Janelle & Robert's East/West Coast Mix

Janelle & Robert's East/West Coast Mix

Marcia Prentice
Aug 7, 2013

Name: Janelle Pietrzak, textile artist/weaver, and Robert Dougherty, welder and carpenter 
Location: El Sereno; Los Angeles, California
Size: 700 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year

Janelle and Robert moved from Philadelphia a year ago. It was time for a change, and Janelle accepted a job in Los Angeles. At the time, their decor — taxidermy, rustic Americana — was a reflection of the East Coast, where they both grew up. But that was before they fell in love with LA. 

When the couple moved to Los Angeles, Janelle of course immediately fell in love with the weather and the California lifestyle. Slowly some of the taxidermy was replaced by plants and books on California design and architecture. What makes their home so special is that they still embrace their roots. Together they've created a unique blend of the East and West coast aesthetics. 

Notice all the beautiful fabric around the home? Janelle used to source fabric for Anthropologie — what a dream job! The work sent her to small towns around the world for inspiration and materials. So on top of the East Coast/West Coast/Americana aesthetic, you see a worldly inspiration coming through. It takes a really strong talent to be able to pull together all these disparate influences and make them work together, but Janelle and Robert have managed to pull it of. That's what's so beautiful about their home — its unique and personal nature.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Our style is an eclectic mix of flea market finds, handmade items and souvenirs from world travels. 

Inspiration: California is a major influence. Our style has noticeably changed from an East Coast, rustic-Americana feel to a brightly colored, bohemian West Coast vibe. We love the colors, the flea markets and the architecture and design that are synonymous with Southern California. Also, we drove cross country last year when we moved to LA, and we absorbed bits of inspiration along the way, from a cabin in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee to El Cosmico in Marfa, Texas.

Favorite Element: The large front porch — we eat most of our meals out there, entertain guests, bird watch and catch up on emails. The magnolia trees that surround the porch make it feel like a tree house. Robert made the large dining table and benches on the porch; they were inspired by German biergarten picnic tables.

Biggest Challenge: Between the two of us, we can figure out a work-around for any challenge — so there haven't been any major obstacles in this space.

What Friends Say: Guests usually say our place feels calm and comfortable.

Biggest Embarrassment: We have several shag carpets that shed a lot! There are always big dust balls all over that make it look like we have pets — the rugs are like animals!

Proudest DIY: Since it's a rental we haven’t done much DIY to this home, even though we are used to doing major renovations as we did in our home in Philadelphia. Robert is a carpenter and a welder, so for this home he has made a few pieces of furniture specific to the space that are the most special. They include the front dining table/benches and the sideboard in the bathroom.

Biggest Indulgence: A Vitamix blender! It isn’t a decorative piece, but definitely something that was an indulgent purchase. We use it everyday; well worth the splurge! 

Best Advice: Make your home comfortable so you enjoy coming home to it. Also, don’t try to design/furnish/decorate your house in a day — the right pieces will find you!   

Dream Sources: 

  • Flea markets
  • Platform
  • Shopclass
  • Stores in Highland Park, and to one day live in a historic Craftsman style house with a workspace in the back and yard big enough for the both of us. 

Resources of Note:


  • Leather couch - Craigslist
  • Tree trunk coffee table - PCC Flea Market
  • Chairs - Antique stores
  • Rug & "Artist" painted side table/cabinet - Anthropologie 
  • Pillows - made by Janelle
  • Large painting on the wall by Philadelphia based artist - Niki Kelce


  • Dining table and benches on porch - welded and constructed by Robert. The wood is salvaged flooring.


  • Kitchen table and chairs - antique stores


  • Iron bed - Bombay Company (we spray painted it black)
  • Taxidermy, Antique oil painting, Dressers and arm chair - antique stores
  • Rug and industrial inspired floor lamp - Anthropologie 
  • Mid-Century Modern silver pendant lamp - PCC Flea Market
  • Vintage Hippie wall illustrations - PCC Flea Market
  • Woven wall tapestries - made by Janelle
  • Silk screened poster bought as a souvenir in Marfa at El Cosmico

Thanks, Janelle and Robert!

(Images: Marcia Prentice)

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