Photography: Sarah Yates
For Los Angeles jewelry designer Maya Brenner, what originally began as a therapeutic outlet quickly evolved into a passionate career path. A peek inside (and outside!) her homey retreat reveals pristine wooden flooring, rich undertones, warm lighting, and unexpected accessories. From a family-friendly color palette (her kids’ rooms are equally stylish) to an awesome tree house out back, Maya’s cozy abode is as stylish as it is inviting.
What inspired you to begin designing jewelry?
As a child, I always loved stones and beads. I used to take apart my mother’s hippie turquoise jewelry and re-work it. But I viewed this as a hobby, and when it came time to choose a career, I pursued a Master’s Degree in Social Work. I started making jewelry on the side as “therapy” to alleviate stresses from my job. I wore some necklaces on the streets of Manhattan and women literally wanted to buy the jewelry off of my neck. A business was born!
“The Persian rug was originally a rather bland color that was dyed to still allow the pattern and detail to show through. Michael Muller took the amazing underwater photograph of my son, which was a Father’s Day gift to my husband this year.”
Describe your collection! Who do you envision wearing your products?
The jewelry in my collection tends to be delicate but it still makes a style statement. I design classic pieces that are personalized, feminine, and fun. And I think this versatility in my jewelry appeals to a variety of women with a range of styles.
Maya’s husband is a reality TV producer and was awarded the Emmy for his work on “The Amazing Race.”
“The fabric on the chair is Oscar de la Renta. Need I say more? Swoon!”
What is the most rewarding part about owning such a successful business?
I love being my own boss and getting to work from home when I can. But the most rewarding part is seeing people react positively to something that I’ve created!
On the mantle is an embroidery by Maya’s friend and “A Bloomsbury Life” blogger, Lisa Borgnes Giramonti. The metal sculpture is by Maya’s grandfather, Art Brenner.
In what way(s) is your jewelry unique?
I’ve been designing jewelry since 1998, so my designs are constantly evolving. But one thing that I always try to do is design what I want to wear at that moment. I like to take a trend and make it into something that will never go out of style. I’ve been lucky enough over the years to have lots of people respond to that.
“Every girl needs a little bit of Paris with her! Maya wanted some brightness to go with the black and white floor in the kitchen, so she chose French bistro chairs in a variety of colors. The table is vintage and the clock is from Design Within Reach.
“I love taking quiet time like this to drink tea and read a magazine. It doesn’t happen often since mornings are spent rushing the kids out the door for school, but at least I can look stylish doing it.” Maya wears jeans by Current/Elliot and a silk shrug by Winter Kate (similar).