Archive for February 2019

This L.A. Home Is Candy-Colored, Desert-Meets-Jungle Style

February 27th, 2019

Name: Katie Zamprioli
Location: Sunland-Tujunga, California
Size: 1,222 square feet
Years Lived In: 1 year, owned

Katie Zamprioli (or @katiemackmusic as she’s known on Instagram) didn’t set out to make her home Insta-famous, but once she began posting photos of her candy-colored desert-meets-jungle interior, the fans came pouring in. In just one year she has transformed her Los Angeles-area home into a fully decorated oasis, where every inch is worth a closer look.


Katie’s passion for design coupled with an insatiable need to perpetually rearrange things has provided her (and her followers) with an endless amount of ever-changing content to ogle. With 97 plants and a constant flow of beautiful pieces going in and out of her home, there seems to be a lifeblood streaming throughout the space that gives it a peaceful energy, despite its maximal aesthetic. Perhaps it’s this peaceful lifeblood that keeps her minimalist husband, Mirage, from wanting to constantly declutter.

Having a 4-year-old son and a 12-year-old Brussels Griffon hasn’t stopped Katie from collecting a wide array of pieces, including handmade breakables and one-of-a-kind vintage pieces. She doesn’t believe in being too precious with her material possessions, and that’s what keeps her decorating process fun and upbeat. It has also taught her 4-year-old son, Sebastian, to be able to exist among delicate ceramics and luxurious fabrics—an important fundamental skill.

My Style: Mod Cali boho.

Inspiration: Mid Century, desert, jungle.

Biggest Challenge: Space! I wish I had more room for all of the ideas in my head!

What Friends Say: Only you could pull that off!

Biggest Embarrassment: When my plants die.

Proudest DIY: Wallpapering my angled living room wall with a complicated mural.

Biggest Indulgence: My lady palm!

Best Advice: Don’t take life too seriously.

Dream Sources: West Elm, Urban Outfitters, Memoky, Pop Up Home, Lumens, Sazerac Stitches, Chairish, Morugco, Overstock


This story was published in Apartment Therapy in January 2019.

50 Things to Toss When Moving (Or Just Because You Want to Declutter)

February 25th, 2019

If you’re about to move, you don’t want to take everything with you. That can get heavy—and expensive. At the same time, resist the urge to toss everything out. Even if your stuff doesn’t need to travel with you, that doesn’t mean that its life is over. Sell or donate your items whenever you can.

You can also have a little more fun with it. “Host a moving out party to use up food, booze, wine, decorations, invitations, and more,” suggests Anne Michaelsen, owner of Anne Michaelsen Design. “Even give out party favors of little things you don’t want to move! Use up wrapping paper to gift wrap these.”

I’m no Marie Kondo, but I still divided up the stuff you should get rid of into four categories: “old and used,” “it’s multiplying,” “what is that?” and“this doesn’t go there.” You will have to think about the things you use regularly and the logistics of your move—but, I promise I won’t force you to have strong feelings about your toaster.

The old and used

1. Clothes that don’t fit
2. Shoes you wore once and then hid in a hamper
3. Outdated electronics like old phones or VHS players
4. Posters you bought in college
5. Expired food
6. Expired medications
7. Expired makeup
8. Stray cords
9. Non-essential paperwork–shred it
10. Worn sheets and towels
11. Shower curtains—these can get gross, get a new one
12. Instruction manuals
13. Tax returns—shred and keep an electronic copy on the cloud
14. Old bills and receipts

It’s multiplying: The stuff you have too much of

15. Dishes
16. Cookware
17. Glasses and cups
18. Stained or mismatched containers
19. Spices, especially ones you bought a decade ago
20. Clips, twists, odds and ends
21. Basically, your entire junk drawer
22. Towels that don’t match or have discoloration
23. Tools you’ve never used (and have no plans for using)
24. Extra vases or knickknacks
25. Water bottles
26. Pens—you only need a few
27. Office supplies
28. Any more than two sets of sheets
29. Unused blankets or comforters
30. Excess luggage—you only need at most three pieces per person
31. Chargers and other miscellaneous electronics

