jealous. —koun bae
“My husband and I have been in our house for a little over two years, and it was a really good time to buy in terms of the market. My father had actually just passed away, and I have this sense of it being divine intervention.”
“And my husband has done everything with his own two hands, not taking an hour of work from anyone else which is crazy. If you really look closely at everything, everything is perfect! Which is really hard to do in a house that is over a hundred-years-old. We fixed the things that were obvious that the house was calling out for, like the location of front doors. It all just flows now beautifully.”
“Making outdoor living spaces where you can take a nap and read a magazine—being able to do that in sort of a room outside has really appealed to me, and I set that up under a big oak tree.”
“A very good friend of mine and I were at the Rose Bowl, and she stopped at this guy who had all these African textiles. They are called asoke fabric, and they are usually worn as clothing. I got really into these fabrics, and, of course, it was a no-brainer to wrap them around some cushions.”
“This is the guest bedroom, and the bedcover is actually a rug that my mom had in our house. It was too white and was going to get dirty, so my friend suggested having it dry-cleaned and putting it on the bed. It just makes the whole room kind of cozy.”
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Annie Williams and Her Nashville Pad
There are pups and chickens, too.
For most of us, living locally means schlepping a bag of kale back from the farmers’ market. For the Tennessee-based leather-goods designer Annie Williams? It’s raising chickens a stone’s throw from her bedroom. The designer and her super-handy husband Ben live in a community house with three friends, complete with piles of home-grown veggies and refurbished mopeds. Sound like a dream? We think so, too. Nashville, here we come. —carlye wisel
“Our house is a part of The Nashville Greenlands, which is run by Carl Meyer and Pam Beziat—they have started and developed Catholic Worker-type houses in North Nashville. We live with three other great women who are involved in the community.”
“Pam grows peaches at her community house, and this is us harvesting them this summer.”
“Ben, my husband, has set up a system to irrigate our garden with rainwater. Out on our property, we will be catching all of our water for drinking, showering, processing sewage, and watering the garden.”
“Our dogs are Copper and Macy—they’re our children.”
“We have four hens and one rooster. We have 11 fertilized eggs right now and are excited to hatch the chicks and put lots of chickens on our new property. Here’s me with Smarty Pants, our Americana chicken. She lays blue eggs.”
“I have the problem with collecting instruments. My mom just found a vintage junior accordion for me.”
“We’ve tried to cram most everything we own into one room, but our room is spacious and still really comfortable.”
Photos by Nicole Irene.
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A Tour of Annie Larson’s Brooklyn Pad
The designer just made a big move last year—and she’s feeling right at home.
“I’ve wanted to move to New York ever since—well, for a long time,” says Annie Larson, whose career started at Target HQ in Minneapolis, where she eventually launched her bold knitwear line in 2009. “This place is just so exciting—nobody can deny that.” What’s also exciting is that she and her artist BF, Eric Carlson, scored themselves a borderline-palatial Bushwick, Brooklyn, home last October. “We came out to look, and we found a place in the first half day. We just went shopping for the rest of the time,” Annie adds. Take a look at how they set up their pad when they moved in. —erica
“This is sort of our office. My computer is the desktop, and Eric’s is the laptop—we sit on either side, like relationship corner.”
“That graphite drawing is one of Eric’s pieces. He does illustration, he does book design, he does physical installations, and he’s done skateboards and snowboards. We really had to pare down our record and tape collection when we moved—records are especially heavy. John Lennon is always on heavy rotation, and George Harrison has been getting some more play recently. I love classic rock, almost exclusively. Eric has more diverse taste.”
“We don’t have that many closets, so before we left Minneapolis, we bought 12 of these uniform white boxes that we call our deep storage. We each have six. I have one that’s called the Fashion Time Capsule. I’ve wanted to throw away so much of my old work over the years—stuff from college, stuff from before college, stuff I was working on when I was at Target—but I’ve dissuaded myself from it.”
“That crazy quilt has been in my family a while. We’re trying to figure out how to store shoes—that’s been a major issue.”
“There are some pretty amazing rugs on Etsy—I bought this one there. I found an acrylic one from the seventies in the shape of a tiger that’s so amazing. I had it in my basket, but when I showed it to Eric, he wasn’t into it at all. I think that if he came home and saw a tiger in our apartment—if it was already there, which it very easily could be at any time—what would he do, throw it away?”
“That’s my studio. I actually got rid of like 60% of my yarn stock before I left Minnesota. I recently bought a new knitting machine and some software. Now I do all my patterns on a computer and plug the machine in. It’s amazing—I can do so many different things.”
“The cast-iron rack actually came from my parents’ basement. We did a major sorting out of our hangers before we left. I got all of our hangers onto one rail and walked through like, ‘This one’s gone, this one’s gone, this one’s gone. We’re not keeping any that are electric blue, we’re not keeping any that are white, and we’re not keeping any that are thick.’ My whole theory of moving is not to move anything we don’t want.”
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Gabriela Artigas Opens Up Her Home to Us
Girlfriend has an impressive art collection to boot.
“When I first moved here to Los Angeles, we bought this property, and Alex, my brother remodeled it,” explains the Mexico-bred jewelry designer Gabriela Artigas. “It was terrible before.” Now, Gabriela lives and hosts a showroom for her stand-out pieces in the small-but-sleek West Hollywood space, and her sister Tere (the business mind behind the line) resides above. Take a look at what Gabriela has done with the place.
Like Gabriela’s taste? Then you’re going to be super into the deep green leather bow bracelet she made for us. Check it out!
“This is, actually, the first piece of art that I bought when I first moved here about eight years ago. It’s a Murakami. I loved Murakami—I still love him. At that point, it was when Japanese literature was starting to explode.”
“Alex made this table—he designs furniture. The cool thing about this is that you can put books on that shelf—or a nice hat.”
“All the displays I use for my jewelry are things that I found in my house in Mexico. My grandfather Francisco was an architect. I lay out necklaces on this book.”
“This was a gift from my brother. It’s Banksy, and it was my birthday gift…and my Christmas gift, my birthday gift, my Christmas gift, for like four years.”
“I love toolboxes. This is where I keep my jewelry.”
“That’s lava, and this is an outdoor fireplace. My house in Mexico is in this part uptown called the Regal, and it’s all volcanic rock.”
“I found these chairs on the street, and then Alex just refurnished it. I think, because it’s such a small house, everything has to stand out.”