For most, what you do dictates not just what’s in your bank account, but it can influence who you are and how you live. For Lily Harris, her profession did more than impact where and how she lives, it spawned a dream that she’s now seeing through in her downtime — one that follows her while she’s relaxing on her sofa, and one that finds its was into her closest relationships.
Located in sunny San Francisco, CA, this industrial live/work loft is home to Lily, her boyfriend Llew Mejia and their Cornish Rex cat, Maybe. By day, Lily designs children’s clothing for Old Navy and by night, she designs sophisticated handmade-to-order womenswear through Lily Stan Studio. Llew is a textile designer and illustrator and together, the pair is more than just a happy couple; they are a creative and collaborative force that riff off each other on the daily, making their live/work loft apartment an ideal space for work and play.
Built in the early 2000’s, the couple made this their home two years ago after a very short search. Its resemblance to a gallery space — with all-white walls and a contrasting black industrial staircase — hit the mark, despite being in a less-than-desirable neighborhood. After shipping their furniture from Minnesota (where they lived prior), it quickly became clear that while the layout worked in theory, it didn’t work so well in practice. “After a few months, we realized that the way we had set up our space was not conducive to getting quality work done, so we sold all of our furniture in order to start fresh,” Lily explains. With two main goals — function and flaunting their personalities — they kept the walls white and layered in textures too add warmth: sheepskin rugs, large wood pieces, plants, artwork, and a massive comfy sofa that Lily refers to as “a bean bag chair for adults.” Although the space is perfect for how they live now, Lily admits, “I don’t think our space will ever be finalized. We both have ever-changing interests, so I don’t see our taste in objects or books staying the same forever.”
Since moving in, a lot has changed for Lily beyond her interior belongings. After launching her first collection last year, she received attention from global brands such as Refinery 29, Urban Outfitters, and W Magazine — and the momentum hasn’t slowed since. Just recently, she launched her second collection, which is meant to be layered and added atop her pieces from the first collection. “My work is really just me making what I want to wear,” she begins, “It does not come out every season like most fashion does because I do not find myself needing a wardrobe reboot every season. I prefer to have a collection of clothing that I can wear together, that layer nicely, and that I can continue adding to.”
Despite the perks of working from home, their situation does pose some challenges. “In living and working in the same space with Llew, it becomes hard to motivate ourselves to work as much as we did before we moved in together,” she shares. “Especially when we know that we could just hang out with each other all day, watch Netflix, and eat snacks in bed… It’s an ongoing challenge to get ourselves to work as much as we did before, but we’ll get there!” They also long for a backyard and outdoor space, wish they could renovate their bathroom to work better for them (it’s currently a large wheelchair accessible space from the previous owners), and are irked that they only have one closet and no laundry. But qualms aside, Lily and Llew are thankful to be living in California and to have a generous amount of space that they can enjoy, from mornings “at the office” to TV in bed at night. –Sabrina