Echo Park in Los Angeles attracts many artists looking for refuge from the glittery veneer of Hollywood. So it’s no surprise that design consultant Justina Blakeney discovered herself (with her fiancéeand her baby-to-be, as she’s 18 weeks pregnant) in a post-1940 stand-alone home she calls in her blog her “jungalow,” a lively mix of “jungle” and “bungalow.”
Blakeney is inspired by the jungle’s stability of colours. “I really like the way bright colours come together in the jungle in a dramatic cacophony,” she states, “but somehow manage to be completely harmonious.”
Blakeney painted the chopping board in rainbow hues to add a punch of brights to the kitchen. She also uses it as a serving tray, to the delight of her guests.
Blakeney enjoys this bright green color on the trims from the kitchen : “It’s bizarre and profound. I just love it.”
Trim paint: Mint Sprig, by Behr; chairs: Verner Panton
The design aesthetic across the home is a commentary on the urban atmosphere. “We are animals, however we spend too much quantity of time indoors,” Blakeney states. “We should be in the sun. For this reason, I really like to bring the outside indoors as far as possible and to surround myself with nature-inspired, crazy-looking, wild patterns.”
She also surrounds herself with bits from her travels. “I have the pillows while traveling and others right here in some L.A. thrift shops and groceries,” she states. “The kilim pillows I brought back from a visit to Ephesus, Turkey, and the couch was a hand-me-down from my grandmother which I re-covered myself.”
Blakeney doesn’t fret so much about things going collectively as she does choosing things she enjoys. “I adore bright colours,” she says, “but I especially love when they’ve faded a bit because of age. I love to contrast florals with geometrics, therefore I may put a floral cushion near a zigzag one for result.”
Blakeney explains her entryway as “a little bizarre.” Instead of a closet and bench, there’s a white shelf for her brightly colored footwear. The shoes themselves — peep-toe pumps, suede boots, platforms — are a part of the décor, like vibrant book spines peeking out from an étagère.
Shoe shelves: Ikea; print: classic, unsigned; crops: Succulent Enjoy
Every region of the house is touched by some kind of greenery. The living room shelving unit showcases houseplants together with novels, some of which she’s penned herself. (She coauthored the 99 Ways to Cut, Sew, Trim, and Tie string for Random House.) Along with being an author, Blakeney works with people needing creative consultations, new thoughts, and influencers. She shares design thoughts, finds, and overall design-related musings on her blog, Justina Blakeney.
Shelving units: custom made by Pepe’s Thrift Shop
This pine apothecary chest came from a thrift shop in Los Angeles. It’s a creative solution to flaunt her indoor plants from top to bottom.
Blakeney painted this vanity double before settling on a bright blue. “It was a natural color and fairly beat up when I bought it for $80 at a thrift shop,” she recalls.
Vanity paint: Aqua Waters by Behr
Masks and hats bought while traveling or thrifting enliven the walls. “The angel and both monkey dolls are from Mexico,” Blakeney states. “The African masks come from thrift shops in Los Angeles, and the 2 hats are Peruvian.”
This mattress canopy was easy to assemble. “I just used two Turkish towels and held it with an elaborate Turkish lantern,” Blakeney states. Even the bedspread, a suzani from Turkey, has an intriguing backstory:
“I had zero intention of arriving home with a suzani from the grand bazaar in Instanbul,” she recounts. “The classic suzanis are normally very expensive, however I haggled with the shop owner for 40 minutes and finally bought it. The adventure of sharing tea with an owner, pointing out each hole and stain, was part of the fun and ultimately makes me adore the bedspread more.”
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