John & His Home
The house that young jewelry-maker, Riley of Gunner & Lux, lives in with her two dads, John and William, is nothing short of amazing. It accurately portrays their fun and creative personalities, with its living room full of books to the amazing vintage finds throughout. While we love all of the rooms in this house, Riley’s bedroom is one of the coolest we’ve ever seen, and perfect for the little girl boss. From the bright colors and eclectic wall décor and accents to the disco ball (yes, you read that correctly), this space is a creative kid’s dream come true. We can go on and on about the amazing pieces in this home, but instead, we invite you to step inside and see it for yourself in the home tour below. It proves that decorating a house doesn’t always have to be serious business. Get ready to swoon—and smile!
Your house is so fun! Tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind your design process.
I am a big fan of vintage mixed with a bit of what I call Restoration Hardware on a budget. I love gray and khaki colors. I would paint our entire house gray and black if my husband William would let me, but he thinks dark colors would be like “living in a tomb.” I also love the feeling of boutique hotels, the eclectic mix of things that just seem to fit, like at The Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City and all of the amazing Ace Hotels. I like finding different pieces that fit within our home, unique things that make us happy.
What’s your favorite room in your house?
I love our living room. We are huge readers in our house, and we still buy actual books. So it’s a great place to relax, light a candle and read a good book. I love that it’s the hub of all of our really eclectic pieces. I really wanted an environment that gets Riley thinking, exposing her to things that you wouldn’t see every day. Things that might not normally be in someone’s living room and things that aren’t so serious and show the fun and the creative side you can have when decorating.
There are a lot of fun art prints and gallery walls in your house. Where is your favorite place to buy wall art and any advice for readers looking to build a gallery wall?
We do love scoring anything vintage for our walls. Things like old mirrors, old photographs, flags, dartboards. Our favorite women artists that we feel so lucky to have pieces from are Audrey Bodisco, NG Collective and Sally King Benedict. We also like to shop at Artfully Walls for some really amazing prints. And any blank walls we have left, we fill with Riley’s art or my old painting from my art school days.
Where’s your favorite place to shop online for home décor?
Your daughter, Riley, has the coolest bedroom! Did she have a lot of input on how that all came together?
Yes, lots of input. I remember how much my bedroom was such a fun retreat growing up. We really wanted Riley’s room to be a place where she could always go and just feel positive vibes! She picked out the colors she wanted, and then we looked for a floral wallpaper for one of the walls, but we couldn’t find something that we loved. So she and I spent half a day at Kinkos making color copies of a flower. We then cut each one out by hand, and then glued each one to the wall. We thought the yellow stripes would be a fun bold statement in her room. In her closet, we used Justina Blakeney wallpaper by Hygge and West. I think her favorite part is her disco ball. We turn the lights out, put a flashlight on it and start a DANCE PARTY! I highly recommend a disco ball in your kid’s room!
That Donald Robertson piece in her room is so fun. Is there a story behind it?
A few years ago, Donald Robertson posted a DIY Hermes purse with a Whole Foods bag. So Riley and I gave it a shot and sent him the photo. He posted it on his Instagram and we became Instagram friends after that. He is a truly inspiring artist, who is so kind and so helpful. Since then, Riley has purchased every item he has ever created, from his kids books, his J.Crew collaboration T-shirts, his Flirt Cosmetics line and so much more. She and I are huge fans. One day in the mail, Riley received this painting from Donald and our jaws just dropped. The painting is of Panda Summer the editor of Cover magazine in his children’s book Mitford at the Fashion Zoo.
Speaking of Riley, tell us about Gunner & Lux and how that all came to be.
William and I started collecting vintage jewelry for Riley when she was born, as we could already imagine our daughter playing “dress up” while she danced in an imaginary costume ball. We searched thrift stores, antique stores and asked friends and family for jewelry that they didn’t use. Within just a few short months, we had collected a treasure chest of amazing jewels.
As Riley grew, she picked out the jewels she wanted to keep, and I decided to craft a one-of-a-kind necklace for a friend. At around the age of 5, Riley wanted to watch, and before I knew it, she was helping me create the first Gunner & Lux necklaces.
I started selling necklaces online and in local boutiques. Riley continued to show a knack for making jewelry, so after dinner, she and I worked on necklaces together. Using her fine motor skills, she learned how to tie knots and use pliers and tweezers as she started to develop her own line of necklaces for little fashionistas!
She started to sell her necklaces at her summer lemonade stand, and then she and I decided to add them to my website. I can still remember the day she and I talked about it. She agreed on writing handwritten thank you notes for each necklace sold, and that she wanted her own business cards. Three years later, her necklaces are sold in more than 450 stores all around the world including Barneys New York and Nordstrom.
What has been the most rewarding part about working alongside your daughter?
Just being lucky enough that I get to spend this time with her is just everything for me. We get to travel together for workshops, TV shows and opportunities that I am blown away by. Getting to have these experiences with her, seeing her laugh and smile, watching her meet new mentors and people she looks up to, it’s all just so incredible. I’m lucky she still keeps me around.
She has watched the “Iris” documentary (Iris Apfel) I think four times. She is all for experimenting, trying new things, seeing what works for her. We have always let her try anything, letting her know that fashion can be a great way to express yourself.
Riley seems like she has so much style for such a young age! How do you help her cultivate all that creativity?
She has watched the “Iris” documentary (Iris Apfel) I think four times. She is all for experimenting, trying new things, seeing what works for her. We have always let her try anything, letting her know that fashion can be a great way to express yourself. Her other dad usually makes us take at least one accessory off or tone down the hot pink before we leave the house. Obviously, that’s why he is nicknamed #joykiller in our house!
You guys work from home as well. Any tips for creating an inspiring workspace at home?
Riley and I took over almost the entire upstairs for production, wholesale, website orders, shipping and my tiny office. We made a few trips to IKEA and as we keep growing, we keep taking over more and more space in the house. We decorated with our favorite photo booth pictures that we had blown up to poster size. We have Riley’s actual lemonade stand where she sold her first necklaces here in the studio. We keep music playing all the time, so we are always moving and grooving!
Because William works from home as well, we have to keep our “Dance Breaks” from getting too crazy and too loud. Riley keeps asking for her own office, so I need to get on that.
Anything fun and exciting coming up for Gunner & Lux you can share with us?
Yes, we have a new necklace coming out soon. Riley was involved with the nonprofit organization Girls On The Run this year. She had the most amazing time running with her friends, being with her girlfriends, talking about girl stuff and just bonding after school. We worked on a necklace for girls that would really make them feel like they run the world!
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