sneak peek: karen kimmel and james bond

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Los Angeles-based artist Karen Kimmel does a range of work — from her own creations and consulting work for Nike to brand development for Splendid and various interior-design jobs. Karen is thrilled to be launching the new website for Kimmel Kids, her line of art and design tools for kids, and developing their next Crafting Community event. Today’s peek inside the home Karen shares with her husband, James, and two kids is what she describes as “mid-century modern meets Topanga Canyon.” With a love of the organic and natural, Karen can’t resist the lines of classic pieces but not without a hint of color, metallic or neon to keep things lively. The dream of simple beach living and ranch life are all part of Karen’s fantasy life plan, helping to inspire her design choices. Thanks so much to Karen and Alex, and thanks to Sarah Shreves for the photograph! — Anne

Image above: We got that owl wall hanging over the fireplace from the Pasadena Rose Bowl flea market for $35. Score!


Image above: I love all of the mid-century wood furniture in this room, but I have a lingering temptation to lacquer it all in bright colors!

CLICK HERE for more of Karen’s home after the jump!


Image above: Thomas Campbell painting with Saarinen Tulip chairs and dining table from Knoll.


Image above: Obsessed with the gorgeous succulent arrangements made by my good friend Neil from Gillyflowers at Sunset Junction. You can also see our Sister Corita [center] seriographs in the background.


Image above: An enameled aluminum piece by Ruth Root — adore the color palette!


Image above: Our entryway with works by Joe Sola, Raymond Pettibon, Anna Sew Hoy, Victor Vasarely and one of my collaborations with the artists of the First Street Gallery.


Image above: The owl pillow is one of my absolute favorite pieces — it was made by one of the incredibly talented artists at Creative Growth.


Image above: My son Ace and his collection of Supreme skate decks.


Image above: For Ace, this qualifies as quiet time!


Image above: A Chris Johanson painting in my daughter Jersey’s super-pink room.


Image above: The master bedroom


Image above: A Ruth Root painting along with a buddha made from shoelaces by Sanford Biggers and one of my stencil pieces from an installation I did for the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.


Image above: Our freshly planted herb and vegetable garden.


Image above: Future broccoli!


Image above: A succulent garden made in a mason jar by my daughter Jersey.


Image above: A custom over-sized picnic table made by my good friend Christian Kastner over at Grain, with Woollypocket planters made at Gillyflowers!


  1. Marta says:

    I adore this house! Everything si so fresh and bright! Absolutely love it!

  2. Casey Rohter says:

    I’m in love with the Kimmel family home. The mix of contemporary and mid century pieces really works and makes me think about attempting more of this look at home. Love the creativity and vibrancy that the kids bring to their space as well. Thanks for sharing D*S!

  3. Norine says:

    Have a similar home to this one and I am totally enthralled with the grid/lattice stuff on the walls in the garden shots. I want to do something like that. Is it functional – meaning for future plantings? Where did you get it?

  4. Love the dining room and all the art! And that backyard…stunning!

  5. Sam Simmons says:

    I am obsessed with Kimmel Kids and am so happy to see the woman behind it. I discovered it at MOMA and been giving it as gifts ever since. So unusual and smart. Well done!

  6. I love tha lay out of the art. A stunning home!

  7. annie says:

    love the art- especially the Corita’s! My mom was taught by her.

  8. Bethany says:

    i like her stuff.

  9. Francesca says:

    I think it’s adorable that finally kids can use real design for their creative skills…no wonder that her house looks so amazing and of course kids inspire her on a daily basis!

  10. Caroline says:

    I love how simple yet creative everything is! What other events/interior design jobs is she working on?

  11. Great colors. The Ruth Root is my fav.

  12. lisa says:

    it seems a shame to touch the wood on those beautiful living room chairs, but i could see doing a bright color on the wood of the coffee table– that would be just the right amount, i think.
    very fresh house with lots of personality :)

  13. Zsa Zsa says:

    The Kimmel family home is gorgeous! I can’t decide which part of the house is my favorite. Love the pillows, the paintings, the chairs! Okay, I think it has got to be all the artwork hanging on those walls. :)

  14. Rakhshari Maya says:

    beautiful.

  15. Neko says:

    Whoa, that is one beautiful home.. it must be a real pleasure to spend time there. Totally inspired.

  16. I adore the old skateboards parked on a wall. A great decorative element, kid-like but also very adult too. It will segue nicely into this little boy’s teen years!

  17. Christie says:

    Love the entire house! Where is the sofa from?

  18. Another poster-centric design find! Yeah! We love seeing rooms which use posters to their best advantage – but then again, we have never claimed to be subjective when it comes to (vintage) poster art!

  19. m says:

    love the entry console table. Where is it from?

  20. I love this space. It feel both relaxed and sophisticated at the same time. Plus the artwork above the fireplace is to die for!

  21. lovemaki says:

    I have seen this house a long time ago, and coincidentally came back to mind not too long ago. Specifically because the second image the first time I saw it made such an impact, and I’ve always wanted to know where the artwork of the shoes came from. Would love to know!
    I’m so glad design sponge had featured it.

  22. I can never make up my mind whether less is more or even if less makes a room more beautiful, but this home’s interior reflects that less creatively applied is certainly works well.

  23. Daniela says:

    i love how much color the artwork adds to this house!

  24. Susan says:

    Gorgeous. I just bought a house with a similar fireplace, except with 10′ of black-painted wood up to the ceiling. I would love to know what type of material is above this fireplace. It looks like a stone veneer.

  25. Hi everybody! We want to thank you so much for all of the sweet things you said about Karen’s house. Here are Karen’s answers to your questions…

    Norine- The lattice was custom built from 1×1 planks of redwood from Home Depot. It is a functional trellis for beans, tomatoes, and any other climbers whose fruit isn’t too heavy.

    Caroline- We’ve got another Crafting Community event in the works for April 2012 at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. We’re also doing some pop up events for Splendid over the summer. You can find all of the details in the events section of our website (www.kimmelkids.com/events). As far as design goes, we’re working with some very fab clients but it’s all hush hush for now. We’ll spill all as soon as we can!

    Christie- The sofa came from a store that is no longer around, unfortunately. However, they do have a very similar one at Modernica.

    M- James and I brought back that console table from New Zealand 12 years ago when we went on a surf safari. It was a young designer from New Zealand, but sadly we can’t remember his name, because we’re old! Sorry about that!

    Rose- The shoes are a photograph taken by Kai Regan.

    Susan – The stone came with the house, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was stone veneer.

    Thanks again to all of you for your support!

    xoxoxo

  26. Nico says:

    Beautiful, sophisticated, modern, yet kid-friendly home. Well done!

  27. kathryn says:

    what a beautiful home. but am i the only person disappointed not to see a waterbed, shagpile and espionage-related gadgetry??
    (sorry, couldn’t resist that, probably very tired, one.) lots XX

  28. Eva says:

    awesome house! succulents and good art, what else do you need?

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