You know you’re doing something right when you’ve successfully managed to invent a commonly used household word. For most, artist, designer and author Justina Blakeney needs no introduction, and the term she’s coined, Jungalow, hardly needs definition. From best-selling books to even better-selling product lines, Justina has stamped the modern design world with her globally-inspired aesthetic and signature plant-filled interiors. In fact, some might argue that Justina is singlehandedly responsible for the indoor plant craze we’re all living in right now!
There’s no better example of what the Jungalow brand stands for than within the walls of Justina’s own LA home, which is everything we’d expect from the tastemaker, and more. It’s colorful, it’s inspiring, it’s completely jungalicious.
photography by Justina Blakeney unless noted otherwise
Let’s dive right in. Tell us about your home.
My home was built in 1926 and it’s located in Elysian Valley (also known as Frogtown) in Los Angeles. It is a Spanish style home. The size is 1050 square ft. I have lived there with my husband Jason, Daughter Ida and our cat, Luda for three years. We found it by searching on Trulia.
What’s your family’s favorite way to have fun in your space?
Jam sessions! We recently converted our tiny living room into a music room and my husband, daughter and I practice music and play together almost every day.
We’ve seen your kitchen around the web so much, we feel like we’ve been there! Who are the dream house guests you’d love to have over?
Anyone who loves to cook, play music, dance and cleans up after themselves.
This green tile makes such a statement. Do you have a single interior design tip for someone who wants their home to feel unique and original?
My number one design tip is to take your time in creating your home. Don’t try in knock it out in one weekend. Creating a space that is full of items that work in your space and that are beautiful takes time.
You have one of our favorite approaches to color. What tips can you offer to those of us afraid to use color in our spaces?
Design into an overarching color palette to make sure that a multitude of colors work together to create a harmonious environment. I think the most common mistake people make is leaving everything white or beige, or leaning on white as a default because they’re to afraid to try out other colors.
It seems like many people associate white and neutral colors with a feeling of “clean” and “minimalist.” What do you say to that?
It’s important to have a place for everything in your home, regardless if your a minimalist or a maximalist. Make sure you leave pathways clear and free and organize collections of items in thoughtful ways. If your home is clean and organized, and has an abundance of fresh air and sunlight I think that can also help the space from feeling cluttered.
pictured: Spun Glass Vessel Sink from Kohler; wall mounted faucet from Kohler; Underscore Alcove Back from Kohler; bath faucet from Kohler; Tidewater 2×8 Field Tile from Fireclay Tile; Elephant Star Tile in Custom Colors from Fireclay Tile; sconce from Schoolhouse; wood vanity custom made by Treeline Woodworks
Have you ever experienced a major design “fail?”
It’s hard for me to think of any honestly. We think a lot about our designs before we put them into the world, and any ‘mistakes’ that have been made along the way are often due to technical errors more than bold design decisions. Everything is always a work in progress, and I tend not to approach design from a head-space of design “fails” or “wins;” it’s more like layers of learnings, and working within challenges provided.
We love that. The more I renovate and decorate my own spaces, the more I find myself thinking about design in those terms as well.
Fill in the blank: “A well-designed home should _______”
“exude good vibes.”
pictured: Cosmic Desert Wallpaper by Justina Blakeney x Hygge and West; bed and wood pocket doors custom by Treeline Woodworks; Folklore Rug by Justina Blakeney for Loloi Rugs; Moravian Star Lamp from Ballard Designs; bedside Roost Pierced Pendant Lamp
What has been the biggest design challenge you’ve faced in your space?
Our space is a three bedroom two bathroom crammed into 1050 sq. ft. It’s hard with lots of small rooms, and doors, to create a good flow in the home and have a central location for congregating — especially for entertaining — which is why when we have parties, they are always held outdoors.
It goes without saying: you have such a knack for curating an eclectic, unexpected collection of furniture and decor. How do you approach shopping for your home?
I love a good flea market find, and of course I design lot of home collections for Justina Blakeney Home and Jungalow, so our home is full of items that we have designed, which is fun. I usually only splurge on vintage items or handmade items picked up on my travels (I love Morocco, Mexico, and Turkey for handmade items). And yes, I’ve been known to scour eBay late at night and purchase ceramics.
What are some of your favorite design resources?
My local nursery
My contractor Golan from H & A My Design
Do you have a favorite spot in the house?
It changes, but I love the shower in our master bathroom. Everytime I shower in there I feel like I’m on vacation.
Describe your home in 5 words or less:
Homey, colorful, patternful, rustic, jungalicious.