Inside Stylist & Holistic Enthusiast Sophie Assa's Mount Washington Hideaway
Welcome to Mama Cribs, a new FM Journal series where we shine a light on the gorgeous homes inhabited by inspiring mothers.
Photos: Lauren Moore
If you take a drive up LA’s Route 2, exit somewhere around Verdugo Avenue, and wind your way up through the hills, you’ll land in Mount Washington. It’s a quiet, artist enclave a stone’s throw from Los Angeles’ congested city life. It is also here, where Sophie Assa — FMLA member, stylist, blogger, and mother of two — decided to make her home. Surrounded by nature, Sophie’s architectural, modern home exudes a laid-back vibe that illuminates Sophie’s welcoming, infectious charm.
The home, nestled in the woods, lends constant inspiration to Sophie as she embarks on living a more holistic, natural life. To coincide with the launch of her most personal project yet, Sophie invites us into her family retreat where she reflects on the past and the journey that has motivated her to create Roseview.
Who do you live with?
We are a family of five, yes that includes the dog! My husband Jahmin, my five-year-old daughter Coco, my 15-year-old stepson Dexter (they share a birthday!) and our newest member Mo, a spunky chocolate lab who is currently in the latest Subaru commercial.
What area of LA do you live and what initially attracted you to the area and your home?
We live in Mount Washington. When I say that, I feel like people don’t even think of LA or even California; they give me this out-of-state kind of look. However, if you are an Eastsider you have probably heard of the hip little hood on a hill. We used to live in Echo Park; which we loved, but were craving more space (every Angeleno/New Yorker's life problem). My husband once drove me up the hill when we first met and I totally dismissed it. Cut to being married and having a baby, and it's suddenly so my thing. I fell in love with the stillness. Nature is literally at our doorstep.
Describe the vibe of your home.
Our home is a vibrant mix of all our personalities. Living in an architectural home, minimalist would come to mind. Well, this is simply not who we are, but who we aspire to be. We are collectors, we like bringing home new things. Our home's aesthetic is: a mid-century modern man who mingles with a flirty bohemian mistress who is married to a new age goddess. Always full of music and loud chatter! There’s a lot of light that keeps our spirits lifted. We’re surrounded by plants and mountains to keep us grounded. There seems to be an equal balance of chaos and peace at different points of the day -- It really depends on how much coffee has been consumed before the morning rush and how much wine there is to wind down…We love our little house nestled in the tree’s, it keeps us all together!
What are some words you’d use to describe yourself and what do you do?
Creative. