Embracing the California Design Lifestyle with HOMIES
HOMIES is an online home décor shop born out of Los Angeles, CA. The shop carries unique goods from Europe, India, Morocco, Turkey and Mexico, as well as hand-made goods from the always sunny city of Los Angeles. Some of the items in the shop have traveled from afar, but have been re-purposed in LA to create décor that is truly unique and often times one-of-a-kind.
HOMIES owner, Kiley Story, discusses the LA design influence, working with interior designers, and the most essential element to a room.
Enjoy 15% off HOMIES goods using code: BLACKFRIDAY (valid 11/20-11/25 Midnight PST).
HOMIES sells well-traveled and handcrafted décor – what’s your sourcing strategy?
When I first started looking for products for the store, I turned to Instagram and flea markets. I had followed so many home décor and interior design accounts at that time, and I knew the style of products I wanted to sell on HOMIES. Searching Instagram for hashtags like #cactussilk or #moroccanpillows led me to merchants in Morocco, Turkey, India and so many other places. All it took was an email or direct message to get things started. Shopping at flea markets allowed me to find one-of-a-kind blankets and rugs that could be re-purposed into pillows for the shop.
How would you describe the HOMIES lifestyle?
The HOMIES lifestyle has been influenced by living by the beach. Our collection is coastal, bohemian, and very colorful. Each piece has a unique personality, just like our customers.
Who are some local independent artists and interior designers that you admire?
I have been following Amber Lewis from Amber Interiors since I moved to California. I could swoon over her Instagram accounts all day long! Amber is a California native – she started with a blog about interiors and now has her own firm, an E-Commerce store, and a gorgeous shop in Calabasas that carries all of her products. It’s so inspiring to see the spaces that she transforms and the design decisions she makes. Trust me, you’ll want to live in her Instagram account. Plus, she’s got a great sense of humor, and I love that!
How does being based in Los Angeles influence your business?
So many people from all over the world live here in Los Angeles. Each person’s style is so different from the next because of that. The city is literally a melting pot of people so I try to carry a melting pot of goods that could interest all types of buyers.
Finding unique fabric is also easy to do here because a market is happening somewhere in the city almost every single weekend. These markets have been a great resource for us to get fabrics from Africa, Thailand, Morocco, and many other places. Mud cloth textiles from Africa have made a huge splash this year and that’s definitely our #1 seller. I rarely get new mud cloth pillows on the site because they are gone before they even get photographed! We also try to sell at least one market or event per month so buyers can see our products and buy in person. You can see all of our upcoming events here.
What are some spaces featuring HOMIES products that you are particularly proud of?
Last year, we were able to help the founder of Create & Cultivate, Jaclyn Johnson, with a home renovation project she did. We were over the moon to have our African Mud Cloth lumbar pillows used to style her backyard space and her bedroom. She clearly has a love for indigo because her bedroom uses gorgeous blues from floor to ceiling! It looks like heaven.
What are some of your best-selling products?
Our extra long lumbars are by far the most popular item we sell. Up until recently, everyone was purchasing standard square pillows for bedding and couches. People then started to mix and match sizes, and now the extra long lumbar is considered the ‘One and Done’ pillow, meaning, you can simply throw it on your bed and be done with your styling! Our extra long lumbars are 14 x 36 inches, but just this week, I was asked to do a custom pillow that is a 50 inch lumbar to be used on a king bed. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!
What’s your favorite social media platform and why?
Instagram is by far my favorite media platform to use personally and for HOMIES. It’s such a great place to look for inspiration. It’s also a substantial traffic driver to our E-Commerce store and it’s an opportunity for us to share new products, how to style them, and also let our followers know about sales we are running.
How do you typically work with interior designers?
Our contact form is no stranger to emails from interior designers looking for products to style their clients’ homes. We extend a 15% discount when purchasing for clients so feel free to reach out to us so we can get the ball rolling!
In your opinion, what’s the most essential element to a room?
The most essential element to any room, or home for that matter, is a theme. It can be based on colors, textures, or overall aesthetic. My biggest pitfall in designing our home was that we lacked a theme. We had furniture that mixed and matched, but not in a good eclectic way. We had colors that clashed and the space looked cluttered because of it. My mom gave me a great piece of advice when we started to re-decorate this summer. She said, “Pick one color family that you like and then decorate around that”. We started re-arranging by color that day and are so happy with the transformation.
Can you offer 3 tips of “best practices” to interior designers for choosing the right furnishings when decorating a space?
1. You definitely need to design for the size of space you are working with. Decorating for small spaces requires looking for pieces that make the room feel larger than it is. We added floor to ceiling curtains in all rooms in our home even though the windows are floor to ceiling. Now, the rooms look much larger. Because our home is small, we also strayed away from big bulky furniture and tried to find pieces that you can somewhat see through such as tables with legs, a TV stand with large shelves, etc.
2. Don’t think you can’t customize your space just because you are renting and can’t knock down walls. Swapping out light fixtures, handles on cabinets, removing the gross plastic blinds, and so on can make a space feel like it’s yours, and not a cookie cutter of your neighbor’s apartment.
3. Add a plant in EVERY room. I don’t think our home felt like it was livable until I made trips to the nursery and brought green into the space. Now, we have succulents, air plants, cacti, snake plants, and yucca trees. If the climate or your lack of a green thumb doesn’t allow real plants in your home, opt for fake ones that look just as nice!
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