Photography
Videography
Creative Direction
Companion
Curator

Credits

Photography
Videography
Creative Direction
Companion
Curator

Amee Kim in her living room.

Amee Kim in her living room.

In a world of endless content feeds and new apps asking us to tune in, how do we reach people authentically and create content that resonates?

If we had to ask anyone, it would be creative digital strategist Amee Kim. Amee landed her previous job curating the feeds of Pharrell’s (yes, that Pharrell) multiple ventures simply through how she presents her style and aesthetic online. The structural pieces and minimal tones she curates to create her comfortable yet cutting-edge street style looks have made their way into her interiors, and inform how she styles her home in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles.

Amee and her husband have filled their space with ceramics by independent artists, unique light fixtures, and furniture pieces that blend seamlessly into the urban environment. The pièce de résistance is their cream, vintage modular channel sofa (or what we like to call the “couch heard around the world”). The sofa, and her signature minimal, moody photos of their living room, have tens of thousands of shares and likes across Instagram alone.

We sat down with Amee to talk about personal style, her obsession with Etsy, and how her progression from fashion into interiors came so naturally and caught the eye of decor enthusiasts around the internet.

Amee’s vintage modular channel sofa grounds the room and provides a soft, structural foundation to layer on accessories.

“I know most people aren’t into concrete or prefer hardwood floors, but as a neutrals person, I love it. You don’t have to think about how your wood stains work together.”

You grew up and went to school in Maryland. Tell us a bit about your background and what inspired you to make a move out west?

I’m an atypical second-generation Korean because I was born in Korea and came to the US when I was three. I went to the University of Maryland, studied Communications, and at the time, I wanted to work in public relations. I worked at Barney’s New York in Washington DC throughout school, which fed my love for fashion. Being surrounded by so many great designers’ work inspired my personal style and desire to continue working in the fashion industry.

I thought I’d move to New York after school, like most of my friends after school on the East Coast, but I really wanted to keep dancing. New York is known for ballet, and I was a hip-hop dancer, and LA is the only place you go for that. I’d been in crews and groups throughout college, so I transferred to the Barneys in Santa Monica so that I could keep dancing. I eventually realized I was no longer having fun, and when I realized it was unfulfilling, I decided to give it up.

Bouclé pillows and dark accents in accessories and lighting add texture to the living room.

Bouclé pillows and dark accents in accessories and lighting add texture to the living room.

Our vintage marble side table adds a nice moment of contrast to the otherwise light tones in the room.

This corner is one of my favorites to accessorize and style. This wood block is a Pop Up Home find.

“What sold me about this house was the natural light.”

“What sold me about this house was the natural light.”

When did you start curating your social channels, and how did it progress into a career for you?

Social media wasn’t even a thought in terms of a career path when I was in school. When I moved to LA and social media became more popular, “influencers” became a thing, and I realized I could share more of my creative eye on my social channels. I just went with it, and even though it felt weird at first, I grew a lot in terms of followers during that time. I started working in social media more professionally. The next thing I know, Pharrell’s team approached me solely based on my presence online. That opportunity was something I could never have imagined or planned for, but I think it’s a testament to the power of creating content for yourself that’s natural and uniquely you. That authenticity comes across, and others can connect with it in a real way.

View from the kitchen.

Fruit styling 101.

Fruit styling 101.

My kitchen items are from a range of artists and makers I love, and unique Etsy finds.

Well-composed reflections.

When did LA begin to feel like home?

That’s a good question. I almost left a few times to go back home. I didn’t know anyone here when I moved; no friends or family. I felt like an outsider for the first two years, like I had to explain my blunt, East Coast personality. It only really started to feel like home when I met Tae, my husband. Now we’ve been together for seven years, and it feels like I have roots here.

Our kitchen table is custom piece. The ceramic tile base is from Ktown Corner Store paired with a glass top.

You have a distinct sense of style when it comes to what you wear. Where did that come from, and what inspires you in the fashion sense?

I’ve always loved fashion. I’ve done multiple internships for designers, and I was exposed to great design through my jobs at Barneys. I think I’ve always liked pieces that feel classic but with a twist. The loafers I’m wearing look like classic loafers from the side profile, but what makes them unique is the iconic Maison Margiela, Tabi toe shape from the top view. My dress has the structure of a simple black sheath, but it also has an unexpected cut-out. I gravitate toward classics with interesting silhouettes. I often look to Japanese designers like Yohji Yamamoto or Issey Miyake for inspiration.

You can see a lot of my personal style crossover into our home. I like playing with textures and materials. I love oversized stuff. The whole “classic with a twist” mentality is apparent throughout.” —  Amee
What has surprised you the most about sharing your home with the internet?

People love my couch, probably more than I do! I get asked daily where I got it. It’s vintage, and I got it for a pretty good deal from a seller in Pennsylvania. My recommendation for people looking for a sofa inspired by classic Bernhardt and de Sede style channel sofas like mine is to connect with Maggie Holladay at Claude Home. She produces a modular channel sofa in a beautiful Belgium Bouclé.

You can see a lot of my personal style crossover into our home. I like playing with textures and materials. I love oversized stuff. The whole “classic with a twist” mentality is apparent throughout. That crossover is why the interior design vibes so well with people who started following me in the fashion context.

Watch the video
You’ve recently started painting, and we can see glimpses of your work throughout your space. What has the response been to sharing your paintings, and what led you to explore this creative medium?

I’d never painted before the pandemic. It was purely a result of reaching my wit’s end in quarantine, and I needed an outlet that wasn’t just binge-watching the next show. In my job, I’m a perfectionist. When I paint, I allow myself to be messy and take the opposite approach. My process is pretty fluid. I’ll often pull up a photo on my laptop of something in nature with a color palette or tonal qualities that feel right.

