When she lived full-time in Toronto, Canadian-born stylist and former decor-magazine editor Janette Ewen set up house in a series of small apartments with even smaller bedrooms. Her dreams were big, however, and to accommodate them, the lifestyle TV host decided to relocate to Los Angeles, where, just over a year ago, she moved into a 3,000-square-foot converted industrial warehouse with 20-foot ceilings and a bedroom big enough to ride a motorcycle in – literally. Located in Hel Mel, an up-and-coming art district at Heliotrope Dr. and Melrose Ave., the home doubles as a workshop for Parker Barrow, the design company Ewen, who regularly commutes back to Toronto for work, co-founded with fabricator and artist Jef Hancock. "I have plenty of room for art," says Ewen of her favourite room, clearly as versatile as it is ample, "as well as for a king-sized bed – my first – which I get can lost in."
1. The collectibles: "I like to call these objets, not knick-knacks, because to me they are special. I travel a ton and often find things in interesting locations. I like that they represent memories. Each tells a story, even though some of those stories are secret."
2. The screen prints: "These are entitled Buffalo Soldier and Sioux Warrior and are part of a series combining Civil War images with pop-art textures by one of my favourite L.A.-based artists, Demetrius May. I fell in love with their scale and colour and the confidence you see in the two men's eyes. Demetrius also did the green flag print in the group of prints on the wall above my bike."
3. The headboard: "I originally tried to buy Liberace's bed frame from his Palm Springs home, but the bidding got a tad high. I found this ornate wooden one on Etsy for $200. My fellow decorator friend Louise Johnsen and I refurbished it using gold paint from the Martha Stewart line at Home Depot."
4. The duvet cover: "I love duvet covers that are crisp and white, which is kind of ironic since I pretty much live in a workshop. I like this one because I don't have to iron it. It's from Urban Barn, one of my favourite Canadian retailers. I may now live south of the boarder, but I still shop Canadian."
5. The Uglydolls: "I'm in love with these critters – I think it's their vacant stare. I like them because they add a little wink to a space and are for any age. My favourite is named Charlie. He keeps me safe."
6. The light fixture: "This was a fun project that Jef and I decided to embark on after I went shopping in the flower district of downtown L.A. and found these branches and LED lights for next to nothing. I leave the light on all night as it gives the room a magical feel."
7. The motorcycle: "I drove a Vespa in Toronto but always wanted a vintage motorcycle. I just purchased this adorable Honda from a neighbour who works at the local watering hole. He gave me a great price as he wanted the bike to have a good home. I figured the bike deserved to be in the bedroom." – Deirdre Kelly