What is that? AKA that stuff at the back of your closet

32. Books you’ve had for years and never read—get them at the library instead
33. Old magazines
34. Obsolete formats like VHS, cassette tapes, or CDs (if you don’t use them)
35. Appliances and gadgets you don’t use
36. Holiday decorations that stay in storage—even when it’s the holidays
37. Toys or games your kids have outgrown
38. Unused serving dishes
39. A big one: Kirsten Fisher, a professional organizer, is officially giving you permission to get rid of “gifts you hate but are keeping out of guilt”
40. Baby gear, especially if you aren’t planning to have another one
41. Broken stuff that isn’t easily fixed
42. Old greeting cards
43. Clothes that don’t look good on you

This doesn’t go there: Anything that isn’t a good fit for your new place

44. Filters for your current AC unit
45. Lighting made specifically for your current fixtures
46. Curtains
47. DIY decor items like flooring, wallpaper, tile, and paint
48. Dining room set
49. Bedroom set
50. Sectional furniture

This story was published in Apartment Therapy in January 2019. 

How to De-Clutter Your Life, the Anya Hindmarch Way

February 22nd, 2019

The whitewashed, warren-like interior of a former brewery in London now serves as the headquarters of Anya Hindmarch, the design force behind the global accessories and clothing company that bears her name. Around the space are reminders of the witticisms that have, over more than 30 years, secured her place as British fashion’s merrymaker. (This past fashion week, for example, instead of a runway show she created a colossal bean bag called the “chubby cloud,” where editors and customers lounged in white boiler suits.)

Her top shelves are stacked with the giant cereal boxes that inspired her Corn Flake clutch bags and Tony the Tiger totes for fall 2014; on a table behind her desk is a giant glass vase filled with smiley balls that hark back to her perennially popular collection of emoji-shaped leather accessory stickers. “It’s creative clutter,” she says, smiling. “I like a bit of artful disarray.”

Elsewhere, things are more pristine. What you won’t find anywhere in these offices are Post-it Notes (“they feel disorganized”), coats on the backs of chairs or stuff stacked up on the floors. “I’m a bit of a tidy freak,” says Hindmarch, who instigates regular “purge and pizza” days when her staff clear the chaos from their work spaces. “It’s when it all silts up that it gets disgusting. I’m not good at silt,” she says. With 280 personnel, some 30 stores worldwide, and five children at home, it’s no surprise that for Hindmarch, keeping her space spick-and-span is very much about maintaining control. “Brains are brilliant at having ideas but not holding them, so having systems in place is the key to creativity for me,” she says. “I have my best ideas at a clean table.”

Here, she shares her methodology for banishing the clutter.

“I’m a great believer in keeping special things, but I don’t want piles and piles of stuff on my desk or bedside table,” says Hindmarch, who stows standout invitations, special letters (including ones with her company’s first letterhead) and mementos in box files of “memory drawers” that are dated by year. “I want to have all those memories easily accessible so I can find them again.”

Last year, in an effort to regain cupboard space in the house she shares with her five children (“If you’re not careful, they treat your house like a storage unit,” she says), Hindmarch decided to digitize her entire life’s photographs. “I went to the scanners with 40 boxes of prints and came back with a tiny memory stick,” says Hindmarch, who kept and framed anything special or hand printed but burned the rest. “Sometimes you have to take that really brave decision.” Now that her (very well backed-up) photo archive is searchable by place or person on her iPad, she views her pictures more than ever before.

When her brother gave her a label maker as a tongue-in-cheek gift one Christmas, little did he know that it would revolutionize her life. The first thing Hindmarch labeled at home was her “present cupboard,” a dedicated space that’s stocked with instantly accessible gifts. “So often you have to buy something again just because you can’t find it,” she says. “It sounds simple, but if you keep light bulbs with light bulbs you’ll always know where things are. It’s efficient — and it means you don’t waste time.” Now, she labels everything in sight — even the label maker itself.

