In the world of fashion blogging Alicia Lund is one of the greats. Founder of Cheetah is the New Black and former contributing editor for ELLE.com, her outfits and point of view on trends has inspired our whole team at Rue and hundreds of thousands of readers world-wide. So, the fact that she’s also got a great eye for interior design just proves that she’s a real renaissance woman – blogger, writer, and business owner (her boutique Syllabus has great local finds which you can shop online!). After living a couple years in New York, she moved back home to California with her husband, where they settled into this gorgeous Bay Area loft. We caught up with her to find out more about her transition from East to West coast and her home decorating process.
Your loft looks like the perfect space for a creative person like yourself! What did it look like originally, did you make any physical changes?
Our loft was basically a blank canvas–a large, empty rectangular room with two bedrooms off of it. It was a fun canvas to decorate! We found the apartment online while living in New York just a few weeks before moving back to California. I was a little worried to move in sight unseen but our place in the West Village was so tiny that I knew anything would be an improvement. Plus it had a washing machine and dishwasher so right away we were sold. (Such luxuries after living without for years).
Where did you begin decorating? Were there pieces that you brought with you from New York?
Yes, we brought what little furniture we had with us from New York and slowly added new pieces into the space over time. We didn’t want to invest a lot on furniture because we knew this loft was somewhat temporary and that we’d be moving into a house in the next year or two. So we worked with the pieces we had and only bought new pieces that we really loved. We moved some things around giving them new life (like our small coffee table from New York that now sits at the end of our bed).
My first find was the vintage locker and file cabinet. I found them both at an eclectic vintage store in town. They’re my favorite part of the room.
How would you describe your interior design style versus your style in clothing?
I’m fairly spontaneous with both. If I like it, I’ll buy it. With furniture, if I fall in love with a piece I know I will make it work somewhere. I gravitate towards items with character, that aren’t too precious, and that I won’t have to worry about ruining. For example, I chose a more rustic dining table with discoloration because I wanted to be able to eat, work, spill wine, paint–basically do whatever I wanted on the table and not have to worry about messing up anything fancy. Similar to clothing, I love design pieces that are unique and tell a story.
What is one thing that is easier in fashion than in decorating and vice versa?
I have a tendency to get bored with decor easily and so I think you want to be careful when playing with trends. With fashion, it’s so much easier to play with trends each season–it’s not as much of an investment at least.
What is one trick that you’ve learned that really made a difference in your space?
Both my husband and I aren’t the most tidy of people and with our busy schedules we really have to work on keeping our place clean. When living in a small space any kind of clutter starts to make the room feel smaller, so keeping our space organized is key for us. The filing cabinets are definitely helping!
What area in your home is the one that you are most proud of and that gets used the most?
I love the open floor plan – it’s great for entertaining!
What is the first thing that friends say when they come over?
Most of our friends are in houses now (we actually just bought our first house and will be moving soon too) so they think we’re living the life in our loft downtown. Everyone usually loves our walking proximity to our favorite coffee shop, restaurants, and the park.
Which piece was the toughest to choose and which one was the quickest and easiest?
I usually only buy pieces I really love and find a way to work them into the room. I really had to talk my guy into our 7″ foot wooden bench that we have at our dining table. I bought it without measuring how long it actually was (typical on my part). He thought it was too big for our space but I thought it was so cool and knew we had to make it work (it was originally an old door from Europe that was turned into a bench).
Have you found your interior design style or do you see it evolve in the future?
I’m sure it will evolve. It was only in the past couple years that I’ve been more into interior design. I loved remodeling the boutique: I’m the Buyer and Creative Director for Syllabus, and am currently designing our pop up space (both very rustic in style). Our loft is more modern and the house we will soon be moving into is a 1930s cottage that I plan to modernize but keep as much original character as possible.
Which designer or home do you refer to the most when you want inspiration?
I am constantly pinning various homes and rooms that inspire me–mostly bright spaces with a lot of light and character.