Greeting us at her ivy-covered entryway, Nina Freudenberger welcomed us in for a tour of her Los Angeles home earlier this summer. An interior designer, a bestselling author, and our designer collaborator, Nina, invited us for a bit of show-and-tell. Her exclusive rug collection with Lulu and Georgia launched earlier this year, and we were excited to see how Nina had incorporated each into her, her husband's, and their two little boys' space. We started our tour in the entryway, with the Anni Rug complementing in her light wood consoles. Next, we moved to the dining room, where the warm and cool tones of the Marli Rug add a bit of color but still remain pretty neutral. Following Nina up to her staircase landing, we spot the Benita Rug's Moroccan-inspired pattern, and rich rust hues add vibrancy to this transitional space. We end the tour in their kids' room, where the Otti Rug's multi-colored stripes add a bit of fun without clashing with the comic-themed wallpaper Nina designed herself. We'll let Nina take it away, so see the full tour below and read on for her room-by-room guide to styling her collection in your own home.
Hi, I'm Nina Freudenberger. I'm an interior designer and book author. I went to RISD for architecture, I have been working in the industry for 20 years, and I love what I do. I design homes and hotels in California and across the country. I would describe my home decor aesthetic as a modern, coastal, Californian and Scandinavian style hybrid.
So, when we first bought the house, I was nervous. It was not necessarily the style that I was used to since it is a historic house from the 1930s. But I found a way to merge those historical details and add my design sensibility, so now it feels really special to me. I love this house, it feels comfortable and cozy for our family—it's the perfect house for my two little guys.
I love styling the Anni Rug with light woods because I think the Anni picks up on that oak color really beautifully. It brings an earthy vibe that really highlights my material choices.
I chose the Marli Rug in my dining room because I was looking for a pattern that could read well even though seventy-five percent is covered by a table. Something that would be interesting but not dominate the room, just that special touch. I love styling the Marli Rug because it's a favorite of mine. The detail is incredible, and the colors, while there are a few, read as neutral and generally, it's really versatile and adaptable to any space.
What I love most about my kids' room is that I got to keep it fun and make it so they could grow with it. I don't like the "baby" look and wanted to make sure our little boys feel empowered in their space. Their room compliments the Otti Rug because the stripes make it playful, but the colors are sophisticated and cool.
How do you strike a balance between design and function in your home?
By taking my time. It took me a few years to complete this house fully because I wanted to make sure that every piece I added was functional, flexible, durable, and chic. With two boys, it is really important that nothing feels "too" precious in the house, but it also needs to feel elevated. So do your research and just remember Rome wasn't built in a day. :)
Does that at-home style differ from your professional design aesthetic? How would you describe it?
Yes, for sure. Interior designers should always have their own inherent design sensibility. Still, we should be flexible enough to work on homes in various styles to make sure we respond to the client's wishes! As I always tell my clients, this isn't about me—it's about you and your home. So I really listen and pick up on design queues of what their wishes are.
Any advice for those looking to update their dining space—including maybe a couple of people wanting to recreate your look?
In my opinion, your dining room should feel calm and comfortable. I think this is the location in the house where you have the least "stuff," a proper restraint when it comes to accessories. I also believe that designing with wood is really nice for a dining room. Feel free to layer it up and mix and match different wood species and finishes. It just makes it feel very cozy, which is what at-home dining should be.
What are some personal touches that are important to you in your dining space?
This is the room in the house where I custom designed almost all of the pieces. The table, the console, and the breakfront cabinet are all designed by me, plus some vintage chairs. These pieces are all really important to me. And scoring those vintage chairs was a big deal. I searched for almost a year for something perfect and would really be something I held onto for years to come.
One final thing, tell us about your favorite pieces in your kid's room?
The wallpaper. It was a line of wallpaper I did with Studio Four from a few years ago, and I think it is neutral but fun for the kids, and hopefully, they won't hate it in three years! Also, the Mt. Washington lamp on their drawers and the airy bedside tables.