Namu Home Goods’ founder and Goop’s former chief of staff credits a 100-year-old oak tree in her yard with teaching her to embrace imperfection.

| By Bella Westaway | Home tours

Diana Ryu’s LA Bungalow Teaches Us to Be Perfectly Imperfect

Namu Home Goods’ founder and Goop’s former chief of staff credits a 100-year-old oak tree in her yard with teaching her to embrace imperfection.

Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we celebrate innovators, artisans, and crafters of all types by taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, we tour Namu Home Goods founder Diana Ryu’s 1927 bungalow home in Los Angeles, California.

Ask Goop’s former chief of staff Diana Ryu what drew her to the 1927 Spanish Revival bungalow in LA she now calls home, and she’ll tell you about a tree. A 100-year-old protected oak, to be exact.

“It’s witnessed so much life,” she tells Bed Threads Journal, clearly enthused. "That tree has seen 100 winters and yet, it knows spring will come.”

Recreate Diana's look with the Sage Bedding Set, Mineral Sheet Set, and Fresh Linen Candle.

When Diana found her tree – and her new home – it was at a time she needed this perspective. The former writer and editor, who has worked with some of the world’s biggest celebrities (think Gwyneth Paltrow and the Kardashian family), was going through her “own winter” a few years ago. “I had to remind myself my season would eventually change, too,” she said.

Similarly beautiful and human is the home she’s created with her husband and business partner, actor and artist Joseph Lee. Together, the couple have transformed their sweet bungalow into a sophisticated oasis designed for entertaining. The creamy white walls provide a blank canvas for vintage artworks and artisan decor, while sculptural foliage enhances the already flaming space. Two of Diana’s favourite pieces in the home are the Cy Twombly prints in the dining nook: “My husband and I gave them to one another for Christmas totally by coincidence. We handed one another a tube and were like… wait a minute.”

Here, the furniture is also minimal and thoughtfully curated. “We have a lot of wood pieces and furniture,” Diana explains. “A Japanese study in the Journal of Wood Science proved wood can have a significant and large effect on decreasing blood pressure. It stated the more wood in a room, the more ‘comfortable’ it felt.”

The home doesn’t confine itself to one specific interior design style, but mixes contemporary minimalism with wabi-sabi touches and Korean and Japanese aesthetics. Paper light fixtures hang from the ceilings, and handmade ceramics punctuate the space. Wood is everywhere, from the bedroom to the kitchen, where one-of-a-kind utensils hang off a golden rail like jewels.

I must acknowledge I’m not perfect and stay curious.

- Diana Ryu

For Diana, the “perfectly imperfect” nature of wood – from the tree in her yard to the stunning homewares she curates – has provided inspiration for her own life and shown her how to be happy. “To be content. To live simply and artistically. To have a deep self-philosophy and to let go of control. These relationships drive my creativity,” she said.

“I remember asking our artist Park Honggu where he gets his inspiration from because he hardly ever leaves his house and compound in the countryside. Most people get inspiration from travel and new experiences and looking out into the vast world, but he said very profoundly: ‘I look down’.

“He looks at the tiniest blade of grass in his yard, or the morning dew drop on a leaf to be inspired. The artist zigs when others zag. It’s taught me to be open to other interpretations. I must acknowledge I’m not perfect and stay curious.”

Being in Diana’s space, surrounded by objects that are made more beautiful by their flaws, we’re reminded that life isn’t about the pursuit of perfection, but rather the acceptance of what it means to be part human.

Shop Diana’s edit.

For more from Diana, follow her @dianaryu & @namuhomegoods

Photography by Laura Flippen. Styling by Danielle Armstrong.

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