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mini peek: kelly of succulent love designs

by anne

at one time advertising brand strategist, kelly of succulent love designs / yes please blog / cuppielove, was turned onto becoming a designer after putting together all the details of her wedding day. now she’s able to fulfill her creative passions through working with succulents, event/paper design and baking. kelly cites all things modern, lovely, whimsical, and thoughtful at the center of her design work and personal style. color is also a key to the equation and helps tell any story. while kelly is clearly the designer of the house, she makes sure her husband’s love of science weaves it’s way into their world, saying, “our style reflects that and adds a feeling of practical whimsy to our home.  it’s spirited and grounded at the same time, just like us!” if you’ve checked out all three of of kelly’s sites and still need more, click here for full-sized images of her home. {thanks, kelly!}anne

[We live in a second story apartment in Los Angeles’ Miracle Mile neighborhood.  The french windows in our kitchen and living room look out over avocado trees and make our home feel like a little tree house.  We’ve lived here for 6 years – but as renters our freedoms in décor are often bound by our lease agreement. I have a thing for color so  we’ve added touches of our favorite hues around the house to liven the place up a bit and make it feel like home.
Our dining room:  our apartment has these original 1930’s built ins throughout.  I love how the dining room marries their old folksy style with more modern elements.  We got the giant yellow letters from an old blockbuster that was closing up the street.  We cleaned them up and wired them with lights. The framed piece is a collage piece I made  titled “one, four, three.” We used the white vases (from Ikea) as part of our wedding centerpieces (the craspedia is too!)  They are now sprinkled throughout the house.]

We bought the Workbench couch on craiglist for just $200 when we moved in 6 years ago!  It’s seen better days, but I adore the muted, lived in look contrasted against the vibrant colors of the room. I love working with various textiles and patterns.  The mustard yellow pillows are homemade using amy butler fabric.   We also framed a favorite orange and grey fabric above our mock fireplace. Our coffee table is my favorite piece in our home.  It was made by hand by my very talented husband.  From sketch to finished project he created this beautiful piece of furniture that we’ll have for years to come. As an engineer  he enjoyed the intense process of building and planning and making something with his hands.   The best part – the lid slides back to reveal some (much needed) storage for blankets and pillows and board games for overnight guests.

CLICK HERE for the rest of kelly’s peek (and all the images on one page) after the jump!


This nook displays some of my husband’s passions.  He’s an aerospace engineer and collects vintage science books (he actually reads them, thankfully they I like how they look).  The airplane model was my grandfather’s – he was a pilot in WWll.


Last year we found this old tanker desk on craigslist for $50 and sanded and painted it.  I love the industrial look of the desk set against the floral patterned backdrop and mid century modern desk chair. The Ikat inspired rug was a steal for $40 from Ikea. I’ve since converted this into my workspace – so it’s rarely this tidy and organized anymore!

We got the eames rocker at a modernica sample sale years ago.  The headboard was made from pulling a knitted fabric across a large wooden frame.


I love to bake.  My kitchen aid mixer is one of my most prized possessions and was integral to helping me start cuppielove a couple years ago.  (when I started out I was using a hand mixer!!). The black and white print is a piece I picked up during my first visit to the Getty with my mom.  I’ve had it for years and it keeps moving around the house.

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  • omg…………so nice…<3 like this soooooooooooo much….wan to live it that house ….mmmmmmmmmmmmm…………<3 <3 <3

  • Love that the Blockbuster letters found a new, cooler home in this apartment.

    I have the same “subway photos” print from the Getty and seeing it here has inspired me to dig it out and get it framed!

  • Great light and lovely placement of accessories! Curious as to why you place an enormously over scaled sectional in front of what looks to be a fantastic mantle. This room looks like it might have great potential but is ruined by the furniture.

  • Kelly, first let me say your home is lovely.

    But I must admit, I am a little tired of seeing all these beautiful homes with little to no color on the walls. Since when did designers become afraid of color?

    • jamie

      i don’t think everyone’s afraid of color- not everyone is a home owner, some are renters- and sometimes we’re not allowed to paint. we run a high volume of rentals on the site so sometimes that’s the case ;)


  • Is the flickr link for full-size pictures not working for anyone else? I get a permission denied error when I click through (& I want to see larger pics, everything looks great!)

  • Grace, good for you for standing up for your homeowners, but I still maintain that the room is ruined by a huge sofa. The coffee table is gorgeous and Kelly has beautiful objects.

    Is nobody allowed to critique? Its all part of posting your home in a public forum, and honestly this is a huge design mistake that should be addressed.

    • andrew

      anyone is allowed to critique- but i’m also allowed to defend anyone who’s been kind enough to share a very personal space with us. i think it’s also important to keep in mind that what may be a “huge design mistake” to one person, may be an interesting choice- or no mistake at all- to another.


  • Lovely home! I have to put my two cents in about the sofa/mantle issue. We are always balancing needs and priorities when we put our rooms together. Sometimes it’s more important to have a huge sofa for lots of seating than to have access to a fireplace. In my last apartment I struggled over this issue, and ended up with my sofa in front of the fireplace. It solved a lot of other problems, and I was able to make the best use of the space I had.

  • I too used these vases as part of my wedding centerpieces (ordered the casapedia but they ended up not being available by the date i needed them). I totally agree with the kitchen aid comment and have an obsession with oversized letters from retired signs. This is my apartments twin, love it!

  • I think the person critiquing the large sofa should also keep in mind that the photo was taken from a very low angle, and the sofa probably doesn’t look quite so huge in person, viewed from eye level instead of knee level.


  • The sofa may be smaller in person, but its still covering really nice architectural feature. Perhaps a smaller piece would show off the room better?

  • What a cheerful space. Great use of color in your accessories and fabrics. As far as the negativity about the sofa: your comfort is more important than having a perfect space! Someday you may find a sofa that is both comfortable and more suitable, but for now you’ve really used what you have to create a wonderful home for you and your new hubby. Three cheers!

  • This is a great-looking place! I’ve got to say, I am mystified by the obsession with giant letters and numbers in design-happy circles, but at least I can imagine the ones in the dining room ending something cheeky! ;-)

  • Thank you Andrew and others…
    I like the debate over the design and use of existing architectual elements…that keeps this site interesting…We don’t want to fall into a trap of only saying “thumbs up!” in a phony or hypocritical way…it was only ONE thing that was critiqued… I think we can handle that…we’re all adults here.

    • cindy

      i agree- but sometimes people forget that you can critique something, but still be respectful of the fact that this is a real person’s home. you wouldn’t believe the comments that don’t get through about homes some times.

      it takes a lot of guts to put your home up on a public forum and i feel strongly that people should keep that in mind- and make their comments as constructive as possible. disagree? totally ok. don’t like something? that’s ok, too. calling someone’s home “a total nightmare” is taking it a little too far for me.


  • I love this and would be happy to have a cup of coffee and a cupcake in that sweet kitchen right now! Your home is right up my alley- thanks for sharing it…

  • I love what you have done with your space! Its amazing. I see such creative talent all through the house!

  • Grace,

    I never called, nor would ever call, somebody’s home “a total nightmare.”

    I thought my comment was respectful and also inspired some good feedback. Why did you publish it if you thought otherwise?

    I have had my own projects and home on major design blogs before, and believe me the critiques can sting, especially ones that may have been accurate.

    You are presenting a design blog here: something that by nature is superficial. If you continue to squash any critique you are going to loose people’s interest, namely mine.

  • Love the apartment and can totally understand the big comfy sofa; who lights a fire in LA anyway?
    But the real elephant in the room is the area rug that is bright and bold, but far too small for the table.

  • Andrew

    I wasn’t talking about your comment- I was referencing the ones that I don’t approve. If I had a problem with your comment I would have emailed you or not approved it.

    I allow many forms of dissent and critique on the site- check out the old crib DIY posts- it’s not all “thumbs up, great job” all the time.

    That said, I’m sorry to hear that you would have gotten harsh or unfair comments after sharing your home online. There are many sites that allow that, but DS will never be one of them. If that’s something people have a problem with, there are plenty of other sites to read.

    As for design being superficial in nature, I’ll have to agree to disagree with you on that one.


  • Cute digs! But what is a workbench couch? Is it a brand? A style? I have never heard that term before and I would love to know deets!

    I know it’s frustrating not being able to paint as a renter- but you have made it super light and sunny!

  • PS- As for the Great Sofa Placement Debate- ya’ll have NO idea about the rooms’ scale and dimensions- tricky floorplans call for innovative placement and tricky problem solving. Obvs the pictures do not really illuminate the scale and shape of the actual room thus we cannot really judge if an alternative arrangement is possible. Also she mentions that the sofa is very loved and comfy – so there. No further debate is relevant…

    One of my least favorite things about ANY blog is a comments section where dissention is deleted and endless smoke-up-the-ass blowing is the norm. B-oooo-rrrrr-innng. D*S has just enough constructive critscism and lively commentary to keep me from feeling overly edited (and I have deleted many a blog from my RSS feed because I have been moderated for asking questions or not being cheery-but never outright disrespectful)

    Good editorial balance Ms. Grace!

  • Hey all,

    Love the discussion on the huge sectional covering the fireplace. Actually its not a fireplace, it may have been at one time, but it was covered with plaster. The sectional actually covers an awkward wall!

  • So cute! That sofa looks so comfy and I love the mix of patterns and colors throughout. The blockbuster letters and headboard are ideas I would like to steal.

  • I’ve been wondering what was so interesting and focus worthy about a plastered over fireplace. If I lived in a 2nd floor apt and had basically one living space, I would rather be comfortable than worry about some mantle pc that serves no practical function. These sneak peeks show how creative people live. That’s what makes this site so unique and wonderful.

  • When the Guggenheim Museum opened, critics, including the curator, complained that the spiraling ramp swallowed the art displayed on its perimeter. (I can cite my source if need be.) Who designed it? Frank Lloyd Wright.

    I love art. There is no right or wrong way to form a sculpture, paint a landscape, craft a concert poster, or design your home.

    Grace, you’ve got a great site.

  • well hello! i just got back from a week away in mexcio – what a lovely surprise. thank you all for your spirited comments on our little home. i love the passion for design.

    for those that asked, the white tower in my workspace is from ikea.

    and yes, the fireplace is plastered over. :)

    grace, thank you for the lovely feature and for your staunch defense of personal design. i absolutely adore your blog and am honored to be a part of it.


  • I love the home Kelly and her husband created. They have incredible taste. I adore the framed fabric about the “fireplace”.

  • charming space – without being pretentious…
    i actually REALLY like the placement of the sofa (from the limited vantage point we have here anyway), particularly as it is a sectional – looks great (and comfy!)

  • Kelly, I adore your place – and I have to admit that I stalked your wedding on style me pretty! I loved everything about it (gray and yellow are my trademark colors). It was super inspiring, as is your home! love love love.

  • Oh my…I love it….love it!!! This is still the same apartment by mid Wilshire area right? (next to Meghan’s?)
    Amazing! I’m so inpired! The colors are inviting, the space is just right and everything looks hand picked….so cute!

  • There was talk of the “architectural element” being covered up by the couch. I see nothing wrong with that. For all we know, the fireplace is ugly and drafty. My grandparents placed a couch in front of a beautiful set of french doors in the winter time to allow access to the fireplace. Not every room can showcase every feature all the time.

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