interior designInteriorsLos Angelessneak peeks

A Lovely and Intentional Los Angeles Loft

by Lauren Chorpening

Our homes have a way of shaping us and making us grow. Through home challenges and luxuries alike, our behaviors start to conform to what our spaces allow. I mean this in the best way — my tiny closet (2’w x 4’h x 2’d) means I have a clothing rack in my room. It can only handle 45 wooden hangers, so I only allow myself to have 45 pieces of clothing. This includes pants, dresses, blouses, sweaters and my beloved collection of essential tees. It makes buying and wearing clothing so much more intentional. My less-than-practical closet has changed my mindset on what I need. Today’s sneak peek of Valerie and Andy’s loft is the same: they have embraced their loft and its constraints so well and have turned an open space into a lovely home.

Valerie, east coast native, concept designer for a fashion company and founder of Mint + Varnish blog, and Andrew Wildes, west coast native, commercial editor for an advertising agency and filmographer, were looking for a bungalow in Venice Beach when they found and fell in love with this loft in Marina del Rey. “I love that when I come home from work my entire family is immediately visible – creating a really warm welcoming every night,” Valerie says. The long, open loft needed just the right pieces curated for this space. “We didn’t have any furniture before moving in, so we started with a completely clean slate. My top priority was to consider every purchase as an investment, even if that meant building our home very slowly over time. It’s taken about a year for us to collect all of the furniture we need, but I don’t believe our space will ever really feel finished. I like the project of refining our home over and over.” The items they’ve collected over time are minimal — yet beautiful — pieces that reflect the two both individually and as a couple.

Their spaces are clearly defined, which can be a hurdle with any open concept. Valerie and Andy have made each “room” feel complete and separate from the next without losing any cohesion throughout the space. “I wanted it to feel clean, cozy, simple, and intentional. I believe there has to be a reason for everything in the home, especially with a small place like ours,” says Valerie. “It’s taught me that having less stuff is super refreshing, and that’s how I intend on living for the rest of my life.” Their beautiful space has definitely benefitted from such a philosophy. —Lauren

Photography by Elizabeth Kitchens


Bed, Reclaim
Laundry hamper, Crate and Barrel
Art print, Art Unified
Marble lamps, West Elm
Comforter, IKEA
Throw blanket, Tumbleweed & Dandelion
Large shelving unit, Live Style

Sheepskins, IKEA
Art prints, Goldpress Paper
Vase, Crate and Barrel
Rug, Etsy
Pencil holder, Anthropologie
Storage drawers, CB2

Living room
Rug, Will Leather Goods
Mongolian lamb pillow, Crate and Barrel
Moroccan pillow, Pottery Barn
Metal basket, Ilan Dei Venice
Coffee table, Reclaim
Media console, West Elm

Rug, Tumbleweed & Dandelion 

A Lovely and Intentional Los Angeles Loft | Design*Sponge
When Valerie talks about being intentional with their furniture selections, she means business, "our bed was handmade by a local furniture maker that we met at the Rosebowl Flea Market. I worked with him on the design, and we came up with the idea on incorporating hidden storage beneath the mattress. This extra storage has definitely come in handy when living in such a small space!"
A Lovely and Intentional Los Angeles Loft | Design*Sponge
Being selective with purchases means that what ends up in their home is very reflective of the couple and isn't just there because it's "good enough." Their home is cohesively beautiful with details throughout the space.
A Lovely and Intentional Los Angeles Loft | Design*Sponge
"The art print above our bed is from a series my brother-in-law Johan Andersson painted." says Valerie. Johan's paintings seek to, "redefine iconography and restore perspectives by juxtaposing western branding and consumerism with those who are hurt or trapped within a wider tragedy" to make people aware of the cost of some luxury goods.
A Lovely and Intentional Los Angeles Loft | Design*Sponge
"I love this photo because it shows the clean, bright sunlight flooding through our bedroom. The natural light makes for a much happier, relaxing space on weekends," says Valerie. It also shows the subtle storage by the bed that almost disappears into the wall.
A Lovely and Intentional Los Angeles Loft | Design*Sponge
"I found this amazing plant on Abbot Kinney, and it's made such a huge impact on the entire space! You can see it from any angle of our loft, and it adds so much life and color," Valerie says.
A Lovely and Intentional Los Angeles Loft | Design*Sponge
The kitchen runs across the hall from the bedroom area. "For how compressed the kitchen is, it does provide a lot of cabinet space, which has been very helpful! I also like the duct work above, which gives off a nice industrial feel," says Valerie.
A Lovely and Intentional Los Angeles Loft | Design*Sponge
This baker's rack holds the things that are too pretty to be crammed into the cabinets.
A Lovely and Intentional Los Angeles Loft | Design*Sponge
The neutral color of the kitchen in this open space allows Valerie and Andy to go in any color direction they'd like throughout the rest of the home, which they really appreciate.
A Lovely and Intentional Los Angeles Loft | Design*Sponge
This is pretty much the full view of the space. Even though it is small, Valerie and Andrew's ability to section-off space and pare down pieces has made it feel roomy and comfortable.
A Lovely and Intentional Los Angeles Loft | Design*Sponge
"Our living room is still a work in progress but it's very cozy, especially when a cool breeze enters in from the sliding doors. We found our couch off of Apartment Therapy's classifieds list. It was our first big purchase together that I was really proud of," says Valerie. The couch took multiple tries to get up into their unit, but they thankfully found the perfect angle in the elevator and made it up.
A Lovely and Intentional Los Angeles Loft | Design*Sponge
"Our media console was one of the last pieces we found, but it was well worth the wait! I love to rearrange its little shelves with different plants, books, candles, and vases," Valerie says. The subtle accent wall in light blue sets the space apart as the living room.
A Lovely and Intentional Los Angeles Loft | Design*Sponge
Valerie's minimal and lovely styling.
A Lovely and Intentional Los Angeles Loft | Design*Sponge
Valerie and Andrew have made this part of the space really feel like an office. The rug and prints help define the office, while it's also not overly congested to detract from the rest of the living area.
A Lovely and Intentional Los Angeles Loft | Design*Sponge
"The office is a beautiful little area to wake up to every morning with coffee. It's quiet and bright, which helps inspire me while working on Mint+Varnish," says Valerie.
A Lovely and Intentional Los Angeles Loft | Design*Sponge
Andrew, Valerie and their cats, Rufus and Zooey.
A Lovely and Intentional Los Angeles Loft | Design*Sponge
A Lovely and Intentional Los Angeles Loft | Design*Sponge
The Wildes' loft floor plan.

Suggested For You


Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.