Ask just about anyone, and they’ll tell you a “souvenir” is a knick-knack you bring back with you from some grand adventure. It tends to be something physical; a treasure you can hold in your hand or stick to your fridge. Souvenirs don’t always have to be made of paper or plastic, though. Some of the best ones aren’t tangible at all, in fact. My best souvenirs have come in the form of memories. At the end of a trip, they’re the most valuable thing I bring back home with me.
Oftentimes these mementos live on solely in our heads. Some ingenious homeowners, however, don’t have to imagine they’re back on vacation — they have memories so powerful they use them to inform their houses’ decorations to bring to life far-off destinations right in their very own homes. Such is the case with blogger and photographer Stephanie Liu Hjelmeseth and her talent-managing husband, Kyle. Unlock the front door to their one-bedroom rental in Los Angeles, CA’s Hancock Park, and you’re immediately transported to their top destination: the French countryside.
To replicate the feeling they had while on vacation there, they simply had to recall all of their favorite aspects of the romantic region. For starters, nearly every corner of their art-deco space features flowers in some stage of being dried. Whether hanging upside down or in a vase waiting to be pressed, the buds’ fragrance wafts throughout the unit, immediately transporting Stephanie and Kyle to the other world they so cherish. And the French touches don’t stop there. These florals are paired with an accent wall in traditional French blue. And what a backdrop it is! It not only helps plants pop, but it also pairs perfectly with two other styles inspired by Provence, FR: reclaimed wood and tufted furniture.
Building this little slice of France in LA wasn’t solely a practice in good design. It was a way for Kyle and Stephanie to give themselves the best of both worlds: it’s allowed them to live close to friends and family but feel they’re in their favorite spot on the globe once they turn their front door’s key. Click through to take a look, and get ready to be whisked away. Enjoy! —Garrett
Photography by Stephanie Liu Hjelmeseth
Image above: Stephanie and Kyle worked with HUTCH to land the perfect layout for their living area. The company had a tall order on their hands: transform the quaint space into both a center for relaxation and a comfortable spot from which Stephanie and Kyle could work on their blog. After trying out around 25 different designs, their clever decision to position the sofa in the center of the room was the winner as it perfectly distinguishes the Netflix area from the 9-5 grind. The blue chair is from Target.