Stylist Jessica de Ruiter’s design sense is definitive proof that simple and understated don’t have to mean drab. The light-flooded, hilltop home she shares with her husband, Jed, and their 3-year-old daughter, James, is an enviable urban sanctuary that exemplifies how sumptuous textures, earthy wood built-ins, whimsical kid-friendly details and Mid Century architecture can live harmoniously and beautifully. Like her personal style, de Ruiter tackles creating a stunning yet toddler friendly home by using only quality pieces and handcrafted finds that take on a gorgeous patina with time. Beautiful woven baskets are scattered throughout the space, hiding colorful legos and toy trains while not in use. James’ room has a towering wall of Douglas Fir built in drawers and cabinets to keep clutter out of sight and even child-sized utensils and bowls are functional and well designed. “In terms of organizing and ‘living with’ kids stuff, I just give everything a designated place,” says the stylist. “Legos live in the basket, stuffed animals in the drawer, crayons in the buckets at the easel etc… and that way it’s easy to tidy up quickly and get things away and out of sight for the most part. And if your storage containers and vessels are attractive they can make kid stuff look good when put away.” Beyond being a top notch organizer with impeccable taste, de Ruiter has created a warm, peaceful and incredibly stylish home with interiors that echo the east side Los Angeles canyons that surround the 1953 Gregory Ain designed house, as well as provide James with a lively and loving environment in which to grow. An avid cook and farmer’s market shopper, de Ruiter has taught James her love of using fresh and local ingredients for healthy and thoughtful eating. Besides the great storage solutions, what other ways do you stay organized in work and home? I am super organized by nature. Even when I was little my mom says I was always organizing my things and surroundings! I have an ongoing to do list which I update daily or weekly. It helps me keep track of things. Especially since having James, there is now so much more to do each day…and my memory seems to have vanished. Another way to stay organized is to assign everything a place. This makes cleaning up easy and clutter is kept at bay. A clear house makes for a clear mind…and a clear mind makes for a peaceful, positive mommy. Douglas Fir built-in cabinets and shelves make for very chic storage. de Ruiter picked up the small mis-matched chairs at a flea market and made them more uniform by painting each one with a beautiful pale, grey color from Farrow & Ball called Elephant’s Breath. What are some of your tips for other working moms for managing the work/family balance? Make sure you have a support team that you trust and can rely on completely so that you have peace of mind and can delegate without hesitation. Carve out some time for yourself to recharge, regroup and reflect, to maintain your sanity. Hike, exercise, meditate…Go to bed on time. Sleep. James marks her mother’s height on a wooden growth chart made by Jed. James’ meal essentials include a lunch box from Canadian company, So Young, bowls from Heath kids at Heath Ceramics and cutlery by David Mellor for Heath kids. Please name some of your favorite stores and online resources for home decor.
- Heath Ceramics
- Galerie Half (for vintage furniture)
- Woven Accents (for rugs)
- Bonton (for children’s furniture)
The two baskets above are from Lawson Fenning in Silver Lake.
What is the most valuable thing motherhood has taught you? Patience