When I posted a photo of my first painting on Instagram, I was so surprised that people liked it. I thought it looked fine, but it was my first painting. Then, someone bought it a few days later. I’ve since done commissions for friends, as well as random people who found me across the internet. I’m blown away and have a bit of imposter syndrome, but I’m enjoying it.

I don’t want everything to be black and white all the time. Our bedroom rug adds a bit of warmth and color.

The white foam stool is a pandemic DIY creation—very therapeutic and cute.

The white foam stool is a pandemic DIY creation—very therapeutic and cute.

Bedside table vignette.

The lamp is a recent vintage find. I love the architectural lines in the pleated shade.

Morning mood.

Morning mood.

Mix old and new for a fresh look. If you’re a minimalist, play around with textures.” —  Amee
If you think about the foundation of a great space, what are your essential building blocks?

What sold me about this house was the natural light. We have these stunning skylights that move the light around the house at different times of the day. I also loved the concrete. I know most people aren’t into concrete or prefer hardwood floors, but as a neutrals person, I love it. You don’t have to think about how your wood stains work together.

Do you have any go-to brands or sources for your home?

I spend time searching for ceramics on Etsy like it’s my hobby. I love Etsy because I know that I’m supporting local artists or small businesses, which I try to do as often as I can. I like to mix those unique items with more affordable options. For those I often look to CB2, and even IKEA. Many of the most-asked-about pieces in my home are vintage, like my sofa and my marble side table, which I got from Vintage On Point—a great curated vintage furniture consignment shop in LA.

While we’re on the topic, any other vintage store recommendations?

I often browse Chairish, although I think I have better luck on Etsy. I also love Same Old, another LA-based vintage shop.

Always on the hunt for a pattern that will complement the room. The brown tones in this throw work well with the warm wood floor.

Always on the hunt for a pattern that will complement the room. The brown tones in this throw work well with the warm wood floor.

Portrait with an Eny Lee Parker.

Portrait with an Eny Lee Parker.

Any advice for the minimally inclined when they’re putting together their space?

Mix old and new for a fresh look. If you’re a minimalist, play around with textures. I don’t want everything to be black and white all the time, which is why I add rich wood elements and lots of greenery to the space through the plants. Having a central color palette can be helpful to tie it all together. Outside of that, comfort is key. The couch is the statement piece of our main living area, but it’s also comfortable, so we use it. Home is like fashion in that way, don’t splurge on something you’re never going to use.

Favorite piece in your home?

People might assume it’s my couch, but the Noguchi lamp in my bedroom was a gift from my family, so it’s quite sentimental.

Three words to describe your home?

Minimal, cool, and fresh.

If your home was a scent, how would the fragrance smell?

I’m a fan of citrus and woodsy scents, so likely something in that range.

Create content for yourself that’s natural and uniquely you. Authenticity comes across, and people connect with it in a real way.” —  Amee
Favorite candle?

The Femme Illuminée Candle by Rachel Saunders.

Dream dinner party guests?

Rihanna, Amanda Gorman, Naomi Osaka, Max Minghella, and Barack Obama.

It’s Friday night. What’s on your playlist?

During my time in music, I had to stay up to date with all the new music coming out on Fridays across genres. The New Music Fridays playlist on Spotify was always on. Lately, I’ve been playing James Blake’s newest album nonstop. I also go back to older stuff from Kid Cudi, Lykke Li, and Banks.

Tell us a bit about your neighborhood in LA, Lincoln Heights.

On Broadway, there are more coffee shops, bars, and restaurants opening up. We love the Avenue 26 tacos and our neighborhood bar The Airliner. An amazing Israeli restaurant called Mazal recently opened here. We’re five minutes away from Chinatown, which is also expanding quickly. You can find us walking around Ernest E. Debs park pretty often as well. I love living here because it feels like you’re out of the city even though you’re so close.

I like to mix unique items with more affordable options. This corner is a good example of vintage, DIY, and designers I love, like Eny Lee Parker.

This single stem vase makes it easy to create a sculptural floral moment. It also looks beautiful on its own.

We’re traveling to Los Angeles for 36 hours. What’s your go-to travel guide for visitors?

I always suggest going out in Koreatown. Whether you go to Korean BBQ or a karaoke bar, you have to experience it because it’s such a huge part of LA. Maru Coffee and Bavel would also make it on the list. A recent favorite is Yang’s Kitchen in Alhambra. I am dying to go back. Think Asian brunch. You also have to drive the Pacific Coast Highway. You don’t even need to go to a beach. To me, experiencing the PCH is a must because you’re never going to get that kind of drive anywhere else.

Noguchi mirror play.

Amee’s Design Tips —

Create content for yourself that’s natural and uniquely you. Authenticity comes across, and people connect with it in a real way.

Mix old and new for a fresh look. If you’re a minimalist, play around with textures. A central color palette helps to tie it all together.

Noguchi mirror play.

Amee’s Los Angeles Guide —

Maru Coffee — Named after ‘San Ma Ru,’ which means mountaintop in Korean, this coffee shop serves high-quality coffee in a tranquil, light-filled space.

Bavel — This Middle Eastern restaurant from Chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis (a follow-up to their always-packed Bestia) brings together the flavors and dishes of their childhood.

Pacific Coast Highway — Drive north to south from SF to LA along the oceanside, with stops in Carmel, Big Sur, and endless coastline views—this dream drive doesn’t disappoint.

Want to see more of Amee’s home?
Explore all scenes on her profile