Name: Aditi Khorana
Location: Los Feliz — Los Angeles, California
Size: 1300 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, owned
As a writer herself, Aditi Khorana‘s eclectic mid-century home captures the essence of storytelling in more ways than one. As if a grand entrance with high ceilings, open windows and an expansive view of the Hollywood Hills weren’t enough to gush over, the novelist has filled her entire space with personality and memories from all over the world. And impressively, she preserved the 1950s aesthetic while designing a home with endless colors and textiles, never failing to inspire her work or company.
A workplace, gathering space or living space, this home fluidly adapts to fit the occasion. She often has other creatives over to work, write or simply be in this inspiring home. There’s something special happening in this space that everyone can feel when walking in. In fact, the previous owner of this house invented wooly pockets, the original living plant walls, while living here! So there’s definitely a creative spirit in this home that’s palpable.
Aditi prioritized (in equal parts) form and function to create a space meaningful enough to nurture her artistic lifestyle. Not only does every item in the house have a story of its own, the house as a whole has inspired Aditi’s four novels! She loves writing in both her indoor and outdoor areas depending on the project. Her debut novel, MIRROR IN THE SKY, was entirely written in her dining room, and her upcoming novel, LIBRARY OF FATES (which will be released July 2017) — a feminist historical fantasy about a louche, misogynistic dictator overthrowing a tiny idyllic kingdom — was written in her backyard.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: I guess I would describe it as eclectic mid-century. The house was built in 1958 and I’ve tried to remain consistent with the style of the era. I also travel internationally quite a bit and love bringing back treasures from across the globe, so there’s a lot of stuff from Morocco, Cuba, Italy, India, Southeast Asia and South and Latin America.
Inspiration: I feel like every item in the house has a story: pieces I’ve collected from my travels, or poached from my parents or found at yard sales. I feel surrounded by things I love all day: books, plants, art. Comfort and functionality are important, but so is beauty! And plants! I absolutely love plants.
Favorite Element: Even though it’s not a huge house, the high ceilings, large windows, open space and indoor-outdoor flow give the space a great feeling of lightness and expansiveness. I love the view of the hills and there’s amazing light all day long. I love curling up on the sofa with a book and that view in the background. There’s a good mix of nature and city in this neighborhood and I feel like my home reflects that mix. I take morning hikes to Griffith Park with friends and downtown is just a short 10-minute subway ride away.
Biggest Challenge: The kitchen is old and hasn’t been updated, so the appliances are a little temperamental. The peach-colored tile, while consistent with the era, isn’t really aesthetically appealing, but I sort of love it.
What Friends Say: I love having friends over for cocktails or barbecues in the backyard, snacks and wine in the kitchen, movie viewings and general hangouts. Most of my close friends live within a two-mile radius, so people are constantly dropping by. Friends see the home as a gathering place, which is something that’s important to me: having my community feel at home and welcome here at all times. In the winters we light either the indoor fireplace or the outdoor one and make s’mores.
Biggest Embarrassment: When I almost burned down the house baking cookies because the oven door sealed shut and wouldn’t open. That might have been more terrifying than embarrassing. The appliances are charming to look at, but I do a lot more stove-top cooking than baking after that incident!
Proudest DIY: The backyard. I bought the orange Preway fireplace on eBay and had it shipped via Greyhound from New Jersey. The outdoor table is custom made, the chairs are Bend and the plants are from my mother coming into town and helping me select and pot all of them. The outdoor space was kind of a blank slate when I moved here, and feels so much more lived-in and cozy now. It’s like a room of its own.
Biggest Indulgence: I love mid-century sideboards and the one in the living room was my first (adult) furniture purchase. I love the one in the bedroom as well. The Danish mid-century bed was also a big purchase.
Best Advice: Take your time to collect things and save up to acquire furniture items that you’re going to keep for a lifetime. Buy all your carpets abroad (haggling for carpets is one of my favorite activities when I’m travelling).
Dream Sources: Probably the entire world! I’ve picked up stuff from my travels to India, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Peru, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Cuba, Greece, Portugal and Italy. I love flea markets and make a point to check out local flea markets when I’m travelling. I also love Danish Modern LA, and Amsterdam Modern for inspiration and Kat & Roger for pottery and planters.
PAINT & COLORS
Paint —Detail Painting. The interior of the house was this awful salmon color when I moved in. The white paint really brightened the place up.
Planters — Modernica
Chest — Fairfax Flea market
Matchbox collage — Fairfax Flea Market (a $10 find the first month I arrived in LA)
Pottery — Kat & Roger
Cushions — India, Peru, Cambodia
Dresser — Sunset Bazaar
Carpet — Fez, Morocco
Camel — India
Hookah — Morocco
Planters — Modernica
Art — Havana, Cuba
Chair – Pico Modern
Light fixtures — Modernica
Rocking Chair — Galerie Sommerlath
Coffee table — custom, by Jeff Perry, Angel City Lumber from lumber sourced in Laurel Canyon
Collage — Havana, Cuba
Photography — Dan Lopez
Bar chairs — Bend
Cushions — Cottage Industries, India
Carpet — Cairo, Egypt
Basket — Baskets of Africa
Planter — Modernica
Small planters — Kat & Roger
Bed + side tables — eBay
Sideboard — MidcenturyLA
Jute Chair – Amsterdam Modern
Meditation altar — Sunbeam Vintage
Meditation pillows — Our Open Road
Dhurries — India and Peru
Cushions – Lima, Peru and Jonathan Adler
Bookshelf — Amazon
Bedspread — Garza Marfa
Artwork — Shashi Khorana (my mom)
Table + benches — custom
Chairs — Bend
Preway fireplace — eBay
Planters + plants — Sunset Nursery + Echo Garden