Heather Culp lives on a mountain top in Topanga Canyon outside of Los Angeles. Does it get much more magical and mystical than that? It’s probably no surprise that she also founded the oh-so-popular Mercardo Sagrado which is an annual festival that celebrates the canyon spirit featuring handmade and artisan goods, healthy food, healing arts, and live music. Read on to see a peek into her mountain living.
Can you explain a bit about the geography of where home is located and how that’s influenced your design approach?
Although technically in Los Angeles my home feels far away from the city on its mountaintop perch overlooking the ocean in Topanga Canyon. It feels spacious with the indoor/outdoor aspect and amazing views but in reality it’s a simple one room cabin so I had to get creative to make the space cozy. I downsized considerably, keeping only my most precious collectables and putting some of my books into storage. I have a dog – an Aussie, and it’s a dusty environment so using mostly earth tones and layered vintage blankets, linens and sheepskins that can be shaken out often has worked well. My bathroom seemed a bit dismal at fist but now I really love it —it’s like an outdoor shower inside, filled with numerous plants and the occasional frog!
What are three words you would use to describe your home?
Peaceful, humble, inviting
How do you want people to feel when they’re in your home?
At ease —as in a place of refuge or sanctuary.
I love how many books you have stacked around your house! What are some of your favorites your reading right now? And some of your favorite books of all time?
My college mentor, photographer Paul Jasmine has a beautiful, intimate home with a big, round table in the center of the living room filled with photography books and I think that was what inspired me in a way —having books out all around the house so that wherever you’re sitting there is something within arms reach to pick up and glance through ether solo or as a conversation piece.
There’s usually a stack of books next to my bed, mostly non-fiction –in current rotation are: Vibrational Medicine, Lost Cities of Ancient Lemuria and the Pacific, and I’m a little embarrassed to admit (but it really is a great book for all women with men in their lives!) — the Queen’s Code. Some all time favorites include Anastasia; the Ringing Cedars, the Foxfire books series, the Secret Life of Plants, the Secret Teachings of All ages, and Shelter by Lloyd Kahn.
What a dream of a place!!! It reminds me of my life in New Mexico long ago. So uncomplicated, such gorgeous light. Well done!