Inside Toms Shoes Founder Blake Mycoskie’s Los Angeles Home | Celebrity Homes | Architectural Digest



Toms founder Blake Mycoskie and his wife, Heather Mycoskie, describe the design process behind their bohemian-chic Topanga Canyon residence.

Blake Mycoskie, the social-entrepreneurship guru and founder of the footwear company Toms, has a wonderfully idiosyncratic Los Angeles–area home he shares with his wife, Heather, and their infant son, Summit.

Blake and Heather met five years ago in Montauk, New York, on Long Island’s East End. At the time, Blake was working on the manuscript of his book Start Something That Matters. He stopped at a surf shop to get wax for his board and saw Heather working behind the counter. It wasn’t long before she relocated to L.A. for a job at Toms, where Blake’s pioneering business plan entails matching every product sold (now not only shoes but also coffee, bags, eyewear, and apparel) with a donation to benefit one of many needy international communities.

Fast-forward to 2012, when the couple married in a tepee on a Utah mountain. Settling in California, the newlyweds initially lived on a 45-foot cabin cruiser anchored in Marina del Rey, a community in Los Angeles County not far from the Toms headquarters in the seaside neighborhood of Venice. They considered building a house on one of Venice’s charming walk streets—as locals call the pedestrian-only thoroughfares—but the allure of open space ultimately drew the Mycoskies to look inland. Eventually they decided to move to Topanga Canyon, that storied redoubt of hippies, artists, and other free spirits.

They purchased a 1970s residence, built in a style one might call contemporary barn, set on a one-and-a-half- acre hillside site with majestic oaks and a gurgling creek. Renovations began, but the couple soon realized that rebuilding and outfitting a home are mighty tasks for people constantly on the go. Around the same time, Heather dropped by Hammer and Spear, an L.A. home-furnishings emporium and multidisciplinary design studio, and discovered its aesthetic was simpatico with her own. After chatting with the shop’s proprietors, designer Kristan Cunningham and her husband, Scott Jarrell, Heather hired the firm on the spot.

Their design choices, she says, were guided by her clients’ already well-developed ideas and predilections. “Blake and Heather wanted everything to feel personal, layered, and evolved—nothing too designer-y. The biggest challenge was taking all of the amazing objects they’d acquired around the world and combining them in a way that felt truly authentic. The house couldn’t look like a bohemian Colonial Williamsburg.”

Working with decorative-finishes specialist Bruce DeSpain, Cunningham reskinned the interior walls and beams with weathered barn siding and corral fencing, adding a patina of age. “Life is about memories more than things,” Blake says, and thus every room is redolent of stories and experiences and filled with reminders of the couple’s history. The vestibule is paved with reclaimed planks from the Coney Island boardwalk, where Heather’s grandparents met. Treasures from the Mycoskies’ travels include the master bath’s rustic Indian doors, the Balinese desk in Blake’s office, and a massive Buddha statue in the garden.

All those pieces mingle amicably with vintage finds and custom-made pieces from Hammer and Spear and other vendors and fabricators clustered in downtown L.A.’s bustling Arts District. PSS Design Cult, a design/build firm, collaborated on several elements, including the kitchen’s hood and brass countertops and the outdoor shower. Artist and designer Mark James Yamamoto painted the Native American–themed ceiling in the den, while furniture designer Stephen Kenn fashioned the room’s steel-framed sofa and covered it in tent canvas from World War II.

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Inside Toms Shoes Founder Blake Mycoskie’s Los Angeles Home | Celebrity Homes | Architectural Digest

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