Annie Nguyen’s Serene L.A. Home
This week on the IN BED Journal we meet photographer and designer Annie Nguyen at her beautifully designed apartment in Los Angeles. Filled with an array of books, art, and an enviable collection of Noguchi lamps, it’s a haven of calm and an escape from the bustle of big city living. We spoke with Annie about creating the space, the measured approach she takes to creative work and her enduring connection to her hometown Honolulu.
“I live in an apartment and was so excited about moving into this place because of the ample light and space. I had previously lived in a tiny place for years so moving into this apartment, which is double the size of my previous one, was a huge change for me. I have been living here for a little over a year with my partner. My favorite aspect of this apartment is the warm lighting all year round. Around sunset, the living room turns into a warm yellow orange. It is my absolute favorite time of day.”
“Aside from sentimental photos and cards from family and friends, I think my ever growing Noguchi lamp collection has got to be the most special objects to me. Their shapes always inspire me and having them on just make me feel so calm.”
I think my ever growing Noguchi lamp collection has got to be the most special objects to me.
“The bedroom is kept very simple. It has zero electronics. It is so important to me that it is a space to rest and relax. To be honest, I spend most of my time in the living room but on occasion do enjoy reading before bed. I intentionally keep the room simple with neutral colors – always off whites, light greys and beiges with an ash colored wood and white palette. It is so crucial this room evokes a sense of calm for me.”
“I studied graphic design in college but my interest in design started from a much younger age. When I was 12, I started coding and designing web pages for fun. That interest eventually grew into a strong desire to create graphics which prompted me to pursue it as a major in college. At 24, I moved to Los Angeles in order to pursue a career in it. I’m so grateful for having design principles as a foundation because I think it really allowed me to apply it to various areas of the creative industry. I’ve been fortunate to have opportunities in music, fashion, experiential, 3D and live action. The way I view it is, no matter the medium, the same rules of composition and storytelling still apply.”
“When I reflect on the projects I’ve done it’s not so much the end product that is special to me but the experience I had while doing the project that is special. I tend to focus on the teams I’ve been fortunate to work with, the relationships I made and overall how we all felt working on it together. I think that what I do, being primarily in marketing, is so ephemeral. But those memories I made with the people I worked with are what stays with me. It is imperative to me that we have fun doing the work and that people are treated with kindness and respect.”
When I reflect on the projects I’ve done it’s not so much the end product that is special to me but the experience I had while doing the project that is special.
“[When working on a project] I always start at 30,000 feet. It’s important for me to figure out the overall story of what it is I want to say. With that in mind, all the other pieces become more clear. For example, how it looks, what mediums to use, how to break apart the project into stages that make the most sense that all ladder back to the overall story. It sounds abstract, but I really do think this process is what yields my strongest work. I’m a very process driven and systematic thinker even though I love exploring the look and feel of what the project could look like, I know myself well enough if I don’t have an approach, I’m going to just end up with an aesthetic product that isn’t clear in what it’s communicating.”
“I have a hard time not working! Because what I love to do is also my work. But, aside from that, I enjoy visiting art museums, trying new restaurants with friends, reading, and lately, spending time in nature. I also cannot live without taking daily long walks. It’s where I solve a lot of creative problems and also when I check in with myself. Mental health is so important!”
“I was born and raised in Honolulu and try to go back at least once a year. My family and closest friends all live in Honolulu, and in that respect, I still consider it home to me. When I moved, I was at a point where I was feeling like Honolulu was this infinite loop for me. Not a whole lot changes, not even the weather. I would often complain about the pace in Honolulu. But now, I miss it so much. I go home to be far away from everything and to catch up with friends and family. It is where I can just simply relax. For me, it’s about the little things like walking to the beach to drink morning coffee or how when it rains, it’s like a light mist and a rainbow appears. I’m not even kidding. Honolulu is so beautiful. It is so different from LA in that there’s never a hurry to go anywhere and there’s a giant feeling of family.”
“It’s very simple but [for the rest of the year] I’m looking forward to being able to wear sweaters and jackets once it cools down and to catch up on sleep. 2022 has been such a busy year!”