I may be late in the game here, but when I came across Mindy Kaling's home featured in Architectural Digest I was genuinely shocked. Here was a celebrity who style is so vibrant, bright, modern and fresh that I couldn't picture her living in a home with brown furniture. Yet, there I was staring at photographs of her home complete with a set of Chippendale dining chairs.
Kaling's home is in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles, a historic neighborhood by Hollywood. After a few failed attempts to purchase a home in the area so found this gem.
Working with New York city based interior designer Katie Ridder, they updated the home in a traditional but vibrant style.
Kaling inherited seven pieces from her family. That is such a familiar space to be in: parents or grandparents wanting to leave the antique pieces of furniture they cherished to their children or grandchildren who would rather furnish their home with West Elm. Look, I hear you, it is tough to make this traditional furniture work in a home or apartment with the open floor plan and minimalist finishings. I worry about seeming hypocritical on this blog, because I have pieces by West Elm in my apartment. But, I also have a small antique occasional table given to me by my mom, and a 19th century mahogany hanging shelf I bought with my parents in Maine. As I get older and more interested in the pieces I surround myself with on a daily basis, I think more and more about buying pieces with a history that will last another hundred years if I take care of it.
Who could have thought that a Victorian camelback sofa would work in a home today and not look stuffy and outdated?
I was genuinely touched by Kaling's home design, because it looks like a home. She incorporated family heirlooms, and pieces that were special to her and her parents. That is another reason why incorporating antiques into your space can be so special: they remind of the people who gave them to you. When I look at my hanging shelf I think of that antique shop my mom loves in Wiscasset and wandering around its rooms with her. You can't buy that at West Elm.