Laying Low with Chelsea LaBelle
Laying low is a celebration of dogs and the ones that welcome them in. From beach side bungalows to architectural masterpieces, we are reminded that the simple presence of a dog can make a house a home.
In this home tour, we had the pleasure of speaking with LA creative Chelsea LaBelle. Outside of her day job as the Director of Communications for RAD Furniture, you can find her curating beautiful interiors on the instagram feed she runs called @inside___job (we're huge fans).
Tell us a little about yourself - who you are, what you do and what you love?
I’m Chelsea -- a Southern California native, new-ish to LA after a 9 year stint in Seattle. I moved here with my boyfriend Lucas in 2019, and a year later we adopted our dog Maisie. I’ve spent my career in the interior design industry primarily working with furniture and textile brands, which has given me the best education in - and such a passion for - the elements of a space that make it feel complete. Over time I started taking on interior design projects myself, and I’ve grown to love and respect design from a whole new perspective.
Your pup at a glance
How would you describe your pup’s personality?
Maisie was rescued from a home with over 60 other dogs, and she clearly wasn’t the alpha over there. She initially came off super nervous, but so incredibly sweet, and we could tell she wanted to open up. We’ve seen her personality evolve so much over the last nine months as she’s adjusted.
As of now, Maisie has two speeds. She spends 90% of the day lounging, but in the face of food, treats, or her Lambchop toy, she is so jazzed she can’t keep her cool. Just so excited. Watching her become more comfortable and communicative and playful makes me so proud, I could cry just thinking about it.
Tell us about the first time you brought your dog home?
We were told to give her space for a while and let her approach us when she was ready, so bringing her home was so sweet and so nerve wracking. All I wanted was to show her how excited we were to have her home, but we had to do our best not to overwhelm her, so I channeled my excitement into making sure she had everything she needed and taking lots and lots of secret pics from the next room. When she started emerging on her own to say hi, it felt like our little family was complete.
What sort of energy do your pups bring to your home?
Maisie gives our life a rhythm that I appreciate more than I anticipated. We’ve built routines around the things she loves, and every day starts and ends with her, which is just the best thing. In the in-between moments, she is just as mellow as we are - it’s totally crazy to me that we found each other.
Describe your dog’s favorite spot to hang out and sleep at night.
We noticed Maisie is drawn to little spots that are differentiated - it’s like anything that’s low to the ground and kind-of-her-size is a bed. Like a FedEx box or a tray. It took her months to master feeling comfortable in every room in our apartment and she prefers to be near us throughout the day, so we now have beds in every room. It’s a bit excessive, but all a part of our mission to make sure she feels like this whole place is hers. Every night she hangs out on her LAY LO bed in the living room, strategically placed so she can stay close.
Describe your home and style.
When we moved to LA in 2019, we sold everything but our Womb Chair and Saarinen Table, which I bought while working at Knoll and will make work in any home I live in for the rest of my life. I was hell-bent on finding an older building with charm, and we ended up in a Spanish Revival four-plex built in 1929, complete with beautiful windows on three sides, high ceilings, and great, old, wood floors.
Though I’ve made some exceptions in order to make our home functional - like the sofa or the shelves in the dining room, both of which were affordable and practical choices - I prefer to live in a work in progress over a home that feels complete with things I don’t love, and I’ve taken my time furnishing as a result. It’s allowed me the time to really consider how we live and what we might need, so when I find something special, I know with conviction that it’s the right thing, or I allow it to influence the space in ways I hadn’t anticipated.
I love using natural materials and mixing styles, and although my style has a bit more of an eclectic range than my own apartment represents, the warmth of our place feels right to me.
If dogs and owners supposedly “look the same” does this reflect in the design of the home as well?
It was an accident, but yes. She’s pretty much camouflaged.
What factors do you consider when buying pet supplies?
Visual clutter kind of overwhelms me, but I’m not militant about putting things away. So when looking for items that will always be left out like a bed, it’s important to me that they complement their environment. I also really want to give Maisie the best little life she could have, so I did a lot of research into products that are well-made, safe, and cleanable. I love that her LAY LO bed is easy to wash, non-slip, and designed with ergonomics in mind, but also complements our home so well, just like her.
Featured in this home: Altuzarra Collection
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