Tour a Model's Sunny, Feminine Los Angeles Home

You've seen her on TV, now see Nikia Phoenix's pretty City of Angels digs.

By: Jeanine Hays

Photo By: Genevieve Garruppo

Photo By: Genevieve Garruppo

Photo By: Genevieve Garruppo

Photo By: Genevieve Garruppo

Photo By: Genevieve Garruppo

Photo By: Genevieve Garruppo

Photo By: Genevieve Garruppo

Photo By: Genevieve Garruppo

Photo By: Genevieve Garruppo

Photo By: Genevieve Garruppo

Photo By: Genevieve Garruppo

Photo By: Genevieve Garruppo

Design in Mind

Activist, writer and model, Nikia Phoenix is famous for all the right reasons. Once known mostly for her dazzling collection of freckles, the star of 23andMe’s standout commercial, whose personal genetic background includes Africa, Asia and Scandinavia, is fast becoming an icon of black identity, world travel and global heritage. The classic 1920s style bungalow where she lives in L.A. still has many iconic architectural features even if some, like the fireplace, are no longer operational. The single shelf above is perfect for displaying a few of Phoenix’s favorite works of art including a painting that bears a striking resemblance to a member of the family. Nearby, a banana leaf palm throws in a spot of natural color and a subtle homage to classic L.A. style.

The Shape of Things

Everything about Phoenix’s style is effortless — a casual elegance that Aphrochic worked hard to translate into her home. Small touches, like the evolving layers of geometric pattern that go from the table legs to the lamp base to the lamp shade create a subtle but palpable mix of simplicity and sophistication. On the couch sits “M” — a lucky black cat named for the letter formed by the shape of his head and ears.

Golden Age Arches

The architecture of this L.A. home reflects Hollywood’s golden age. The arches that form the passages between rooms are one of Phoenix's favorite features. This arch between the living and dining room offers a gorgeous view of the various textures and cultural influences that make up the living room — from the pouf to the rug to the Bamileke-inspired stools from World Market. “I love a combination of clean mid-century Scandinavian with more intricate pieces from India and Africa,” Phoenix confesses. “Mixing and matching design elements from different cultures reflects the world I live in and makes me feel at home.” To create the unique sense of calm needed for someone who spends most of her time on the road, the Aphrochic designers crafted her living room using a neutral color palette — with a twist. Here, significant pops of pale pink stand out against the white walls while complementing the gray sofa. An unabashed fan of color, Phoenix isn’t shy about pointing our her favorite pieces. “Hands down the pink accent chairs,” she offers. “They are gorgeous.”

This Year's Model

In addition to modeling, Phoenix is the owner of the blog Model Liberation and Black Girl Beautiful, a skin and hair care site and shopping event designed to celebrate the hair, skin and lives of women of African descent. To ensure that her home in sunny Los Angeles is a celebration all its own, the model and entrepreneur turned to the design team at AphroChic to create a space that was equal parts, serenity, self-care and magic.

Gallery Wall

Fun, feminist art adorns the wall above a small, mid-century credenza. A pop of pink comes in from one of Phoenix’s favorite kinds of art: text art affirmations inspiring her to work her hardest. “I absolutely love the artwork in my home,” Phoenix says, “from the black cat canvas to the ‘self love’ art. It’s a mix of abstract with fun and a pop of color. I appreciate that every inch of my home looks like a vision board complete with inspirational images and words.”

Office Style

At the far end of the dining room, Phoenix has a small office from which to manage a collection of growing brands. A series of inspirational images presides over her desk proclaiming everything from the beauty of black women to the model’s love of architecture and interiors. The workspace is flanked by creative elements — a camera on one end, and a woven crown on the other.

Picture-Purrfect Accents

Colorful accessories highlight this side table. Pops of pale pink reminiscent of the living room come from the small radio and flower arrangement. For even more relaxation, a funny book of cat poems to share with Phoenix's cat M is the perfect coffee table book. “The thing that I love most about coming home is my funny little kitty,” says Phoenix. “It’s his castle and I just live in it.”

Organic Bedroom

Of all of the spaces in her home, Phoenix needed her bedroom to be the most meditative and serene. Neutral and natural colors are key here, with blushing pink bedding from Coyuchi along with a pleasing combination of patterns from the wood, bedding and smooth glass tabletop. As Phoenix explains it, the room, “is a sacred place carved out of love and tranquility away from the hustle and bustle of the world. It is where I start my day, clear my head, and snuggle up to sleep.”

Lady of the Manor

Phoenix poses in her bright, cheerful bedroom with her cat M.

Earthy Accents

A simple jute rug rounds out the design of the bedroom. The texture of the rug completes the room’s earthy feel. AphroChic created a space that expressed Phoenix’s love of culture, life of travel and need for a meditative retreat from a busy and hectic world, and it fits her perfectly. “There’s a softness to my apartment that makes it inviting,” she reflects. "Everything about this space envelops you with warmth and happiness...That is heaven.”

Cozy Dining

Just through the archway this intimate dining arrangement is perfect for gathering with small groups of friends. The clean aesthetic of the living room continues in more neutral tones. Warm woods are paired with creamy white walls, a classic combination punctuated by the patterned blue of the cotton area rug.

Art Everywhere

Every open space in this home is decorated, from the walls to the floors. Near the door, the art in the living room continues to reflect the space’s mantra of simple, stylish and serene. A conceptual monochrome of light reflected into a camera lens from PurePhoto adds a touch of whimsy, while the full length mirror extends the room.

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