Layne Kula of Penny Layne, the Los Angeles-based creative production house, takes us inside her super cool Highland Park bungalow. We love the open floor plan, the natural light, the amazing architecture and most of all, the fun colors throughout. Just looking at these pictures puts a smile on our faces, and we can’t wait for you to step inside and learn more about Layne, her home and what’s on the horizon for her business.
Can you tell our audience a bit about your home? Where did you find your inspiration for the space?
Absolutely. My husband and I live in a super cool bungalow in the heart of Highland Park. We fell in love when we saw the space—incredibly cool bones and architecture, an open floor plan, gorgeous window built-ins and so much natural light. It felt like a really funky blank canvas and as a designer, I really do love color. So many of our clients are oftentimes afraid to use color in their designs thinking they’ll get sick of it. But when it’s my space, I draw inspiration from the home itself, the area we live in and the things we love that make us happy. We live in a hip, sunny and vibrant neighborhood with insane views of the Los Angeles sunset. Designing a space that was bright and eclectic with a bit of a retro vibe felt like the natural progression for our space.
Do you have a favorite room or space in your home?
I think our favorite room in the space is our living room/dining room space. We love an open floor plan and we’re such big fans of entertaining and having people over. It’s so much a part of who we are, so having a space where we’re able to be in the same place as our guests, cooking, prepping, watching football, making specialty cocktails—you name it, we love being in a shared space with everyone.
How has your home changed since sheltering in place?
We’ve definitely been spending more time together, that’s for sure! I have a separate office on our property—a converted shipping container that we’ve converted into the Penny Layne headquarters. Having an additional office space at home where I can still go to work has been a godsend during all of this. Mentally, I still go to work in the same way I always did, so this definitely enhances my productivity and mental state during all of this. When I come home, I feel like I’m able to turn off, even if my commute is a two-minute stroll down to the house!
What are your go-to places to find your home décor items?
I have SO MANY! As a professional creative and designer, I’m constantly inspired by new things, new designers, new textures and materials, and new schools of thought. But currently, my favorite places to find home décor items are Coming Soon, Burke Decor, Scout & Nimble, Individual Medley, Lawson-Fenning, Lulu and Georgia, Okej Studio, Aelfie, 1stDibs and CB2—all incredible designers and retailers with a wide variety of ever-changing and evolving styles.
Do you have any self-care rituals?
As someone who is constantly running on empty, traveling for work and bouncing from project to project like an Energizer bunny, the silver lining in all of this has been giving myself the freedom and permission to slow down. My husband and I love to cook together and after incredibly long and stressful days, it’s the best way to wind down. Every Sunday, we visit our local farmers’ market in Atwater Village and we enjoy planning our weeknight menus. In addition, I’m a bath connoisseur, so winding down at the end of every day with a long, hot bath and my favorite Kyoto Escapist Candle from Brooklyn Candle Studio normally does the trick.
What is the first thing people notice when entering your home?
Everyone loves our collection of ceramics, serving boards and treasures that we have all over on display on our shelves. We also get so many compliments on the retro yellow upholstered diner chairs that we have in our kitchen.
Can you tell us about Penny Layne Creative? Any favorite projects?
Of course! Penny Layne is a creative production house offering groundbreaking event events, inspired interiors and creative direction. We’re based in LA, but our deep love of travel has also allowed us to work all over the country and the world. We specialize in unconventional destination weddings with an emphasis on seamless planning and coordination and exceptional design. When we’re not traveling the world week after week for events, we’re on the ground working in the office or in the field on a wide array of interior designs. In addition, we also do a fair amount of social work in the influencer space, creating content and inspiring a roster of social clients. Did I mention we also have our very own in-house graphic design team? We craft and create all of our in-house paper goods for our clients so everything is entirely custom and unique, which our clients LOVE. Needless to say, we’re very busy! It’s always creative, always challenging and rarely boring, which is definitely the way we like it!
As for favorite projects, we have so many! One of our favorite projects to date was an unconventional four-day wedding weekend in New Orleans that we managed to sneak in early this year before the pandemic broke out. It was incredible and we were able to gift the trip of a lifetime to our couple and 200 of their closest friends and family. Currently, we have a number of amazing projects in production—most notably an epic home design project in the heart of Denver that is going to blow the doors off of everyone, a custom line of in-house paper goods and graphics with our very own graphic and print design team, and an epic international destination wedding weekend in Iceland.
How have you adapted creatively since staying at home?
I think one of the greatest challenges in working as a creative is finding ways to make sure I’m still being challenged creatively during this time. In an industry that is so reliant on live events, on-site installations and in-person contact, I have found myself focusing more on the administrative work during this time, which tends to get a bit redundant as someone who thrives in a much more artistic environment. However, it has allowed me to focus on rounding out my business from every vantage point and has really given me the opportunity to focus on the business component of my brand to support me in all of my creative endeavors. Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows how strongly I feel about the concept of finding “freedom within the structure” and doing the inner work of continuing to grow the business side of the company, which is hard to do when you’re always on the move. Focusing on that has been such a great experience during this bizarre time.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day is so different! Traditionally, I’ll start every morning with a cycling class because if I don’t work out early in the morning, my day will always get away from me. Before COVID-19, after getting to my office, I’d spend the first part of the day answering emails, making calls and doing any administrative-based work. For lunch, I’m often scheduling coffees or lunch meetings with existing clients, my favorite vendors, site visits or showroom appointments. The latter half of the day is normally more heavily creative—building design boards, design consultations and meetings, building out installations, assembling invitations to send out on our client’s behalf or getting our inventory prepped and ready for a weekend on location. Evenings are normally reserved for client meetings for our clients who work more rigorous 9-to-5 jobs, and cooking or winding down with my husband and our English bulldog. During the weekends, when we’re not producing large-scale events, you can find me at farmers’ markets, concerts, thrifting at the best vintage stores in Los Angeles or grabbing breakfast tacos at Homestate.
What items do you always keep in your fridge?
I would say without a doubt we always have all fresh, local produce for our farmers’ market—any sort of berry, fresh herbs, broccoli, sweet potatoes, local salsas and mixed greens. For proteins and more, we almost always have salmon, free-range eggs, grass-fed butter, fresh whole grain bread and organic poultry. Also, we’re ice cream snobs, so 9 out of 10 times, there is either Salt & Straw, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams or McConnell’s ice cream in our freezer.
Do you have any beauty items you’ve been obsessed with lately?
I’m obsessed with my Saturday Skin Rise + Shine Gentle Cleanser, Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Serum and Vitamin E Mask, Peter Thomas Roth’s Pumpkin Enzyme Mask, and the Ole Henriksen Clarifying Toner. I don’t really wear any makeup, but I always use Fat and the Moon’s “Glow” and “Beam” highlighters with a rosebud salve lip balm.
Do you like to read? What have you read recently that you loved?
Although I wish I was better about it, I’m not much of a reader. While many are readers, I would say music has always filled the void of reading for me. Music and art are definitely the places where I feel most inspired and constantly moved.
Is there anything exciting on the horizon for you?
Absolutely! We have so many exciting new projects and clients that we’re onboarding at the moment. Currently, we just booked a boatload of new events for 2021 and 2022—unconventional weddings in New Orleans, Montana, Jackson Hole, New York and beyond and we’re working on a ton of new home projects in Los Angeles, Denver and Austin!
“Be around those who carve new galaxies in you.
The light through your veins.
The moon in your chest.
Stars in your eyes.
– Author, Victoria Erickson, Rhythms and Roads
AND all the lyrics to “All my Friends” by LCD Soundsystem. It captures my essence fully.
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