Dressed in a terra cotta blouse, belted khaki wrap skirt, and casual leather mules — Neada Deters couldn't look more at home.
The Australian native, who started her career in fashion editorial working for the likes of Vice in New York City, now resides in a sun-drenched bungalow in West L.A., over 2,000 miles from Brooklyn, and a really long way from Sydney.
"We live in a quiet pocket of Venice Beach, near neighbors who have mostly lived here for a decade or so," explains the founder of elevated botanical beauty line, Lesse. "People look out for one another here and that sense of community was a huge drawcard for us. It's wonderful to be able to stroll down to Abbot Kinney or cycle to the beach and jump in the ocean — but still be removed enough from crowds and tourists."
Open the blue bungalow door and step inside Deters' toffee-toned home, and it's hard not to feel immediately at ease. Awash with sea salt and boasting a pared-back, coastal aesthetic from top to toe, this entrepreneur has artfully created her own little respite from the noise and city smog that engulfs most of L.A. Together, with her husband, Drew, and adorable pup, Alfie, Deters' is a fresh interpretation of what it means to live by the beach.
"We had been looking here and there, ever since we first moved from to Los Angeles from New York," Deters explains, when asked how she first discovered her home. "We decided to take a break from the hunt and this was the first space we walked through, once we started actively looking again. I think we both knew it right away. The house was in terrible shape but had so much potential. Great bones and in an incredible location, with a pool and our glass and steel garage structure, the space has wonderful light and an easy energy, so I suppose it just felt like home."
Deters approaches her home style as she does her wardrobe — contemporary, earthy basics, clean lines, and neutral textures that offer warmth, comfort, and utility.
"Minimal, organic, and sculptural" is how Deters typifies her aesthetic, something that resonates from room to room. Hawkins New York sheepskins and worn jute rugs soften rattan armchairs and hardwood floors, while pampas grass springs from shapely, wabi sabi ceramics. Slouchy wicker baskets — sourced via General Store — house stacks of vinyl records while soft textiles in earthy hues like ochre and burnt orange, tie the whole look together. An original fireplace, now awash in Dunn Edwards white paint, bathes in sunshine as dappled light bursts through the bungalow's original stained glass windows, bouncing off a coffered ceiling. Deters adheres to a "less is more" school of thought, although she's quick not to brand herself a pure minimalist. A well-trained eye and appreciation for beachside living ensures texture is never out of reach.
"The frame of our house is typical of a classic, Venice Beach bungalow," explains Deters. "We have neutrals throughout, it's very reminiscent of my childhood back in Sydney. You'll notice subtle traditional details, too, like our duck egg blue front door, which is an ode to (my husband) Drew's Louisville roots. The minimalism and sparseness of New York style is also present, this is where we both lived and where we first met."
Well-edited open shelves boast no more than two or three pieces each, creating carefully considered vignettes. Sunbaked terra cotta, pint-sized urns, and misshapen ceramics break up an otherwise stark white space and give Deters' sunny living room dimension and depth.
A pre-loved vintage coffee table anchors the room, devoid of any clutter, while assorted Rachel Saunders Ceramics decorate the mantel.
"The coffee table was originally a butcher's table over a century ago and it was quite tall, designed to be used at standing height," explains Deters. "A vintage furniture dealer that I met sourced it on a trip through rural, European towns, but had to cut the legs down to fit it in his shipping container. It was an odd height when I found it — but Drew cut down the legs again, so it's the perfect height for our lounge room, it's become a constant talking point."
"I prefer things sparse and considered," Deters adds. "I love that there is still room to add things, as I continue to fall in love with certain pieces. At times, it can start to feel too cluttered in here. I've recently been dreaming of creating a home with only floor living, removing all of the chairs and tall tables so that you're living on rugs and cushions. In our old loft in New York, it was just our mattress on the floor — sometimes I miss the simplicity of it all."
Despite surplus in square-footage and a few more pieces to now maintain, Deters achieves refined, simple styling throughout. In the kitchen, the entrepreneur keeps her color palette limited, showcasing a little more than crisp white cabinetry, floating oak shelves, and a wall-spanning, custom Carrara counter top. Deters is conscious not to over complicate the space, decorating the shelves with a line-up of cohesive ceramics and sentimental wedding gifts, hand-picked from her favorite home boutiques and retailers, namely Gjusta Goods, Food52, and Aussie stronghold, Mud. A piece of driftwood sits squarely between a marble mortar and pestle and a stack of contemporary white plates, ensuring the beach vibes are still alive and well.
It's here, out of her very own kitchen, where Deters started her botanical skincare line. Lesse, — an elevated line-up of naturally-derived products that promise to harness the anti-inflammatory properties of everything from turmeric, charcoal, and rare flame tree — came after a string of unsolicited breakouts, prompting Deters to take her skin into her own hands. Lesse now holds its own on "must-have, must-try, most-coveted" lists from all over, touted by everyone from Vogue to New York Magazine.
"My approach to materials has only become more discerning and focused on the natural since launching Lesse," Deters adds. "We are uncompromising with our ingredients, and I think that has led me to focus on more organic and sustainable materials when buying our furniture and in my clothing choices, too."
In the master and guest bedrooms — sunny respites that boast equal parts cozy and cool — Deters keeps the walls virtually bare, instead utilizing soft textiles by Parachute Home and Deiji Studios in shades of sage, terra cotta, and fresh white to bring a lived-in quality to the most intimate and calming of spaces. Vintage bud vases complete delicate vignettes, boasting tiny bursts of color while complementing the bed linen.
"Rattan, wicker, cane, and pampas grass are each so simple yet so interesting," she explains, of her approach to texture. "In certain forms, they can be playful without slowing the eye. I want someone to step in and feel like their gaze can slowly but steadily flow across the space with ease — there should be no vignette dominating another scene."
Follow the salty breeze outdoors, and the pool house may come as a surprise. Sleek outdoor furniture by West Elm and Crate & Barrel, rendered in linen and wood, decorate raw concrete floors. An oversized jute rug — sourced via West Elm — minimal cocktail table, and soft wicker planters by Overstock bring warmth back into the space, while the pool glitters in the L.A. sunshine. A floor lamp by West Elm keeps the space a glow after dark.
"We live mostly outdoors," Deters admits. "From our early morning coffee to an after-work plunge in the pool, we'll do dinner in the backyard with friends or drinks in our converted garage space. After living in New York for several years, we really wanted to optimize outdoor living and make the most of it, every single day."
With a new-found appreciation for West Coast weather and the utility of a modern pool house, Deters channels the best bits from different homes in different cities. There's an undeniable Sydney vibe, from the muted palette to the relaxed textiles, organic textures, and sinuous linen, and an appreciation for blank space inherited during a stint in New York.
"Take it slow and be considered," advises Deters, to her fellow minimalists or those aspiring to strip it all back. "Have a place in mind for every piece, or be willing to part with something and re-arrange it, if certain fabrics or textures just aren't layering in harmony. I love the slow build and since many of the pieces in our home are vintage, it's been a long labor of love and steady acquisition," she smiles. "There's no rush — just maintain your vision and purchase pieces that you love within that framework, as you happen to encounter them."