Name: Christina Nickerson, Owner of Olmay Home, and her husband, two daughters, and their dog
Location: Hancock Park, Los Angeles, California
Size: 5,000 square feet
Years lived in: 15 years
I've always been surprised that the classics, things like great jeans, a beautiful white mug, a plain dark chocolate bar, someone who makes a good martini — which you would think would be so easy to locate — can be so hard to find. So I felt elated when I stumbled onto the online boutique Olmay Home. One look and I was hooked. Here were all the simple, beautiful things that make European homes so appealing — linen kitchen towels, mohair throws, leather handled baskets — and that I could never seem to find. When I clicked over to the contact page and learned that it was based in Los Angeles, not only was I surprised, I was also certain that the owner's home would be just as mesmerizing. I was right.
Christina, who was born and raised in Norway, spent many years traveling around Europe, where she was enchanted by local artisanal goods and the craftsmen who made them. After a move to the states, finding herself unable to find a good source for the simple pieces she craved, she decided to start a business to share her finds.
The same impeccable eye for beauty and composition I'd glimpsed on the website was apparent from the moment I stepped through Christina's front door. I wasn't surprised to discover that she is also a photographer (specializing in family portraits) in her spare time: the light was muted, the colors were calming, there were entrancing vignettes everywhere. It was as if I'd stepped through a magical portal and been suddenly transported to a farmhouse in the south of France.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Eclectic. It's a mixture of old and modern. I never know how it's going to turn out, and things gets tossed in that I never expected. I get inspired very easily. I like things cozy and warm. As much as I would like to be completely minimalist, it never works.
Inspiration: Because the house is Mediterranean, I wanted to Spanish it up. Everything was original from when it was built in 1927.
Favorite Element: Probably the hallway. It's just so grand, and it leads into almost every room.
Biggest Challenge: Money! It's easy to decorate if you have a lot of money. The backyard — I haven't gotten around to doing anything back there.
What Friends Say: Warm and cozy for sure. The kids are allowed to play in every room. Sometimes we'll hang a swing in the hallway and let the kids swing. In fact, we have two swings!
Biggest Embarrassment: That we haven't gotten to the backyard! I had plans for a firepit and flagstone but they never materialized.
Proudest DIY: Probably gutting the family room. We took out the old dropped ceiling. I also removed the island in the kitchen. We got out the hammers.
Best Advice: Sisal rugs. They clean up easily and they're very understated. Start with very light colors and add colors later.
Dream Sources: Environment furniture I'm loving their sofas — they're so comfortable. And the quality is so rich. And IKEA. I think they're brilliant.
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
- White White by Dunn Edwards
- table from a furniture store on Pico that's no longer there.
- The couches are from Restoration Hardware
- The piano was an old recording piano from my husband's father
- Everything else was from antique stores.
- Area rug from Lawrence of LaBrea on top of the sea grass rugs from Nestor Carpets on Beverly Boulevard
- The table and chairs are from Charles & Charles. It's a custom furniture place that's an amazing resort. They mostly make stuff for stores. They've also got vintage.
- Ray Farra on LaBrea redid all my lamps. He did the Spanish lamp.
- I stripped all the cabinets and realized it was beautiful rosewood so I just put a little oil.
- Desk and nightstand tables - Charles & Charles
- Dressers - antique shop on LaBrea that is no longer there
- Sofa - reupholstered hand-me-down
- Drapes - Silk Trading Company on LaBrea
- Dresser: Antique
- Bed: Ikea
- Desk and Shelves: Ikea
- Wooden branch: Found in Franklin Canyon. The owls are from the 99 cent store.
- Dresser: Pottery Barn
- Bed: Vintage, painted gray.
- Table with chairs: Vintage
- Vanity table: Pottery barn
- Desk: Antique with Ikea chair.
- Lampshade: Ray Ferra's Iron n Antique Accents
(Images: Bethany Nauert)
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