Most people, if given the luxury of a third bedroom in a house they share only with a spouse, might choose to turn it into a guestroom, or a studio, or maybe a study. Kristen Lee, a stylist and co-owner of L.A.’s fashion and design emporium TenOverSix, turned hers into a walk-in closet. Step inside and you’ll discover rolling racks of designer and vintage, scarves tossed carelessly around a dress form, shoes lined up in neat little rows, a steamer in the corner, and accessories spilling out over the dresser. And yet for someone so clearly attuned to and obsessed with fashion, it’s not the clothes you first sense when you enter the Ed Fickett–designed, mid-century, Nichols Canyon home she bought last year with her husband and then “renovated the shit out of,” as she says. It’s the incredible proliferation of art. Stephen Shore, Banksy, Leopold Seyffert, Nan Goldin — and that’s just in the living room. “I’m kind of obsessed with art, and I try to collect it whenever I can,” Lee says. “I dream about going back to school to get my Master’s in it.”
In this context, the idea behind TenOverSix makes even more sense. Lee opened the shop in 2008 with her husband, Joe, and her friend and fellow fashion designer Brady Cunningham. When they decided the shop should be not just fashion but also lifestyle, Lee, who attended NYU and Parsons, brought in a 50-print Massimo Vitelli portfolio and turned to Dave Alhadeff, owner of New York’s directional design boutique The Future Perfect, to open up a permanent shop-in-shop with designs that fit the store’s independent-only premise. As for the interior of TenOverSix, the goal was to keep it as gallery-like as possible — all white, so that the product would speak louder than the design. “A lot of our displays are toned-down commercial versions of really crazy art installations we’ve seen,” Lee says. “The shoes all sit on chairs attached to the wall in a really messy configuration that comes from an assemblage sculpture I saw at the New Museum three years ago, and all of our bags hang from hands that extend from the wall — that came from a show at Deitch Projects.”
In other words, Lee is constantly on the hunt for inspiration — she designs the store’s in-house shoes and handbags while Cunningham does coats and ready-to-wear — and she’s collecting wherever she goes. “As a stylist, I go to costume houses, thrift stores, and flea markets all the time, and I’ve always accumulated things along the way,” Lee says. Most things end up in her impeccably decorated home, which I visited last month on the day it was taken over by a catalog shoot for the L.A.–based landscape company Woolly Pocket, and eight of them are shared here.