Jessica Comingore's Los Angeles Apartment
It’s safe to say The Everygirl team is full of habitual re-decorators, but after seeing Jessica Comingore’s charming Los Angeles abode, I’m pretty certain we’ll ALL be rearranging our homes to feel as fresh, beautiful, and clutter-free as this one. Clean lines and neutral furnishings are the name of the game with this designer, and it’s clear we’re not the only ones who find her taste impeccable. As one of the TOP pinners on Pinterest (yes, that’s a thing), we know you’ll wholeheartedly agree when we say the girl’s got style.
With a background in interiors, this twenty-something has cultivated her talents and formed her own design studio, where services range from graphic design to art direction and photography. In fact, Refinery 29, Kinfolk, and West Elm are just a few of the brands that have recently called upon her expertise. Intrigued? Us too. Keep reading for all the details.
Full Name: Jessica Comingore
Location: Los Angeles, California
Current Title/Company: Founder of Jessica Comingore Studio
Educational Background: AA in Interior Design from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
Let’s talk about your career! What was your first job out of college and how did you land it?
My first job out of school was at an architecture firm called KAA Design Group in Marina del Rey. I was hired as a Junior Interior Designer for the Interiors department under the direction of Chris Barrett. It was an 80-something person firm at the time and my first experience working in a large office environment. It was invaluable time for me and I took a lot out of working in that setting. They had a multi-disciplinary approach to their work, so there was also a landscape architecture and branding studio under the same roof. I think being there exposed me to a myriad of disciplines and the idea of doing creative work beyond what I went to school for.
Your background is in interior design, so you have quite the eye to help elevate lifestyle brands, with projects ranging from web design and identity to creative consulting and photography. As a result, you’ve worked with an array of clients including Refinery29, Madewell, Kinfolk, Freunde von Freunden, and West Elm. How did you manage to build such an impressive clientele base? What advice can you give to readers who want to grow their relationships with clients and brands?
I think having a blog has had a lot to do with those relationships, and I feel incredibly grateful that what was once a pastime has allowed me to launch and run a successful business today. I started my blog back in design school as a way to archive inspiration, but kept it up and over time, and the audience began to grow both there and on other social media outlets. Through that, I started to get approached by various brands interested in partnering or doing creative projects together. I also started to build up the confidence to approach brands whose work I admired and felt aligned well with my aesthetic to pitch potential opportunities. My mindset since I got out of school (and would also be my advice to others) is that all anyone can ever say is, “no.” There’s no harm in reaching out and introducing yourself; whether that be for an internship while you’re in school, to a publication you’d like to feature your work, or a client you’d love to lend your services to. I think that initiative can go a long way.
Owning your own creative studio, you’re basically your own boss. What does your typical day look like?
It tends to be a little different every day, but I stick to a consistent in-office schedule of 9am to 6pm, and spend that time doing all of the admin work it takes to run a business (e-mails, accounting, social media), working on design projects for a few ongoing clients as well as one-off projects, creating content for blog posts, executing social media campaigns, or editing photos from a recent shoot. Most of my time is spent behind the computer, but I’ve always felt in my element that way. Every so often I’ll get a little stir-crazy and work on something more hands-on or take my laptop somewhere outdoors for a change of scenery.
You are one of the world’s top users on Pinterest. (Yes, you read that correctly). Clearly, your pins inspire others on a daily basis, but where do you find unique inspiration? Can you share some of your Pinning tips?
Goodness! I hope they do. It’s always a bit of a loaded question for me, as I find inspiration in so many forms, but I’d say having experiences away from the computer always bring me the most inspiration. Getting out of the endless image scrolling and taking a trip somewhere new, having a good conversation with a cherished friend, reading, visiting the latest exhibit at the museums around LA - these all tend to help me come back to my desk with a fresh perspective on my work and what I’d like to get out of it, as well as what I’d like others to take away from it. As far as pinning tips go, I’d say pin what you love and gravitate towards; things that make you smile or make you think, “I wish I’d thought of that.” You’ll start to see themes and in that sense, I find it to be a great tool in helping define your voice as a creative.
You started your blog in 2007. How has having a personal lifestyle blog and being a creative professional affected your career? Did you learn things from the blogging world that crossed over and helped you better serve your clients? Vice versa?
I find blogging to be my greatest business tool and definitely think of it as an extension of my business rather than a separate entity. I think it’s so great these days that you can use your blog as a platform to create the type of work you want to do, and have an audience to see it instead of waiting for the right client or opportunity to come along. Sometimes I think the best work you can create is when you have 100% freedom to experiment and discover what you love doing most.
You live in a charming home on the east side of Los Angeles. Tell us the process you went through while looking for your place. Do you rent or own? How long have you been there?
I was living in a studio not too far from where I am now that I started to outgrow working from home. I put a few feelers out and started trolling Craiglist, and a good friend passed along a link to this place that had been listed very recently. The pictures had enough charm and natural light to sell me on it, so I made an appointment to check it out and ended up being the first person to see it. The woman renting it said it was mine if I wanted it, and needless to say I signed the lease and it’s been about a year and a half since.
Tell us a little about the decorating process. Did you have a specific vision in mind when you began? How long did it take to complete your home from start to finish?
I had a few ideas about the feeling I wanted to achieve for the space before moving in (a calming color palette, white walls, a comfortable living room to relax in) but nothing too set in stone. I had a decent amount of furnishings coming from my last place, so I didn’t have to purchase much of anything coming in here. I definitely subscribe to the idea of getting rid of something old when you accumulate something new, and am always looking at ways to edit down to only the things I love and use regularly. Over time, I’ve worked towards replacing the Ikea pieces from when I first moved out on my own with more sustainable furniture, but I’d say it took about a year for it to feel “finished” to me. There are still a few pieces I’d like to swap out, or certain things I’m always trolling the flea markets for, but there’s no urgency to it. I think homes feel best when accumulated over time, telling a story of its inhabitants. Good things come to those who wait!
With clean lines and neutral décor, your home feels bright, with just the right balance of modern and vintage. Was difficult finding the balance between old and new?
I’m glad to hear that. It definitely wasn’t difficult, though I feel like I can attribute a lot of my eye for that balance from the first designer I worked under. She taught me how to mix materials and textures, balance the clean lines of a sofa with a mirror that’s a bit more ornate, and that it’s okay to turn things on their head a bit and throw in something unexpected, whether it be a distressed leather chair or a huge modern art piece. Oh, and that a grouping of flowers or a little bit of greenery always brings a space to life.
Can you name some of your favorite places to shop when searching for unique pieces for your home?
I don’t have many go-to spots besides the few flea markets around Los Angeles (The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, the Melrose Trading Post, Pasadena Community College) or if I’m looking for something really specific, I’ll shop with various vendors online.
What is the biggest purchase that you splurged on when decorating your place? Why did you decide to splurge on that piece—why did you have to have it?
My biggest splurge was my sofa, and perhaps the smartest purchase I’ve made for my home. Someone once told me to invest in the big pieces that will last you a lifetime, and the rest can be more flexible. The sofa has been with me since my first apartment and I figure if I ever tire of it, I can always reupholster. Between the clean lines of it, and the comfort, I can see it working in most any future space too.
What was the biggest challenge in decorating your home? How did you overcome that challenge?
Being that it’s older construction, there’s not too much storage and the closets are pretty small, so I had to be smart about editing down my belongings. I also ended up using my dresser as a credenza in the living room and utilizing some of those drawers to store extra things.
What are your current career aspirations? Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?
I’ve been dedicating much time to this topic this year (and still fleshing out the details) but I’d love to grow my studio into a lifestyle brand, continuing to provide creative services for clients, but also develop product, and be a source of content for like-minded individuals seeking inspiration to fulfill their passions and live with less.
Best advice you've ever received?
My dad once told me to, “find what you love and just go do it.” It’s something that I think about often when I’m trying to figure out my next step in life or in business.
What advice would you give your 23-year old self?
Always trust your gut.
Jessica Comingore is The Everygirl
If you could have lunch with any woman, who would it be and what would you order?
Margaret Howell. That woman has impeccable taste across the board, so I'd order whatever she recommended. Her work resonates with me more than any other current designer and I can only imagine what it'd be like to chat with her over lunch.
Happy Hour order?
A bloody mary! As delicious on a week night as a Sunday morning if you ask me.
Favorite LA neighborhood?
I really love Eagle Rock. Quiet, walkable, close to nature and home to some of my favorite eateries.
Most cherished piece in your closet?
I’m not sure I have one! I don’t own anything that holds too much value to me; my favorite piece tends to change with each new acquisition. I recently treated myself to a pair of Sven clogs and haven’t taken them off since the day they arrived, so those might be my favorite wardrobe piece of the moment.
Aiden or Big?