AT HOME WITH: JAMIE NELSON
After visiting your amazing home we can confirm it is even more mesmerising in person! How long have you lived here and did you know this was the place for you when you first saw it?
I have been here since September of 2017. I had been looking at only pink houses when I started flying back and forth from NYC to LA on my house hunt. I thought the first one was definitely it, but my real estate agent pointed out that it was basically uninhabitable due to severe earthquake damage and mold, etc. I was such a novice though. Then I found my current house after looking at probably only 4 total. This house was out of my budget, but the level of care the previous owner had placed in it was obvious and the vibes were so good, I knew it would be a good investment and something I could grow into. Since the day I bought it, everyone always comments on the good vibes here.
( Above wearing Vintage 70s Striped Maxi Dress )
What were the biggest inspirations for you when designing the space?
I think initially I had to sort through all the logistics involved. Originally I fell into a crazy hole of digging through wallpaper samples. However, I learned quickly that wallpaper print is copyrighted and it makes having a location rental business very hard for productions. I wanted to rent out my house for photoshoots and film shoots to make extra money to fund all my dream projects for it. So I then started looking at textures instead of prints. The next issue was budget. I had already maxed out on the house itself, so having to decorate 8 different rooms + 2 bathrooms from scratch was a lot to take on. Eventually I landed on velvets and furs reminiscent of 1970s custom vans and motorcycles world that is much of my personal life.
( Above Wearing Like A Rolling Stone Striped Blazer, The Like A Rolling Stone Striped Flares and The Dolly Dagger Retro Stripe Shirt )
Do you have a favourite room where you spend most of your time?
The pink master bedroom is my favorite. It's the coziest and all my clothes are in there. I have 3 closets for my clothing in there, 1 closet full of my clothes in the red room, and one closet for coats in the green room. It also has a pink carrousel style pony and a spinning round bed which is always fun to take on rides. I also spend a lot of time in my furry orange Bowie office where I work and hide out during any shoot rental days with my cat Harley (Davidson).
What are your favourite pieces of furniture you own and are there stories behind where you got them?
My favorite piece must be my pink quilted headboard and bedroom set. I went to a crazy Porn Director's estate sale where I ran into this amazing floor to ceiling bed set. It has a round top over it, a working built in 8 track player inside the bedside table drawer, built in pink velvet speakers, and an armoire set with built in secret vanity with lights. It truly is a one of a kind special set and the fact that it belonged to a couple in the Porn industry made it even more of a badass story. That estate sale ended up going viral and I returned the following day with a friend to purchase some vintage porn and large framed portraits of the owner's porn star wife in her bell bottom jumpsuits.
I also really love my red round bed (it vibrates!) and my green round bed- both complete with matching benches and comforters. During Covid I flew to Tennessee to get the red one off of a seller on Facebook and also flew to Denver to get the green one off Craigslist! I drove the green one home in a Uhaul, which was my first time driving a box truck like that. It ended up doubling as a roadtrip with my girlfriend, so it ended up being a cool adventure. We almost got stuck in a full 48 hour covid lockdown in Native American territory, but luckily had enough gas to make it out just in time. Both bed buying experiences could have been pretty sketchy situations, but thankfully worked out in the end and I met great sellers and took some safety precautions as well.
( Above wearing The Are you Experienced Embroidered Penny Lane Coat and Boots )
Along with your amazing house we really admire the work you do as a photographer and director. Do you remember the first time you picked up a camera and was it then you knew it was what you wanted to do?
I was 17 years old in Colorado Springs. I was almost failing my art class in my senior year so I picked up a camera to make up for my inability to draw or paint. My girlfriends and I would run around the woods and into creeks taking artistic nudes of each other. I got the film developed at Wal-Mart. I loved some of the works so much I blew them up huge. A couple of them ended up in my school library. I then decided to throw out all my other plans for athletics or medical school and pursue the arts by attending Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara.
( Above Wearing The Ruby Cream Hexagon Sunglasses )
What inspires you most to keep being creative?
I think I've learned over the years that investing in my personal life is the best thing I can do to continue creating. There is a lot around my hobbies with vintage fashion, music, motorcycles, and cars that will always inspire me. Locations and transformation will forever inspire me. I just love creating whole vibes and moments.
Have you always felt confident to express who you are?
I absolutely have not. Not until I hit 30 did I really start trusting myself. Until then I was always leaning on peers for advice and opinions. I would ask my friends about my outfits-- "Is this too much, what should I take off"? I would have on my favorite scarf, socks, shirt, jacket, earrings, hat all at once. I didn't realize it at the time that it was okay to wear it all and feel it all at once. Yes you can have it all girl! I later learned to quit questioning myself because the times when I did just go for it, I was mostly rewarded with some sort of emotional response from my audience. Just a simple smile or giggle on the subway at me and my style was enough for me to know I was doing something right, or wrong... but I just loved exploring personal expression through style- which in turn leads to creative vibes, emotions, responses from viewers. Just as I express myself with colors and moods in photography, I like to express myself with the same vigor through colors and moods in my home and in my style. That interaction with the viewer has always fascinated me. I've always loved me a theme party or a theme during a photoshoot. My team and I actually typically try to dress on theme during shoots to bring the mood to life even more for our clients!
(Above wearing The Nico Psychedelic Butterfly Buttoned Mini Dress and the Bold As Love Butterfly Lace Up Boots )
Do you have a favourite project you have worked on?
There are too many to count and all are so different. My current new side project is working on renovating/designing a jungle home I bought for my mom in the Dominican Republic. I am not studying on how to care for flamingos as we have 1/2 dozen of them on the property as well as two peacocks. We have built a pond with waterfall and are working on developing an ecosystem for them all to thrive in. Recently they surprised us when they came up to the pool and had a blast swimming and splashing around in there. You know, casual. Yup my life just keeps getting weirder!