The home of an artist, Serena Mitnik-Miller
Sheer style and creativity just oozes from this lady. It's no wonder that she and her partner own one of California's most talked about stores, and live in one of it's most "pinned" homes!
Firstly thank you so very much for welcoming us into your brand new home. It is just amazing. The light, the interiors, its simplistic livability… tell us about how you found this space tucked away in Topanga amongst the gum trees and the process of making it your very own…
We have been spending time in Topanga for years and when we started looking for a place to buy it was always on our radar, but with our limited budget we were looking as far south as San Pedro all the way up to Mill Valley. Over the years we put in a hand full of offers that ended in heartbreak. A neighbor tipped us off to this spot while we were also bidding on a place in San Francisco. In the end Topanga was meant to be.
We have now been working on our home for almost a year and a half. It has been a long process of deconstruction, refinishing, painting and building back the bare essentials. We changed very little of the layout and structure, removing a few unnecessary walls which opened up the main living, kitchen, dining space to its original one room state as it was built in 1927. Originally built as a hunting cabin we fell in love with the beautiful post and beam structure, an abundance of windows and original hard wood floors.
What an incredible space to create your art in also. You must find it hard to leave now your studio is right here with you each day?
Our home is my happy place and I love spending time here both working and relaxing, but having access to the beach and the mountains close by is very good motivation to get me out of the house!
Your two stores ‘General Store’ in both San Francisco and Venice Beach have received world wide attention. A perfectly curated combination of home wares, books and selected clothing – tell us how the first store came about and how it all evolved?
We never planned to open a store but when the opportunity to rent the space on Judah Street in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset presented itself, we decided to give it a go. The intention was to sell a few things in the front space and have a studio in the back. Within a year the studio moved back to our house and a few years later we partnered with our friends in Venice to open our second location.
Just a matter of months now till your first bub, so very exciting! are you feeling more creative with your work during the pregnancy?
I am definitely feeling creative and energized towards the end of my pregnancy all though my focus seems to be a little more on nesting. I am inspired to paint regularly yet do find myself easily distracted and much more spacey. I am just so excited to meet our little man!
You are a well travelled woman with beautiful ocean roots – tell us about your journey from Hawaii to San Fran and now LA….
As a child we moved around a lot, I was born in Massachusetts and was already road tripping with my parents within the first few months of life. Eventually my dad settled in Santa Fe NM and my mom continued our adventures on the east coast until I was about 10 when we moved to Kauai. After graduating from High School on Kauai, I did s short academic stint Boston quickly realizing I wanted to be elsewhere I eventually making my way to California and have been here ever since. With family scattered all over the states I was accustom to traveling alone from a young age. The desire to discover new destinations and cultures has stayed with me and I feel very fortunate that I have been able to experience so many incredible places. What I have concluded from all of my time spent wandering the planet is I am so grateful for the life we are able to live here in California, spending time in San Francisco and Los Angeles is perfect balance.
There is a great sense of creative community not only in Topanga, yet throughout Los Angeles – how do you personally compare or contrast this to San Fran?
Our communities in San Francisco and Los Angeles are very much an extension of each other, many friends from SF have moved to LA and others from LA have moved back to SF, through friends and work we naturally gravitate towards like minded folk.
What is it that you have really fallen for in LA? Outside of work how would you enjoy a free day with your hubby and friends in LA?
Warmer water and weather, more outdoor space, we feel like we live in the country but still have access to the city. We love to talk long walks in the canyon, beach days are always a must especially when the surf is good. We try and make it to museums and galleries as much as possible and Mason loves going to the movies.
I know you have visited us in Australia and travelled to Byron Bay, is there other destinations you desire to visit in the next little (bub in tow)?
I would love to return to Australia. My list of destinations I desire to see is long, Tahiti, Peru, London, India, Morocco, are just a few.
See Serenas devine stores HERE
All images by Magdalena Wosinska