A Modern Bohemian KonMari-ed Her Way Into a Dream Home

updated Mar 21, 2019
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Jina and Jeff are from the San Diego area and met teaching at the same school in La Mesa. Jina recently opened Leo, a salon and wellness shop in San Diego’s fun and funky North Park neighborhood. (Image credit: Hillary Halter)

Name: Jina Javier, her husband Jeff, Lucy, and Leo
Location: La Mesa, California
Size: 1,285 square feet
Years Lived In: 2 years, owned

When Jina and Jeff were preparing to move into their La Mesa home in San Diego two years ago, Jina was reading Marie Kondo’s megahit “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Jina and Jeff were downsizing, moving from a large (but characterless) 2,800 square foot house, into an older home with lots of charm but far less square footage. In preparation for their move, Jina turned to Marie Kondo out of necessity and wholeheartedly embraced the KonMari method. And as Kondo’s philosophy goes, tidying up her home not only led to a simplified, more genuinely styled space for her and her family, but it is also gave Jina renewed clarity and the energy to start her next business venture. Jina—who owns Liv3 with her two sisters—recently opened Leo, a salon and wellness shop in San Diego’s fun and funky North Park neighborhood. The space, much like her home, is airy and light, but cozy and inviting all at the same time.

Jina amazingly balances minimalism and warmth. No detail in her home feels superfluous and she maximizes the space by using a consistent color palette and neutral tones. But this is a home you definitely feel comfortable entering, with an ultra cozy sofa, candles flickering, and an acoustic cover of “No Scrubs” playing in the background. Even on a uncharacteristically rainy day in San Diego, Jina’s home radiated warmth and charm. And that’s probably because she has the sweetest family! Jina and Jeff are both from the San Diego area. Their two kids, Lucy and Leo, spend lots of time playing around, dancing, and jumping on the sofa. Jina also owns and runs a store with her two sisters, Liv3, where she’s sourced some of her plants and home accessories. And again, you can see Jina’s easy elegant style reflected in the store’s well curated selection of clothing and accessories.

“My husband and I met when we were both teachers at the same school in La Mesa so we always dreamed of living in the city that we met in. We had a specific location that was our dream location in La Mesa where all the homes had that old house charm and shops and restaurants were walking distance from our home,” wrote Jina.

“We used to live in a big 2,800-square-foot home and during the entire eight years we were living in that home, I always craved the charm and quaintness of older and smaller homes. The large space in our previous home was drowning and I knew I was just filling the space with “stuff” because I couldn’t leave the home bare and empty. After convincing my husband to move (since he’s not a fan of change), we started looking for a home that was more us. During the home selling and buying process I was reading Marie Kondo’s, ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,’ and I knew that in my new home, I was going to build and create a space that I was going to love. Little did I know, that by creating a home that I truly loved and brought true joy, my entire life would change. It was truly the magic of tidying up that I was able to clear space in my mind and energy to dream up my new business Leo and begin living the life I was meant to live.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: I would describe my style as modern bohemian. I love the minimalism of modern, but love the whimsical textures of bohemian. Sometimes having an all modern design can seem a bit cold, so I love adding a little bit of bohemian in the textures I choose such as cane, rattan, fringe, and patterned textures to add warmth.

Inspiration: My design inspiration comes from wanting to a create a space that fits my busy lifestyle. I intentionally chose white because I love the calmness that the color brings. The white allows me to recharge and bring a sense of rest in my home. Because an all-white home can sometimes feel a little boring, I add interest by adding pattern into the space. Pattern is my way of adding in a pop of color.

Favorite Element: My favorite element of design is adding the small details to the space. Adding those things that can almost change someone’s mood and what a person feels in the space. I love how adding an unexpected color or textured throw pillow or plant can instantly bring life or interest to a space.

Biggest Challenge: My biggest challenge was to find pieces that I loved that were both comfortable, functional for a family with kids, and budget-friendly.

Proudest DIY: Because I’m so limited in time, I’m not a huge DIY person, but I do add DIY elements in the work that I do for the social media and display elements for Liv3.

Biggest Indulgence: My biggest indulgence was my couch. Because my space is so small I wanted to make sure that the one piece of furniture that was going to get the most use was everything I wanted in terms of comfort, style, and ideal size for the space.

Best Advice: My best advice is to make design decisions and purchases based on “joy.” Joy isn’t just a buzz word, it’s a real thing. After reading Marie Kondo’s, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” I began to see how when you’re surrounded by things that truly brings “joy,” it brings a different energy and emotion to the space. There’s no place more important than home, so make sure that your home is the place that you feel most joy.


Dunn Edwards – Whisper (interior paint)

Frames — West Elm
Console Table – West Elm
Accessories – Anthropologie (No longer available)

Berber-Woven Edlyn Right Sectional – Anthropologie
Brass Sunburst Round Coffee Table – Anthropologie
Black Gray Wash 68-inch Media Console – Crate and Barrel
Table Lamp – West Elm (No longer available)
Betania Side Table, Hourglass – Anthropologie
Markmaker Side Table – Anthropologie
Haverhill Rocking Chair – Anthropologie
Sunbrella African Mudcloth Solid Lumbar Pillow Cover – Restoration Hardware
Throw – Anthropologie (No longer available)
Pots and Vases – Anthropologie (No longer available)
Ceramic Wallscape Planter – West Elm
Lacquered Bar Cabinet – Anthropologie
Garland – JOANN (No longer available)
Quartet Mirror – Anthropologie
Rug – Annie Selke
Basket – World Market (No longer available)
Plants – Liv3
Gerald Large Round Wall Mirror – Crate and Barrel

Dining Table – One Kings Lane (No longer available)
Mid-Century Leather Dining Chair – West Elm
Lighting – Anthropologie (No longer available)

Mid-Century Expandable Dining Table – West Elm
Hoffman Arm Chair Natural – Design Within Reach
Armoire – Crate & Barrel
Vases – Anthropologie (No longer available)

No sources (didn’t remodel)

Patchwork Cane Bed – Anthropologie (No longer available)
Nightstands – Anthropologie (No longer available)
Lamps – West Elm (No longer available)
Dawson Gray Wash 8-Drawer Dresser – Crate & Barrel
Embroidered Argenta Duvet Cover (close match) – Anthropologie

Perch Bunk Bed (white/birch) – Oeuf
Mid-Century 6- Drawer Dresser Acorn – West Elm
Natural Rattan Fallon Cocoon Chair with Cushion – World Market
Bookstand – Fawn & Forest (No longer available)
Wall hanging – Maven San Diego (No longer available)
Rug – Target
Baskets – Liv3 and West Elm
Bedding – Anthropologie
Lamp – Anthropologie (No longer available)

Bathroom Rug – Anthropologie
Towels – Target
Accessories – Anthropologie

Modern Desk – West Elm
File Cabinet – West Elm (No longer available)
Piano – Yamaha
Wall Decor – Anthropologie
Plant Stand – Anthropologie (No longer available)

Table – IKEA
Chairs – Anthropologie (No longer available)
Umbrella — Hayneedle

Thanks, Jina and Jeff!

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