For Anine Bing, there’s one non-negotiable when it comes to design: light.
“Our home gets a ton of beautiful natural light, which is a must for me,” the co-founder and CCO of Anine Bing says firmly.
In fact, it’s the first thing we notice as we step inside the five-bedroom, 5425-square-foot home in L.A's West Hollywood thanks to the abundance of large windows and glass bi-folding doors that line the left side of the house. From the entry, you can see straight down the hallway to the backyard and pool area, where even more light floods in through an entire wall of glass doors.
You can't help but gasp with adoration and a touch of envy. This is Scandinavian minimalism at its finest, complete with a designer dollop of curated vintage and a touch of that California bohemian we all know and love. Not that we'd expect anything less from the impossibly cool fashion designer.
We quickly pick our jaws up off the floor as Bing rushes over to greet us in her signature uniform of jeans, white tee, and blazer. She motions an air hug and a kiss and we reminisce about pre-Covid times and coffee dates. This is Bing's second Los Angeles home. Previously, she lived with her husband, Nicolai Nielsen (co-founder and CEO of Anine Bing), and two children, Bianca and Benjamin in L.A's hip Los Feliz neighborhood.
"We had been looking for a home in West Hollywood for a while, so we could be closer to my children's school," she chimes in. "We loved the proximity of this one and the fact that it was a new construction. I instantly loved the richly finished designs with a mix of contemporary amenities." In the past, Bing and her husband have always bought older homes that needed major renovations, but at this point in her life and career (the company received a $15m Series A funding in 2018 with 11 stores worldwide and is sold in 350+ stores globally) they needed something easy and functional for the family. "We didn’t have time for a bigger project but this gave us the perfect clean slate to design and build out our dream home," she explains. "It has a lot of meaningful touches that I love like fogged mirror detailing and vintage Edison light fixtures."
As we continue our walking tour, Bing describes the interior as modern European with a Scandinavian edge and explains why they decided against an interior designer in favor of decorating the space themselves. “I don't want our house to feel overly polished, overdone, or too perfect,” she says nonchalantly. “By doing it ourselves, it just feels like a real home with real things we actually use that aren't just there for show.”
The home is extremely minimal, almost sparse in some rooms, but this was a deliberate design choice. "We believe in quality over quantity, always," she explains. "But while the base of the house is done, we always love to add little elements over time. A home is a place to fill with memories, whether it is a rug we find on a trip to Turkey or a beautiful vintage frame with a family photo." But in saying that, Bing and her husband very rarely change up the space. "We add in small elements to our home when we see fit but we prefer to keep our space edited at all times," she notes. "The only areas we tend to redesign or edit regularly are the kids' rooms."
We walk to the end of the hallway and enter the open-plan living room and kitchen which is one of Bing's favorite architectural details of the home, especially during quarantine. "We can all feel like we’re together as a family here whether someone is in the kitchen, living room, or in the backyard," she tells me. "We’ve definitely spent more time in our home than we ever could have imagined but it has been really nice to enjoy our home together as a family."
Since it was a brand new house, no bigger renovations were needed but they still chose to personalize the house by adding vintage mirroring around the fireplaces in the family and master bedroom and switching out all the handles and doorknobs for vintage ones for a more toned-down, worn-in vintage look. "My husband has an amazing eye for design and he was the one that pulled our design concept together," Bing reveals. "I think it’s about finding a balance between new pieces of furniture to build out your space while mixing in vintage pieces to make it feel more personal and cozy."
Bing's Danish roots also come through in the minimal color palette relying on natural materials like wood and leather to add texture and warmth. "I like the base to be neutral so the home feels streamlined and clear, then experimenting with pops of color through different design elements via an accent chair or coffee table book," she says. For inspiration, Bing turns to Instagram and Pinterest to build mood boards but flea markets and vintage stores are where she sources all of her cool pieces or "anything from Klassik Copenhagen." She adds: "They have so many great vintage Danish furniture pieces."
While she doesn't adhere to any traditional decorating rules (outside of natural light), there is one guideline that always underpins every project: "Decorate with intention," she advises. "Make sure that every piece of furniture or décor you buy serves a purpose." She stresses again the importance of mixing vintage with new. "I’m not a fan of walking into one store and ‘buying style,'" she says. "A home feels the best when you have those unique finds. It adds personality."
In fact, if there is one piece of decorating advice Bing always gives it's to "Make your space personal!" she declares. "Add in things that you love and appreciate, it will make your home feel intentional and warm. Do your research, create a mood board and outline a strong vision for your space. This is my motto for designing anything—from fashion to home!"
When asked how she would describe her home in three words, Bing doesn't hesitate: "timeless, classic, elegant"—the same successful formula that embodies her eponymous (and wildly popular) clothing line. She adds: "My home says that I value simplicity and timelessness. Invest in pieces that will last a lifetime and be thoughtful about those pieces before you buy them. Take time to map out what you really need and what will serve the space." Now, that's a stylish sentiment we all want to live by.