Name: Kendall Leigh
Location: Echo Park — Los Angeles, California
Years lived in: Renting 4 years
Kendall's collection of antique oddities and memorabilia from her childhood is the perfect mix of charming and alarming, giving her home-sweet-home a bitter twist. Her gothic-turned-grown-up style has evolved over the years, and, rather than ditching her beloved circus memorabilia and fairy tale prints, she has incorporated her favorite things into whimsical vignettes throughout her 1920s Echo Park apartment.
Romantic floral patterns, bizarre antiquities, and pops of pop culture are what makes Kendall tick, making this the running theme throughout her home. She states, "I think your home, no matter big or small, should be a reflection of everything that makes you, you." As such, visitors of Kendall's home would be hard-pressed to find a room, wall, or corner that doesn't represent her vibrant and quirky personality to a T.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: My style changes as I grow older, but I feel like it's pretty permanent right now. I guess it's an eclectic, dark but romantic, colorful, nature inspired ode to the past. I definitely have my own aesthetic that stays the same throughout the rooms, even if the theme changes. I like mixing pop culture with antiques or putting my own spin on them.
Inspiration: Going with the vintage vibe of my apartment, my grandparents are a huge part of the décor. I have their original prom picture from 1942, a New York city map from their first trip together as a married couple in the '50s, a cut out of me and my grandfather on the front page of the Boston Globe in 1988 and some more hidden memories throughout.
I think your home, no matter big or small, should be a reflection of everything that makes you, you. Home is where the heart is, right? So fill your home with things that fill your heart. I have amazing friends who know me so well and have contributed to my taxidermy/oddity collection over the years in gifts. Feeling like the love from my friends is incorporated in my décor gives me a great sense of happiness.
I definitely play with childhood themes that I liked when I was a kid and give them a grown-up spin. I have an '"Alice and Wonderland" wall with storybook flea market finds and an insane gold ornate four-foot wide frame. I started collecting antique circus memorabilia a couple years ago; since it was my favorite thing as a kid (I do not support current practices). I mixed things I've found antiquing with actual show books that I saved from my childhood.
Favorite Element: I have a ton of natural light, and for someone like me who loves to be outside, this is essential. I'm lucky to have a huge window in the living room with a pretty spectacular view, to catch that beautiful Los Angeles sunset. For the sunrise, I can see it over the Downtown skyline from my bedroom window.
Biggest Challenge: Oh man, my stairs. I have six flights of stairs up to my apartment. Here is the downside of that "pretty spectacular view." This makes my love for curbside thrifting and road trip antiquing difficult, when trying to bring random new pieces of furniture into my place (a lot). This actually goes hand in hand with my other challenge, keeping clutter out. I have an entire shelving unit pretty much devoted to adventures and travels. It's hard for me to pick what is actually worth keeping, but I'd like to think I'm getting a lot better at it. wink wink.
What Friends Say: When someone first comes into my place I think they are usually surprised at how vibrant it is and not to mention, they are greeted by a taxidermy buck from 1973. I think people are also not expecting my apartment to be as big as it is. A lot of my friends have similar styles, so we all kind of feel at home in each other's places. I did have an ex-boyfriend who said my living room looked like a 1950s housewife who joined the occult, so that's fun.
Biggest Embarrassment: Some things, I could have…you know, hung them better. A lot of stuff is hung pretty half assed. Don't tell anybody. I see quite a few holes from failed attempts to hang things that I should get around to filling.
Proudest DIY: There's a lot of DIY in this house; I really love personalizing things. My proudest project to date would probably have to be my new reading sanctuary in my bedroom. Books are really vital and you can see them throughout the house. I had one of my best friends (patiently) help me hang a hammock chair from my ceiling. Definitely called my carpenter dad for advice, but it came out awesome. I'm an avid camper so it gives me that treehouse vibe I crave.
Biggest Indulgence: It would have been my seven-foot long solid oak kitchen table, but my lovely mother gifted it to me because I was so in love with it. I'd like to think I did a really good job furnishing this place with things I hunted down as a steal or was gifted to me but, my biggest indulgence would probably be my taxidermy pieces.
Best Advice: Don't be scared of thrift stores! The best part to me about decorating is stopping at a random antique store on the side of the road during a road trip and finding the coolest items you've never even thought you wanted. It just opens a completely different world and they all have a story (except when the piece is haunted, but that's for a different time).
Dream Sources: I would love to join the tiny house movement because those places are dreamy, but then I remember how many clothes I have. I would love to eventually own a home and possibly a cabin. Dreaming of expanding my antique collection to fill those rooms, walk-in closet and spacious kitchen.
PAINT & COLORS
Kitchen — Waverly Inspirations – Curry (Target)
Living Room — Glidden – Deep Garnet (Home Depot)
DIY Entry table
Glass table – Ikea
Mark Ryden postcards — Etsy
Beige suede sofa — Thrift store
Vintage green chair — Antique
Pillow cases — H&M Home
Handmade floral curtains — Etsy
TV Center- Ikea
Bar – Antique
Rugs – Ross
All of the tables — Antique
Burgundy blackout curtains –Target
Shelving units – Thrift
Wall décor — Antique/Thrift/Etsy
Mixed bottles – Similar H&M Home
Mixed jars – H&M Home
Orange throw – H&M Home (different color)
Black mirror – Ikea
Byredo candle 'Burning Rose'
Oak table – Antique
Mixed wood chairs – thrift/antique
Gold Sconces – estate sale
Metal picture frame
Le Labo Candle 'Cedre 11'
Vintage book curtain – H&M Home
Branch candlestick holder turned DIY flowerbed wall art – H&M Home
Giant gold framed photo of The Boston Commons – Goodwill
White faux fur rug – Amazon
Hammock swing – Amazon
Dresser, night stands, TV stand, wall décor – Antique, Goodwill
White hanging plant holder –Ikea
Holy Bible clock – Melrose Flea Market
Sconces – Antique
Wood bed frame with storage – Ikea
Botanical duvet cover – Ikea
Hanging wood shelf – Handmade