The labeling gadget went on to inspire her best-selling “Labelled” collection of leather pouches and loose pockets for specific tasks, such as baby changing kits and lunchboxes. In preparation for frequent trips between her global stores, Hindmarch keeps an armory of labeled kits pre-packed at home. There’s “Cables and Chargers,” loaded with universal and laptop chargers; “Sunscreens”; a monster-embossed transparent “In-Flight” case with sleeping pills, headphones, lip balm, mini toothpaste, deodorant and Sisley Rose face masks; and even currency-specific wallets with loose change from her travels. “It means that when I’m going on a trip I can just grab them and I know I’ll have everything I need,” she says. “I’m not stressing out that I’ll forget things.”

When it comes to wardrobe streamlining, Hindmarch follows the advice of the stylist and personal shopper Lima O’Donnell. She sets up a clothing rack in her room and fills it with all the clothes that she’s worn over the past three weeks. Next, she removes all the items that she hasn’t worn because they need mending and puts them in a pile for the tailor. Then, she takes out the items that she never wears because she has nothing to pair them with and decides whether or not they’re worth keeping.

Next comes the purging. She sifts through items on a case-by-case basis, deciding what to ditch. “Making these decisions can weigh you down,” she says. “But in the end, the joy of not having stuff can pretty much supersede the joy of having it.” For space-saving purposes, she packs away half her clothes each season. Though she stops short of wardrobe color-coding, she cannily divides navy from black in her closet to bypass the time-consuming process of discerning between the two in the early morning half-light.

Hindmarch suggests photographing all the outfits you like on your phone. That way, when you have an impending event or meeting you’ll have a quick visual roll call of fail-safe looks. It’s a now seasonal exercise for Hindmarch, whose business trips to everywhere from Seoul to Malaysia to Los Angeles demand an artillery of photo-ready ensembles. “You can’t arrive somewhere and then realize you don’t have the right shoes to match your dress,” she says. “If you take a snap you know it’s done.”

“Everyone is in a state of overwhelm,” Hindmarch says. “There are now so many modes of communication to stay on top of, from Slack to Instagram to text. We need techniques to help deal with it.” She spends her Sundays sorting through the residue of last week’s email inbox. Galvanized by the words of the American time-management expert David Allen — one of a handful of life coaches Hindmarch called in to speak at a three-day event dedicated to organization last year — her aim is inbox zero. While that goal remains elusive, she has adopted some of the filing practices of Allen’s “Get Things Done” ethos.

She puts any emails about Amazon deliveries straight into a folder called “Waiting” so it doesn’t clog up her inbox, and organizes the rest into “Home,” “Children,” “Medical” and “Fashion Week” folders. It’s a work in progress. “Once I’m on top of my inbox it’s just like that lovely feeling of having clean hair,” she says. “A clear inbox is a clear head.”

While her schedule is kept on a shared Outlook diary, Hindmarch still steadfastly believes in the power of the paper record. Not only does she print off and ring-bind her digital diary at the end of every year, she writes a personal diary of her activities every night — a tradition she’s inherited from her husband’s side of the family. “Even though I sometimes resent doing it when I’m exhausted before going to bed,” she says. “It’s so lovely to have a log of where you’ve been and who you’ve met to look back on.”

This method extends to list making, too. Hindmarch keeps digital lists on an app called “Things 3” for longer-term projects — and even has one for her own funeral. “They’re for all the things I don’t look at that often,” says Hindmarch, who keeps lists for holidays she’d like to take, presents for her family, restaurants she’d like to try and box sets she wants to watch. “That way I’ll find them again, rather than having the idea and never logging it,” she says.

Day to day, Hindmarch uses a single sheet of thick A5-size paper, which she slips in her notebook like a page marker. Handwritten in pencil, and carefully sectioned off by project — from her current collection to her forthcoming London Fashion Week presentation — it includes everything she needs to get done that week. “If things get badly busy,” she says. “I’ll also make an urgent list of all the things I need to do in the next few hours.” Sharing intel that she’s gleaned from Allen, she says it can be helpful to make your lists location specific: things you can do at your desk, calls you can make while you’re on the move, shopping to be done in a particular place. The key is to think about the steps you need to move the project from the page and into action. “I have my father’s 80th birthday party coming up, so rather than just writing that on my list and not doing anything about it, I’ll think through to the next action — in this case, it’s to call my sister. Once you actually start doing things, you can get it done quite quickly.”

This story was published in T Magazine in January 2019.