sneak peek: tanya aguiniga


in 2006 furniture and textile designer tanya aguiniga moved to this charming little LA bungalow with her husband and sister in search of off-street parking and a studio space. the location is great in a quiet, tree-lined section of LA, nestled between silverlake and glendale, where they have views of endless mountains and wonderful galleries, independent shops and restaurants nearby. here at d*s we’re huge fans of tanya’s designs, so it’s so wonderful to see her furniture put to good use in her own home. be sure to check out her latest designs on her website which are wonderfully innovative, yet practical, and i can’t wait to see more illustrations to come from her sister. for additional and images of this adorable home, click here. [thanks, tanya!]anne



CLICK HERE for Tanya’s full sneak peek after the jump! (please note: you do not have to click all of the thumbnails above to see full-sized images. just be sure to the red “click here” link above or any “read more” link to see the full post and all the pictures at once)

Todd and I have been collecting mid-century furniture for the last 12 years, and the house is decorated with thrift store finds from around the country, some of the furniture that I have made and some crafts I’ve picked up on travels. The brown sofa is a Florence Knoll piece that I rescued from the dumpster behind the Museum I used to work at that we had re-upholstered. Most of the tapestries in the house are from Teotitlan del Valle in Oaxaca, Mexico, which I purchased from the family I stayed with to study natural wool dying techniques. The small wool animals scattered around the house (18 total) are from Chiapas, and are all made by different women using loom woven scraps. The pups are Mexican street-rescued lovelies: Rocky and Juliette, our babies.


The 6 foot tall cut-out mirror next to our computer desk was also a dumpster find. It was part of an installation at the RISD Museum that was tossed and has now traveled with us cross country.




The kitchen is rather small so we ended up with a tiny refrigerator in order to fit the dining set I had made for our previous apartment. The dining set is steel and walnut ply, and I made it with picnic tables in mind. Our dinnerware collection is what really set the tone for the rest of the kitchen. My favorite pieces are the Block Chromatics set, which are vintage color coordinated sets from Germany that we had been amassing. In this mix are also some Denby Chevron dishes, Eva Zeisel and Tapio Wirkkala.


Our bed is a piece that I made for Todd’s birthday a few years back. The rest of our bedroom furniture is vintage Vista of California, same as our living room credenza and computers desk. The animal pieces in the room are mostly Mexican crafts from Chiapas, Oaxaca and Alaska.


The amazing large deer is carved from a single piece of wood and was made by Vicente Hernandez Vasquez in the town of San Martin Ticajete, Mexico – a town whose residents dedicate themselves to making hand carved and intricately painted imaginary animals. The ceramics here and throughout the house are vintage mixed in with pieces made by friends, Adam Silverman’s Atwater Pottery pieces being our favorites. The large photographs where shot by Ellen Vanderlaan while at RISD, before she went on to start BAGGU.


These little guys are paper mache masks from Chiapas and the walrus is from my latest trip to Alaska. He’s wood, ivory and wolf ruff, made in the scrimshaw tradition but lovingly done with a Sharpie instead by the elder Alaskan artist Henry Shavings. I almost left it because it had a broken tusk, by Henry told me that walruses often break their tusks climbing up rocks, and with that story, I knew it had to come home with me.


This was my birthday present from my sister this year. They represent me (the pink one) and my 2 younger sisters. My sister Karla (the blue one) is the loveliest girl I know and she also happens to be a wonderful budding illustrator. She was too shy to share her room which is full of her beautiful illustrations and has bunk beds to accommodate the endless amounts of visitors we get.


As a furniture maker, I really needed a private space to make large works, and had been having a hard time finding a coop shop space. Luckily we found a house that had a space that had been converted into an office/studio, and although making furniture at home is not the easiest thing to manage, it’s worked well for the past 3 years. Since I do all of my own design and labor I have a fully portable woodshop and metal shop that I set up outside. It gets stored away in our shed when not in use. The inside of the studio is used mostly for clean work, felting, sewing, jewelry and designing. California weather makes it really easy to work outside for most of the year. I really only need to worry about being out in the sun all day, which is why I work on furniture under a canopy. The inside of the studio is a little crazy, but that’s how I like it. I’m really into color and textures. I tend to surround myself with materials that inspire me rather than objects. I find the compositions created by their colors and their raw potential rather intriguing. The space is divided into a design/layout station, a sewing station, jewelry station and an illustration section for my sister (which doubled up as a music recording station for Todd).


  1. Mouse says:

    GORGEOUS! This is exactly what I think of when people say “LA”.

  2. stephanie says:

    I love all of the charm and creativity in this home. So many unique items! The outside is darling too!

  3. panda says:

    best dining set i’ve ever seen! absolutely gorgeous! and i love the witty felt pieces on the website. genius all around.

  4. Gary says:

    This is a charming little home. I love the second image with the guitars resting up against the mantle.

  5. Nicolette says:

    This design is extremely successful in the sense that it is simple and chic. There is a warmth to this design, even though it is fairly simple. Thanks for sharing.


