As someone who spends as much time as I do on social media you start to notice recurring themes. Honestly sometimes everything and everyone's posts start to look like each others. That’s not to say there aren’t beautiful and inspiring things to be seen but when you find someone who really stands out it’s refreshing. That’s exactly how I feel about Justina Blakeney’s blog and social media. And it looks like I’m not the only one since she’s amassed quite the following on her various channels. Justina marches to the beat of her own drum. Her bold, bohemian style can’t be missed and I love that! And since the birth of her daughter a couple years ago, I also love following along on her bright and beautiful mommy adventures. Which is why I was beyond excited when I got to finally meet Justina in person (we've been online friends for years), visit her Los Angeles studio and sit down with her to talk about life, motherhood and work. Also don’t miss Justina’s curated collection of Bitte favorites here.
First off, we’re long time fans of yours and your Bohemian-inspired Jungalow style. Where did the roots of this style come from? Who or what are your biggest influences?
Thanks!! the style is simply a reflection of who I am, my upbringing, all the places I've traveled and markets I've visited. I think that my multi-cultural background plays a big role in my style too, as I feel most at home in environments that are very multi-culti and eclectic. I think growing up in Berkeley didn't hurt either. As for my biggest influences-- my sister Faith, who is also a designer influenced my style so much. Frida Kahlo, Matisse, the Eames, Hans Wegner, Sonia Delaunay and the jungle continue to inspire me creatively.
You seem to have so many projects and exciting things going on right now, from the release of your interiors book The New Bohemians, to your own line of rugs and pillows with Loloi, debuting last month, can you tell us more about these projects and what inspired them?
:) yay thanks! My aim/hope is to grow The Jungalow and my work into a lifestyle brand that inspires creativity and empowers people to have fun and to decorate their homes to match their personalities. The New Bohemians is like the manifesto, and the rugs are laying the groundwork ;)
You are also Mom to your beautiful daughter Ida. How has becoming a mom changed how you work or the types of projects you take on, if it has at all?
Becoming a mom has made time more precious, because I try and make the most of every moment that I'm at work and *not* hanging out with her. It's made me more conscience of everything really.
What do you find most exciting and/or challenging about being a working mom?
I love that Ida is being raised in an environment where she has strong women role models, like I did. There are a lot of challenges, too of course. There are never enough hours in a day to finish everything. I'm tired, a lot, and I go through a lot of bouts of guilt about not spending enough time with Ida. Sometimes I feel like I'm half-assing everything.
You also recently bought a home that you are renovating. One of the things I really love about your style is it seems so family and kid friendly. Have you found this to be true in your own home and are there things you now have to keep in mind when decorating with a child in the house that you wouldn’t have considered before?
The main thing is that my style is very maximal and kids need space to spread out and play and run around so I've gotten rid of a lot of large furniture pieces just so she has more room to stretch out and play.
What are a few of your favorite things to do with your family when you’re not working?
We love to go to farmers markets, I take Ida to the Korean spa a couple times a month where we take jacuzzis and eat noodles, we also enjoy doing arts and crafts together and traveling!
We got a sneak peak at a couple exciting new things you're working on for next year, anything you can share? And what are you looking most forward to next year, personally and professionally?
My wallpaper line with Hygge and West was just released (yay!!) and I'm working on all kinds of exciting stuff for 2016 including furniture! Also, my husband and I would love to have more children, so we'll see what the future holds!!
Awesome! We can't wait to see what new and beautiful things you have in store for us. Thank you so much for sharing with us! Make sure to check out Justina's favorite's collection here.