Who: Lihui Ke
Where: Echo Park, Los Angeles
Style: Contemporary urban jungalow
Lihui Ke, co-founder and creative director of the knitwear line Kerisma, identifies as a Third Culture Kid. Born in a small village called Chi Ze, near the port town of Wenzhou, China, she grew up in the suburbs of Paris and Brooklyn, before finally landing in Los Angeles. Now she brings that eclectic, global sensibility to her 1930s-era home, nestled far back on an extra long parcel in Echo Park. It's her grown-up answer to a nomadic childhood. "I felt connected to this land instantly," she says. "I knew I could create, live mindfully, and start a family here someday."
The one-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath, two-story home, with its secluded garden and separate office shed, is a far cry from the 500-square-foot studio she rented for five years in downtown Los Angeles, which was in a complex of more than 200 units. "My friends joked that my previous downtown apartment felt like a cramped furniture showroom," says Ke. "I had definitely maxed it out."
Here in Echo Park, Ke found privacy, space, and a canvas for her creative process. "I am a very visual person and design contextually in my head as I see, find, and gather all the elements," she explains. "I believe every object embodies a spirit, a being of sorts, and has a proper resting place in my home. "
And though Ke says she aspires to minimalism, the end result is anything but. "My insatiable appetite for trinkets and all objects of beauty and antiquity pull me towards a maximalist [aesthetic], embracing animism," she says. "It's the magical garden-slash-jungle home I've always dreamed of," says Ke. "Plus, it has one palm tree. That's my slice of L.A.!"