Back in 2013, we featured jewelry designer, Ariel Gordon’s previous home and office, and loved her amazing use of colors and patterns throughout. That’s why it came as no surprise to us that her new home is perfectly decorated and designed with everything we loved in her last space—and so much more! Now with two children, Ariel seems to have solved the age-old issue of keeping toys and baby items looking cute and stylishly organized and yet, the house is super kid-friendly, comfortable, inviting and brightly colored (in fact, she believe that ‘more is more!’ when it comes to color and patterns). Needless to say, we are once again obsessed with Ariel’s home and can’t wait for you to check it out for yourself. Step inside and find out more about Ariel and her home!
Thank you for welcoming us into your beautiful home. You just moved to the East Bay recently. How long have you lived in your new home?
We moved here from LA when I was 9 months pregnant (and Mia is now 10 months old). I had to start over and find a new OB-GYN, a new preschool for my son Luca, set up a home office (my studio is still in LA)…needless to say, I’ve been a little busy.
We featured your Los Angeles home back in 2013! What are things you kept the same and what have you changed in your new home? Are there pieces you will keep forever? What is your current decorating style?
I love that shoot—my tiny little 700-square-foot apartment and my old studio! I remember being so nervous. I’m proud to say that I still have a lot of those staple pieces (my MUD Australia plates, my custom pink ottoman, my vintage Eames lounger, my Weego home credenza). My current decorating style is dictated by the two tiny people in my home. So as much as I aspire toward minimalism, my reality is that I’ve got toys and books and balls and paint everywhere I look. So now the trick is to corral it. As much as I would like to buy them neutral wood toys, they love the plastic junk. So I figure if I have to look at it all day, I at least want it to be cute and happy. So for their toys, I often pick the bright-colored versions and I always pick up fun knick-knacks on my travels for them.
For those who don’t know, tell us about Ariel Gordon Jewelry. What inspired you to start a jewelry business?
I majored in English and Italian at UCLA. My first job out of college was for a marketing firm founded by Caroline Graham who was a titan in the magazine world. She was the West Coast editor of Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and Talk magazine under Tina Brown. I learned a lot from her about marketing, public relations, event production, proper etiquette and so much more.
Then I went to work for a PR firm producing gifting houses at award shows and film festivals. Needless to say that left a lot to be desired. During this time, I took some jewelry classes at a local jewelry school to escape the hectic pace of the industry. This led me to the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco, where I learned metalsmithing and stone setting. Once I moved back to LA, I sent my resume to every jewelry designer (from Caroline I learned to be fearless, and to this day, I can cold-call anyone) in the area and ended up working as the assistant to Maya Brenner for five years. She taught me everything I need to know about how to run a small business—from making line sheets to sourcing materials to accounting and everything in between. I launched my own line, Ariel Gordon Jewelry, in 2009 and haven’t looked back.
AGJ consists of highly personal pieces designed to be worn together and collected over time because I often find myself wearing the same jewels for months. All of the jewelry that I wear is symbolic of a treasured moment in my life. I want AGJ pieces to be an extension of the woman wearing them, tangible symbols of those she holds dear to her heart, or a happy occasion in her life. I am inspired by my girlfriends and the everyday girls that I see on the street or around town who manage to look casual, elegant and chic without fashion closets or stylists to help them out. They are confident women who have their own sense of style while living on a real budget. They work, they are moms, they date, they travel. Necessity leads them to be creative and versatile.
What jewelry do you wear on a daily basis?
I’ve never counted before…hold please.
2 anklets: Stardust Anklets
1 toe ring: Skinny Tire Ring
With Mother’s Day around the corner, what are five things every mother would love to be gifted?
- a night out with her girls
- a night out with her man
- a morning to sleep in
- a delicious meal
- some AGJ to commemorate all her loved ones
What is your favorite room in your new home? Why?
We sold our house in LA at our first open house, and because I was very pregnant, the pressure was on to find a place in Piedmont. We found our Victorian house and it magically has both! We had a 45-day escrow on our LA house and a 25-day escrow up here and they closed within the same week. The universe was really looking out for us. We had a long list of “wishes,” but at the top was good public schools and a great outdoor space. Our backyard is what sold us on the house. I can stand in the kitchen and watch the kids play. Luca is really into riding his tricycle and digging in his sandbox right now and Mia loves her little macrame swing. We just made s’mores in the fireplace for the first time and Luca has been asking to do it every day since. I may have created a monster.
What rooms were the easiest to decorate? The most challenging?
Since we haven’t lived in the house that long, I’ve been taking my time. I haven’t bought any new major furniture because I want to live in the space a bit to figure out what I really want it to be. I’m just getting things dialed in now but I know I still have a ways to go. The most fun (but hardest) room was the playroom in the front. I wanted to pick a wallpaper that was both youthful but not too juvenile (since this room won’t always be consumed by toys), and not too gender specific because I have a girl and a boy. I love the Schumacher paper I chose. It feels like I’m floating in the treetops outside the window.
What is the next home item you want to buy?
A new kitchen! But really, I think I’m going to do IKEA cabinets with semi-handmade fronts. Stay tuned.
What is a typical day like for you?
More hectic than it used to be. Up at 6:30 a.m. to do breakfast and get kids dressed. Take Luca to school by 8 a.m. Back home to call my LA office and dig in to work. Answer emails and take calls feverishly until 2 p.m. when I realize I haven’t eaten. Shove food in my mouth. Work a little bit more until 4 p.m. when I go get Luca from school. Then I’m with the kids until my husband gets home around 6 p.m. Usually, we go to the park, play in the yard or get a boba. Then it’s dinner, bath, bedtime.
What are the key differences between living in the East Bay and Los Angeles?
There are lots of differences. I still feel a bit like a fish out of water since I don’t have all my spots up here yet (where do I go for a carwash or a good burrito)? I’m making some progress, but between the kids and work, I don’t even have that much time to explore my new city. I’ve made some great new friends up here and slowly I’m finding my spots for coffee or a hike or a massage. I’ve heard 2 years is how long it takes to take a city truly feel like home so I’m halfway there.
I do miss LA though. Mostly the beach, burritos and my friends—and being able to see my team every day in the office.
You embrace color and pattern so well. How are you so brave? What are some tricks?
More is more! I really just try to surround myself with things that make me happy and that’s often pieces with color and pattern. To keep things from looking too bananas, I try to use pieces in the same complementary color families. And then maybe just one pop of contrast. Also limit where you use the pattern (i.e. if you have a wild wallpaper or rug, let that be the statement and keep other pieces more subdued). But you’ll know when some wacky pattern is right because it will tug at you the moment you see it. When you have that feeling, you know it will be a good fit.
Favorite places to shop for your home?
I like to mix custom pieces (i.e. my window treatments) with vintage pieces and big box pieces. When you collect things over time and mix them all together, your home truly feels lived-in and authentic. It’s the same as my clothes. You can buy the essential building blocks from major retailers, but it’s all about the “accessories.” No one will know if your clothes are from Zara if you’re wearing good jewels and a fancy purse. The right accessories always elevate an outfit—and a home.
5 beauty items you can’t live without?
5 most used apps?
Amazon Prime, Shopbop, Slack, Instagram and Shopify (to check the sales for ArielGordonJewelry.com)
Your favorite quote?
“Dumber people than me have done this and succeeded.” So I can do this.
Styling and Florals – Maggie Lindsey
Shop The Post: