If you keep up with the ever-changing world of fashion, you’re probably familiar with style expert Louise Roe of Front Roe. Her LA home is filled with the richness of leather and warm moody tones—it’s a place she can’t wait to enjoy after coming home from her travels.
During her time at university in England, where she’s originally from, Louise was sure she wanted to work at a magazine. After studying English literature at Durham University (fun fact: Harry Potter was filmed at the campus’ castle while Louise was a student there—and yes, Durham has a castle), Louise scored a position at Elle magazine in London.
She later worked for Vogue.com, where she reported on the Oscars. She’d get to travel to LA to cover the awards shows, and it was during this time she fell in love with the city and eventually decided to make the move. This English fashion girl has worn many hats over the years: She’s reported fashion on the red carpet and hosted TV shows like Plain Jane. Fastforward a few years, and she’s now written a book, Front Roe, and runs a wildly successful blog, of the same name. Now she spends her time traveling the world (she’s currently filming on a remote island in Asia), but calls California home.
Read on to find out more about Louise’s adventures, her favorite places to find home decor, and life in LA.
What was your first job out of college and how did you land it?
I was an intern at Elle in London. I knew I wanted to work at magazines so I did work experience for every school holiday I can remember, and basically stalked and hassled them with my resume until they let me in! I was there six months and I loved it. The first interview of my life was Linda Evangelista. She was super scary, my little hands were shaking with my notepad. It was major!
How did you make the decision to come to LA? What was that transition like?
I was covering the Oscars while I was at Vogue.com in the UK and each time I flew out here, I just loved the city. It’s a very inspiring and motivating place. I had a few friends here already, so the transition was relatively smooth. Although I was terrified at first!
On life in LA: What are your favorite parts? What advice would you have for people new to the area?
Take LA for what it is. I think the biggest mistake people make (myself included) is to compare it to other cities. It’s never going to be New York, or London, or San Fran, so it’s best to celebrate its good bits and perhaps ignore the bad. Yes, it’s spread out; yes, there’s traffic; and yes, there are some annoying people who only want fame… ha! But, there are also some incredibly creative, motivating people, beautiful beaches and mountains, a healthy outdoorsy lifestyle, and some of the best restaurants ever. I love taking a picnic to Malibu on a Sunday and hiking up Point Dume, or getting froyo at the Grove and watching a movie, or sitting out under the stars drinking wine at Eveleigh. LA is awesome.
You own and run Front Roe, and you’re a TV host and a writer. How did you get to this point in your career? How do you balance it all?
Sometimes I feel like there’s no balance. I’m up at 5 a.m. trying to edit posts and pictures before hair and makeup come over at 6 a.m. before filming—it can sometimes get a little overwhelming. But I absolutely love what I do—the business has grown slowly but steadily, and I feel unbelievably excited about having published a book. I make sure I still get down time, whether it’s a massage, a cocktail with girlfriends, or a weekend away. I still have my priorities right: life and relationships first, work second.
Take us through a day in the life of Louise Roe.
You know, I get asked this question a lot and the coolest part is that no two days are ever the same—it keeps things fresh. Right now, I’m hosting the second season of a fitness reality show in Asia. I’m typing this from a remote island off the coast of Singapore, called Bintan. I’m up at dawn, get glammed up and dressed, head to the beach for a scene, and we will roll through until dinnertime. Yesterday I was on a boat shouting at contestants during a race! It’s a huge adventure.
Now, let’s talk about your beautiful home! Tell us a little bit about your home and neighborhood
It was built in 1990 and it’s a three-story townhouse, which is quite unusual for LA. It makes me feel a little bit like I’m in London—the layout is very city, and upside down: The bedrooms are below the living and kitchen. I live in West Hollywood, which is arguably the most busy bustling part of LA. It’s full of cool cafes, juice bars, hipsters, amazing boutiques, and loads of workout classes! You can’t walk one block without seeing someone heading to a workout. Quintessential LA, but a very motivating place to live.
We all have an idea of what we want when looking for a house. What were some items on your wish list? What was the hunt like?
It was completely bare—hardly any furniture and nothing on the walls. The walls were stark white, so I warmed them up with a hint of taupe. The bedrooms and bathrooms are a darker taupe to feel more moody. I knew I wanted a library area in the study so I had bookshelves installed in a dark color to give them more depth. And I wanted a low, tufted leather coffee table in the living room.
Most of my inspiration comes from hotels or members clubs, I think the Soho House clubs (particularly Miami and Chicago) are gorgeous. This is my fourth home. My first place was a 1920’s apartment right off Robertson Boulevard, and I loved it. I was a single girl with a clothing rail in the living room and I never used the kitchen—very Carrie Bradshaw!
The townhouse I have now is gorgeous. I love living within walking distance of shops and cafes, but I have a little garden and balcony surrounded by green. I love that about LA. You can be two minutes from Sunset Boulevard, but feel like you’re in a pretty suburb.
How long did it take to get your home looking the way it does now?
I did it fast. I have no patience! Actually, I did it remotely from Asia because I was filming the same show last year. I picked paint, hired workmen, ordered furniture online, and drew sketches for my assistant to put everything in place. It probably drove him mad, looking at these little diagrams but I was super specific and he nailed it!
With filming in Asia, have you been able to spend much time at home in West Hollywood?
No, and I miss it! It’s fantastic having adventures around the world, but I’m a real homebody at heart and I can’t wait for that first home-cooked meal on the balcony. And I’m a terrible chef, so when I say home-cooked meal, I mean a cheeseboard and red wine!
Tell us about your approach to decor. How would you describe your style?
I don’t like anything too girly. I like heavy, right textures like reclaimed wood, leather, and gold hardware. But I like to mix with brighter accents like the beach photography and the beautiful coffee table books. It’s a balance.
How did you decorate on a budget? Where do you save and where do you splurge?
I splurged on my coffee table and bed. But other than that, I get such a kick out of scanning websites like One Kings Lane and Joss & Main. You can get great bargains there.
Is there a favorite item or area in your home that you’re especially proud of?
The gold bananas! I got them at Weho boutique Ten Over Six, and people either love them or hate them! To me, they fit right into that slightly ’70s luxe Silm Aaarons vibe. Oh, and the brown leather chair in the living room? That’s one of a pair. I got them both at a flea market for $230, total! I love them.
What advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
Worry less. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Stop highlighting your hair yellow.
Louise Roe is The Everygirl…
Best moment of your career?
Publishing my book, Front Roe.
Vanderpump Rules. Obsessed.
Favorite way to start the day?
Cup of tea made with my PG Tips teabags (I bring them from London) and then Soul Cycle. It gets me so pumped for the day!
Dream project for your home?
Putting in a Nantucket-style poll house and making it my business headquarters.
Who would play you in a movie of your life?
Oh gosh, I have no idea! Camille Belle, maybe?
Perfect weekend in LA?
Brunch at Huckleberry in Santa Monica, then paddleboarding on the beach, staying over at my friends ranch, Calamingos in Malubu, and then a little shopping at Intermix on the way home. And lots of Pinkberry.
Map art, Restoration Hardware
Ottoman, Restoration Hardware
Garden stool, Joss & Main (similar here)
Tall table lamp, flea market
Blue and white pillows, Joss & Main
Leaf art above fireplace, Z Gallerie
Pineapple desk lamp, Chairish
Brass pineapple, tourist shop in Charleston
Bulletin boards, Target
Floor lamp, Joss & Main
Chairs, Z Gallerie
Coffee table, Chairish
Shag rug, Chairish
Side table lamps, Chairish
Poolside/oudoor colorful prints by Slim Aarons, One Kings Lane
Bed, Restoration Hardware
Bedding, Ralph Lauren
Orange pillows, Kohl’s
Nightstands, Pottery Barn
Nightstand lamps, Pottery Barn
Art above bed, art.com
Bench, Joss & Main
Rug, Joss & Main
Art by dresser, my granny’s from Rio, Brazil