For Danish-born and LA-based designer Anine Bing, fashion and interiors are an extension of her own personal style and brand aesthetic. With two small children, Bianca, aged 6, and Benjamin, aged 4, a fashion empire (there are 8 Anine Bing stores around the world as well as a thriving online business) and a collection of fashion, accessories and even a newly-launched fragrance under her belt, things are understandably non-stop, which is why her home-life looks as tranquil as it is beautiful...
“My approach to interiors is unfussy and laid-back… I have two young kids and while I love good design, I also want it to feel like a warm, comfy home for them and all of us. I think what makes the happiest homes is a personal, lived-in feel. It isn’t a museum gallery and doesn’t have to feel perfect,” explains Bing who recently underwent a huge renovation of her abode.
The Spanish-style, LA home she shares with her husband Nico and children is a mixture of traditional and modern, with a lived-in feel that’s reminiscent of one of her iconic leather jackets or lace slips, a notion which is as intentional as it is practical. Favouring “forever” pieces over disposable trends, Anine’s approach to fashion can easily be translated to her choice in furniture and furnishings, where monochrome, marble and a hint of colour (hello, dreamy pink couch) feature throughout.
We caught up with the inspiring designer, businesswoman and mother to talk about her recent home transformation, her debut fragrance Savage Rose Perfume Oil and how she juggles motherhood with an ever-growing lifestyle brand.
Words: Marisa Remond | Go to www.aninebing.com
Where did your love of interiors begin? And how has it evolved over the years?
I’ve loved home and the idea of home since as long as I can remember. As a visual person, it’s always been important to me to create a space I love to live in and look at, with personal touches and memories, no matter where I’ve lived, the size of the space, or the budget. It can be as simple as personal photographs that mean something to you and your favourite jewellery displayed a certain way, it doesn’t have to cost a lot. My taste has gotten more sophisticated in a natural way that happens as you get older, but I’ve always loved black and white photography, clean spaces, the colour white (for bedding and curtains, etc.), light, and greenery, especially succulents in Los Angeles, which are very much part of the desert environment here.
How would you describe the style of LA homes?
LA homes are such a beautiful mix of old Spanish architecture and 1930’s or ’40s Hollywood glam. The original homes are BEAUTIFUL. Big arches, Spanish tile, gorgeous staircases….so many of the original elements of old homes here are an interiors dream. What’s unique about them is that Spanish influence… verandas, patios, kitchen and floor tiling, barrel tile roofing. You really feel like you could be in Spain in many of the houses here.
How would you describe your unique approach to interiors? How do you incorporate your signature style into your home?
My approach to interiors is unfussy and laid-back… I have two young kids and while I love good design, I also want it to feel like a warm, comfy home for them and all of us. I think what makes the happiest homes is a personal, lived-in feel. It isn’t a museum gallery and doesn’t have to feel perfect. My signature style is laid-back and casual with strong statements. For instance, big black and white photography or a custom pink velvet sofa can be the statement, while there are undone elements like kid’s artwork leaning against the walls. I love the look of tons of art propped against the wall and not hung perfectly.
Do you think interior design is innate – do you walk into a space and know instantly how you’ll transform it?
I do to an extent. Sometimes spaces have “potential” as they say, and you can make some architectural changes that enhance what’s already there. But yes I do know instantly what I’ll do with a space when I walk in! That’s part of learning as you get older..you get better and better with those instincts.
Talk us through your home transformation...
The home transformation took a couple of months. We knew it was the house for us the *minute* we saw it, so it was definitely a “you know when you know” feeling. But then we re-did the backyard to make it more entertaining-friendly and worked on the master bathroom to make it our dream room.
Do you approach interiors the same way you approach fashion?
Yes I do! Simple, classic… impactful statements and thoughtful details. Crisp and casual. It’s exactly the same.
Fashion moves fast - do you like to keep changing an interior?
Not as much! We have our core furniture pieces, the art and photography we’ve collected over the years, and I definitely don’t add to it as much as with fashion, but I’ll bring smaller things in, like a new coffee table book or vase.
Talk us through surviving a renovation with children – what are your tips?
Just keeping them busy and spending one-on-one time to connect personally! I’ll take them to get smoothies, brunch, or just take a walk together. We also tried to get them as excited about the future as possible. Kids love having things to look forward to, like their birthday or the anticipation of Christmas, so it was fun to talk about what their room would look like or how much fun we’d have together when the house was ready for us.
What is your favourite room in the house and why?
I love our living room with the pink sofa, and our bedroom is SO serene.
Where did you source the interiors/homewares from?
I am obsessed with vintage so I collect vintage glassware and ceramics from my travels and the flea market, and eBay. I collect Royal Copenhagen’s Blue Fluted porcelain from the flagship store in Copenhagen – I stop in every time I’m back and that’s what we use for daily meals and dinner parties. We worked with an LA-based furniture vendor to design our custom pink sofa, and buy our photography from local galleries and online! I’m a big online shopper.
Are you messy or tidy – how do you keep your home in order?
I’m very tidy. With kids, things are always going to be a bit messy but it’s okay, at night we just try to put things back in their place before bed so it never gets too out of hand.
What inspired the launch of your new fragrance Savage Rose Perfume Oil and can you tell us about it?
Yes! The smell makes me so happy. It was a long time coming. I was always into fragrance as a kid and would mix my own scents like a chemist…. trying to create my own rose perfume out of my grandmother’s garden. It was the perfect extension of our clothing brand, because every day that I get dressed, the last thing I do before stepping out the door is apply a scent. So I wanted our customer to be able to put on her ANINE BING denim and leather jacket and then finish her look with this signature smell. We made it a roller-ball so she can apply on-the-go and touch up whenever.
What are your time management tips – how do you juggle it all? Do you ever feel overwhelmed?
There’s no easy answer but trying your best and getting lots of sleep. I definitely don’t juggle it all and do feel overwhelmed, but Nico (my husband) and I are great partners and I feel so lucky to have a dream team at work who support our goals and are amazing at their jobs. It really does take a village and no one can do it alone. Helping one another is so important and it comes back around. Everyone has those moments where they feel like they can’t do it, and it’s those times that your friends and loved ones help lift you back up and remind you it will all be okay. Sometimes you need to step back and assess and make changes if things just aren’t working, but it’s helpful to remember there are always options and the most important thing is health and taking care of yourself.
What was the most memorable moment of your recent renovation/home transformation?
When our bathroom was finally done and I got to take the first shower! It definitely felt like being on vacation.