Cos­tume de­signer Julie Vo­gel wel­comes us into her South Pasadena pad

Mollie Makes (US) - - CONTENTS - Words: Lyn­nore Gold­farb Pho­tog­ra­phy: mark Madeo

When Julie Vo­gel asks you over to tea and cook­ies at her South Pasadena, CA, cot­tage, the last thing you can fo­cus on are the snacks – it’s all about the eye candy.

Every­where you look there’s an­other beau­ti­ful, cool, or eclec­tic ob­ject adorn­ing the walls, counters, or ceil­ing, just wait­ing for its story to be told.

Nes­tled be­hind a 1920s bungalow, a low gate opens to a yard filled with tall and wide plants, flow­ers, and trees, and the squawk­ing of wild par­rots in flight. Here you’ll find Julie’s 1,500 square foot wooden cabin built in the 1940s,

painted three shades of green, and ac­cented by an or­ange door with a win­dow that art­fully frames Leroy, Julie’s tail-wag­ing Golden Retriever.

Pro­fes­sion­ally, Julie has been pro­duc­ing cos­tumes for celebri­ties, mu­sic videos, in­de­pen­dent films, and tele­vi­sion com­mer­cials (in­clud­ing the pop­u­lar and oft-par­o­died Dos Equis “Most In­ter­est­ing Man In The World” spots) for 28 years. Clearly, cre­ativ­ity is key to her job; it’s also in­te­gral to her liv­ing space.

Julie’s love of fab­ric, sense of style, and crafti­ness shines brightly in her home, which was dubbed the Hon­ey­moon Cot­tage by the orig­i­nal own­ers. She pur­chased the house be­cause the un­painted open beams, pitched roof, and large liv­ing room re­minded her of a place you might find in the re­sort town of Mam­moth Lakes, CA, which felt right, con­sid­er­ing Julie is a pas­sion­ate skier, hiker, and alpin­ist.

Mov­ing into the Hon­ey­moon Cot­tage 18 years ago, Julie fur­nished each room as if she was cre­at­ing a three-di­men­sional col­lage, with­out re­ally be­ing con­scious of it at the time. But since col­lage is one of Julie’s fa­vorite craft­ing pas­times, this ap­proach to dec­o­rat­ing makes sense.

For each room’s dé­cor, Julie starts with an idea of some­thing she’s seen, like the Frida Kahlo Mu­seum in Mex­ico City, then she picks a piece of art as the an­chor for the room and chooses the paint for the walls and ceil­ing.

The liv­ing room is a mo­saic of vin­tage fur­ni­ture from Mex­ico and the United States art­fully up­hol­stered in old Ralli quilts and Suzani fab­ric. Hand­made rugs from all over the world are care­fully placed, with each one over­lap­ping parts of an­other un­til the en­tire floor is cov­ered.

Her love of hand­crafted items that she’s found, pur­chased, or made her­self is at once ap­par­ent

– the room is filled with hun­dreds of pieces she has ac­quired through­out her life. Some she dis­cov­ered, like the deer head she pulled out of a dump­ster in NewYork City. Oth­ers she has ob­tained di­rectly from in­di­vid­ual artists, be it a per­sonal friend of hers who al­ters old pho­tos of chil­dren pray­ing with fangs and horns, or a prom­i­nent pain­ter like Richard T. Colman. Oh, and don’t for­get to look up and see the drop­lights Julie made out of old bird­cages!

When asked which piece in her liv­ing room is the most valu­able or most pres­ti­gious, Julie equiv­o­cates: “Three paint­ings by Richard T. Colman and/or two paint­ings by Mar­cel Dzama. And there is a Kiki Smith draw­ing. I have a Jim Shaw too. And tons of Kelly Mul­loy and Liz Young.” Much like how a mother would re­spond when asked which of her kids is the best, Julie does not play fa­vorites, which is prob­a­bly why all her trea­sures are on dis­play, shin­ing brightly among so many amaz­ing at­trac­tions.

Some of Julie’s rooms have names as well as themes. For in­stance, her bath­room is called “the Vir­gin of Guadalupe room,” with­out a sin­gle vir­gin in sight. How­ever, it in­stantly be­comes clear why it’s named for that re­li­gious icon, given the pre­pon­der­ance of very fem­i­nine and em­pow­er­ing im­ages laced with Mex­i­can nu­ances.

The col­ors and types of items Julie uses in a room set the mood and pace of the en­vi­ron­ment. The kitchen is bright and con­sid­ered “the green room” due to its color, al­though it’s the pop from the few blue pieces scat­tered through­out the space that wakes you up while drink­ing your first cup of cof­fee in the morn­ing.

Through­out the house you can also see how deftly Julie toys with scale and the spa­tial con­nec­tions be­tween her dé­cor and sur­face

ar­eas. An ex­am­ple is in her bed­room, where Martin Whist’s Cloud Paint­ing hangs over her bed. Po­si­tion­ing the large piece on a wall with limited space, di­rectly over the bed, where it has to be hung low, sug­gests a head­board, which in­stantly evokes a sense of rest­ful­ness.

The large bed­room is cozy and re­lax­ing, thanks in part to the skill­ful use of light blue paint on the walls. The color con­trasts nicely with the rus­tic wood beams and peaked ceil­ing, which are dot­ted ever so del­i­cately with sev­eral Chi­na­town lanterns. The room’s art pieces and their clever place­ment show­case Julie’s gift for lay­er­ing col­ors, tex­tures, and the un­ex­pected, while tele­graph­ing the mes­sage that you are where Julie goes to un­wind from a long day on the set or in the moun­tains.

Julie has a talent for bring­ing quite a bit of seem­ingly un­re­lated ma­te­rial into ev­ery room with­out mak­ing it feel clut­tered, claus­tro­pho­bic, or messy. All of the rooms are mas­ter­fully edited with her un­canny abil­ity to make each item in her house the star of the show, cre­at­ing very invit­ing com­fort­able spa­ces for loung­ing, en­ter­tain­ing, work­ing, and of course a nice cup of tea.

In this wooden house, be­hind the tall and wide gar­den flow­ers and plants, each room is its own liv­ing art piece in a se­ries, cre­at­ing one body of work Julie calls home.

02 01 In a cor­ner of the kitchen a vin­tage chart is sur­rounded by an as­sort­ment of items bright and cheery. 02 Vin­tage chairs up­hol­stered in Ralli quilts and Suzani fab­ric flank the orig­i­nal fire­place.


02 01 Vin­tage heartshaped pin­cush­ions found at var­i­ous es­tate sales over the years frame the hall­way door. 02 The Vir­gin of Guadalupe room is adorned with an eclec­tic mix of hand­made and found art and decor with fem­i­nine and Mex­i­can ac­cents.


02 01 Chi­na­town lanterns from NYC placed at the apex of the peaked ceil­ing are the bed­room’s light fix­tures. 02 Leroy lounges in the hot pink hall­way.


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