Name: Micha Thomas, co-founder of The Made In America Project
Location: Laurel Canyon-Los Angeles, CA
Years lived in: less than 1 year; rent
Micha Thomas is the co-founder of the Made In America Project, a grass roots operation to bring love and attention to small domestic brands and companies. Her home in Laurel Canyon is a perfect mix of Southern California and Santa Fe style and the ultimate Bohemian retreat .
"A couple of years ago, I realized that my style was evolving into Southwestern and Santa Fe style and yet there was this consistent strain of beach bungalow vibes getting incorporated into it," says Micha. "I’m from the South and have owned a house in Austin for several years, but I’ve lived in Southern California my entire adult life so I guess that makes sense! I love elements like wood, metals, and clay, but I also love decorating with the color blue, throw pillows, portraits with beach scenes and so on."
Micha believes that the most essential part when designing a home is how utilitarian you want to be, to aim for rooms to be both beautiful and comfortable. She wanted to create a place that was inviting for friends and family: "Some people have exquisite homes where nothing is comfortable to sit on, objects are not for touching, and the whole thing is like a museum. Deciding how much you want to really use your space is a crucial starting point to me."
Her home has an eclectic mix of artwork and furniture both modern and vintage. The available natural light provides a day dreamy quality, and definitely begs you to relax and stay awhile. One of the most significant pieces in her home is the antique piano. "It belonged to my grandparents who lived in Florida. They passed a few years ago, and I inherited it. It’s also the most untouched, as I’ve not played in so many years. I’m a bit timid about getting back into it!"
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Often times is quite a bit divergent and depends on the application. It’s more and more gelled into a mixture of Santa Fe meets beach bungalow. I like mixing metals and woods and clean white walls, nature photography with bold graphics, cozy furniture with statement pieces. There’s a lot of leather and wood in my home, too.
Inspiration: Where I’ve lived for the last 12 years – Southern California – and nature. And I find a world of inspiration from design sites like Apartment Therapy, blogs, magazines and travel.
Favorite Element: The beamed high ceilings and skylights in almost every room. Oh, and the windows in each room. Essentially, the elements that invite a ton of light.
Biggest Challenge: The tiers of the yard! It’s got four tiers, and I’m so tempted to design each tier, but really the landscape of the yard is enough in some places. Learning to not overdo what is already naturally special is a challenge.
What Friends Say: Can I have a spare key? Wanna have a slumber party?
Biggest Embarrassment: Probably the consistent little messes that naturally occur when you have two cats and a dog. And yet those are my happiest glitches in the home.
Proudest DIY: It’s about to be tie dyeing some gauzy white curtains, with a little help from Shabd Simon-Alexander’s book.
Biggest Indulgence: Probably the house itself. And it’s worth it. I have a really special piece outside, too, that a friend (Spark & Dowel) made from reclaimed wood and branded for The MiA Project. It’s a massive farm table that’s used for dining al fresco.
Best Advice: Step away from your space when you’re not overcome with inspiration for decorating, can’t find the right art, etc. It will come to you. Each space has a personality, and it will eventually command an aesthetic.
- Large piece of blue art by LA artist Ishi Glinsky
- Brown saddle chair Garza Marfa
- Ceramics on fireplace mantle: BKB Ceramics modern cross planter,Kelly Lamb triangle
- Beach print above fireplace: Will Adler
- Artwork on wall near farm table: Alyson Fox hand-drawn prints and photographs from her book A Shade of Red, local Jackson Hole photographer horse print (name unknown)
- Stained glass triangle: David Scheid
- Indigo dyed throw on white chair: Lookout and Wonderland
- Glass coffee table on top: vintage horse, tray and coasters: Ben Medansky knot, crystals, Standard Wax candle
- Vintage American flag and Stetson hat on top
- Vintage piano from grandparents
- Low to ground leather chair: by designer Benjamin Hall, quilt on top by A Question of Eagles
- Heath ceramics
- Vintage sterling silver serving bowls
- Marble and Milkweed tea
(Photographs by: Bethany Nauert)
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(Image credits: Bethany Nauert)