At first glance, you may notice Mid Century Furniture or a gallery wall of vintage paintings, but look closer. The Vallely family has invited inspiration, ingrained passion and instilled vision into their southern California home. Their aesthetic goes beyond décor; it’s a glimpse into an entrepreneurial lifestyle.
All in the Family
Ann Vallely and her daughter Emily sell antiques at the Long Beach, California, antiques shop Magnolia and Willow, while Emily and her sister Lucy run a blog called The Vintage Vegans online. “I feel that being vegan and loving vintage go hand in hand for us because we try to live a zero-waste and environmentally friendly lifestyle,” Emily says. The Vallelys incorporate their values through their collections, making the home a conduit for their personalities and passions.
“My husband, Mike, has always sought to surround himself with inspiration,” Ann says. “These are objects that have been meaningful in his life, and so having them on our walls is a sort of daily accounting of what inspires him and what he values.”
Each family member has space for expression, from Mike’s skateboards and music memorabilia to Lucy’s penchant for the ’60s and ’70s. They decorate with the decades in mind, mixing styles and colors as their imagination leads them.
This gives the home a Bohemian feel, where they buck tradition and keep a sense of discovery flowing from room to room. “It is a place where we all feel at home, and it truly represents all of our personalities,” Ann shares.
Practically Perfect in Every Way
Ann and Emily have created an aesthetic that showcases eccentricity at its best. But they don’t go in just for looks; their collections are used daily. “I really try to buy things that will be practical in my life or bring me joy,” Emily says. She finds creative ways to save space and organize her displays, ensuring that the beauty around her has a positive place in her life.
Ann adds, “We always have old music and jazz playing in the house, especially while I’m cooking and cleaning.” Both mother and daughter tap into the energy of music and art to give their home a life of its own.
The Vintage Lifestyle
Curating collections into stunning displays takes a balance of creative intuition and design know-how. When you love art, space can quickly become a scarce commodity. “I’ve made the most of a small space by turning all of my walls into gallery walls; it’s not for everyone, but I love the look of it,” Emily says. Read on for Emily Vallely’s tips to curate beautiful yet practical collections that enrich your daily life!
The best looks sometimes take years to come together; you can enjoy the process of collecting and rearranging until the stars align. “I suggest only displaying art you really love, even if that means you have to collect for awhile before creating your dream wall,” Ann says. In Lucy’s room, vintage finds exuding ’60s and ’70s vibes playfully interact with one another.
Quite the display
Curating a cloud of prints and paintings takes experimentation, as seen here in Emily’s bedroom. “We just start hanging and hope that it looks good when we’re done,” Ann explains. “We like to incorporate different colors, shapes, sizes, eras and art styles on our walls—and somehow it all comes together.”
Hardcover classics have an irresistible aura of history that’s hard for any bookworm to resist. “Not only do vintage books look great displayed on shelves, but I’m also an avid reader and I read every book I buy,” Emily says. Next to these ceramic deer figurines, Emily’s books are right at home on this weathered green shelf.
Blue mosaic tiles contrast with the bathroom’s smooth white walls, while the colorful plastic butterflies and light blue 1980s Burwood clock create an entirely new dimension. Use sculptural wall hangings, large or small, to invite interaction between the elements. It’s an energetic and playful look that works well in any room.