Artist Lauren Spencer King’s work focuses on the intensity of color and detail, as expressed through watercolor and cut glass. These themes are apparent throughout her Silverlake, Los Angeles, apartment, where she’s managed to create a meaningful and artistic home — a place for her to collect and curate her favorite things. The space already had loads of character with its Art Deco details (the apartment was built in 1922), and it has only been enhanced with artwork made by her mother and grandmother. Mixed in with these treasured pieces are countless books, crystals and travel mementos. In addition to being an artist, Lauren spends her days running Spencer Studio, where she designs bespoke wedding invitations, logos, book covers and more. She sells some of her drawings on Spencer Studio’s Etsy site and also has a blog, The Sphinx & the Milky Way. Thank you Lauren, and thanks to Kate Danson for the beautiful photographs! — Shannon
Image above: I feel like this is the altar of my home. It contains all the kinds of things I hold close to my heart and that are important to me. I love books, and have collected art books from many corners of the world. This bookcase also holds the bulk of my gem and mineral collection. Above it hangs an arrangement of family photos and other special things such as a poster from one of my mum’s jewelry shows in the 70s, a drawing of me that my grandmother did on a Chanel newspaper ad, as well as a few of her mushroom paintings, and an amazing Native American pipe pouch that used to be my mum’s. I love looking at this wall and thinking about how inspired I am by the women in my family.
See more of Lauren Spencer King’s Los Angeles home after the jump . . .
Image above: This is my pup, Ava; she is hilarious and sweet as can be. She is my shadow, and I couldn’t love her more if I tried! She loves to lounge in the afternoon sun, and sometimes I find her curled up in the pillows on my bed where she is not allowed. The painting was done by my grandmother, and I love the colors! And the table is an antique hibachi from Japan that used to be my mum’s.
Image above: Two photos of my mum and I; these are very dear to me. A photo of my grandmother, Audrey — she was a businesswoman in the 50s and traveled all over the world. This is her at the Acropolis looking fabulous! A stereograph of the moon I found in Paris. And a rainbow.
Image above: I have run out of places to shelve my books, so I have had to get creative. This area is a combination of books that were my grandfather’s (he was an architect) and records that used to belong to my parents. There is a little painting of my grandmother’s from her mushroom series and her self portrait, along with this amazing vintage poster from a burlesque club. Written on the side is “Helene Southall” — I am assuming that is the name of the dancer. I found it at an antique shop and just fell in love with the colors, the pattern of her costume, and mostly how beautiful and confident she is.
Image above: The lamp is Swedish, from Kosta Boda. It was a gift from my grandmother, Audrey, when I moved away to college. I love its red mid-century lamp shade. Another favorite feature of my apartment is the little door that I can peep through to see who is knocking. Bonjour!
Image above: I have a tradition of always having fresh flowers by my bed. I see it as an act of kindness, something sweet and simple I can do for myself. On the wall is a mirror that has been in my family for generations, an antique watercolor portrait miniature done on ivory that was a Valentine’s gift from my mum years ago, and a small dream catcher I got while driving through Navajo Nation.
Image above: I just picked up this mineral (in the middle) at the last Gem, Mineral and Fossil show. The two glass objects used to be in my grandmother’s painting studio. They now have a permanent home on my coffee table.
Image above: My apartment building was built in the 1920s, and it still has a lot of original details. My kitchen has beautiful old tile and an old icebox that I use as a pantry. My stove has seen better days, but I can’t bear to part with it. I am guessing it is from the early 60s because on the back it has a quick reference for what temperature to bake things like meringue and angel food cake. It makes me laugh. On the stove is my coveted rare Le Creuset pot in peach (it was only sold in Tokyo), and the little Le Creuset pot was my grandmother’s! The plate is one of my favorite things; I found it while passing through a small village in the South of France. An older gentleman had a little pottery shop set up in a cave. Yes, literally, a cave! Everything he made was so beautiful, and I scooped up this colorful plate. The silver piece in the back was my mum’s. She found it while living in England with my dad — they used to live in a tiny village in an old church. I think it is part of a tea set and is used for sugar.
Image above: I am very lucky that my studio is a short five minutes from where I live. The space has a huge window with a deep windowsill, where I lean a lot of the extra pieces of glass from past sculptures or pieces that are waiting to be used.
Image above: A lot of different kinds of work converge on this table. While my studio is mainly where I make my art, I do a lot of the Spencer Studio jobs here, as well. On the desk is a drawing for the new collection that will be in my Spencer Studio Etsy Shop. For the most part, this space is pretty organized; it helps me stay focused. I made color charts of all my paints, which helps me locate the exact one I need. Also on the wall hangs a piece I made a few years ago — it was kind of a breakthrough piece for me while in grad school, as it’s when my paintings started to become more sculptural. I like to keep it up as inspiration.
Image above: I lived in Paris for a year after undergrad. I was living out my Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina fantasy. It was a dream, and I really miss it. This doormat is just a little reminder of that time, and sometimes when I arrive home, for a moment, I feel like I am still there! I made the holly wreath over the holidays, and the bell was a gift from a friend when I moved back to LA from Paris. Ringing it brings protection to your home.
Image above: One of the things I love about LA is all of the hidden courtyards to be discovered. To get to my building, you have to walk up a set of stairs from the street, and you open the gate and all of a sudden you are in a secret garden! It’s just one of the many reasons I love my home.