  6. Christine says:

    I LOVE all of the Mexican art. What a colorful home! Stunning!

  7. Tiffany says:

    Love it! I’m currently trying to find that exact color for my kitchen as well — it’s been an adventureful process, to say the least. The BR is awesome too!

  8. abby says:

    this is a gorgeous home and i love how much of her own furniture is in the space. i just moved to LA and i love seeing all the different styles of homes that exist here.

  9. jason says:

    hey! i knew i recognized that mess of yarn necklace…love your work and it was great to get a peak into your home!

  10. rachel says:

    I love the clustered pictures in the living and bed rooms. So great!

  11. Anna says:

    their pillows are supersweet! i like faces sitting on a sofa..:)

  12. Emilyn says:

    Love all the color and pattern! Can’t get enough of your parade of wool animals. Also love my new red rope bracelet from Renegade Craft LA yesterday ;)

  13. Amber Jo says:

    i love this home!!!!

  14. tanya says:

    thank you everyone for the lovely comments!!!

  15. joanne says:

    Beautiful home – totally love all the colors! Tanya, what color is the living room paint? I’ve been killing myself trying to find a good gray! thanks:)

  16. clare says:

    wow. how beautiful and sunny! i want to go to there.

  17. Martha Innocenzi says:

    Beautiful! My favorite are the dolls, look just like you!

  18. tanya says:

    oooh, not sure what the grey is. its a ralph lauren paint from home depot or lowe’s. i’ll try and find the color :)

  19. Julia says:

    i’m loving the dining set.. simple, beautiful & perfect for such small spaces.

  20. kristin says:

    I’m still laughing over the saying on the wall behind the dressform!! a very creative home love it!

  21. Naomi says:

    what a sweet home!

  22. maricia says:

    Really cute. Love the toys on the black coffee table in the lounge.

    Love the guitars. My son is passionate with his music. I think the guitars leave a restful and soothing touch to any room.

    And it appears that you love your animals. How cute and cool is that!

    There is almost a mexicano feel to the house.

    Splashes of colour really does work.


  23. that last photo is just gorgeous!

  24. love the lamps, art and chair

  25. Laura says:

    Beautiful home. I work right near the RISD museum. Where is that dumpster?!

  26. Lori says:

    I’d also love to know the paint color in the living room!

  27. tanya says:

    hee hee… the risd museum dumpster is at the loading dock on waterman st between the furniture dept and the old brick risd museum :)
    (left of the new addition)

  28. Catherine says:

    Thanks for the pic of the exterior of the house! Seeing the amazing interiors always makes me yearn for a shot of the outside.

  29. Allison says:

    I saw Tanya and her work at the Renegade Craft Fair in LA this weekend, she is so very talented. What a treat to see her home!

  30. lydia says:

    so sweet and meaningful. as a local Los Angeleno, i feel like your home embodies that real + lovely hidden pocket vibe of LA that people should and rarely see.

  31. angela says:

    i love this whole house! such a perfect mix of mid-century modern, personal and cultural pieces. very much like the eames house.
    where can one find a throw like the yellow striped cotton cloth on the couch (in pic with dogs)? thanks!

  32. tanya says:

    thank you angela! i was a little nervous to share our home because its tiny and rented, so we’ve really had to work with just color and our collections. i’m SO glad you guys have all been able to appreciate it :) thank you all again!!

    –the mustard and green throw was from banana republic. i think i bought it maybe 7 or 8 years ago.

  33. Whoo Hoo! I love this sneak peak. Mostly because I think Tanya is super cool and I truly miss working with her at the Museum. We’re so proud of you! Beautiful mix of colors and textures and a gorgeous website to boot. Well done T!

  34. megan says:

    love your home.

    where did you get the light fixture in your kitchen. my favorite cuban restaurant in knoxville, tn has them and i have always wondered where to get one.

    thanks for sharing.

  35. Elisabeth says:

    This house feeds my eyes. I like.

  36. tanya says:

    hey megan!
    we got the tord boontje midsummer light back when cb2 carried it in 2004. you can still find them on unica home:

    –and small design shops still carry the older colors like ours.

  37. inspiring! although a little chaotic :D
    anyway.. just wanna say..I love your site!

  38. fasya says:

    wow!your home look kinda like my home..very neat,cheerful with bit splash of color..this what we call real home..very inviting and comfy!
    i really love that decoration in your that are lamp or just a decoration..very chic!

  39. tanya says:

    not sure if anyone is still waiting for the color of the living room, but its Ralph Lauren Pale Grey UL13

  40. marissa says:

    the most awesome big sister, ever. :)

  41. alexandra says:

    this is great! i love the mannequin. Any idea of where it’s from?

  42. vathana says:

    just lovely…

    would love to know where the red & pale blue shelves suspending from the bedroom wall are from. thank you!

  43. wonka says:

    por qué nunca e visto las matroshkas Aguíñiga?

    i dont have to tell you this but…i love your home and i love more the people living in it.


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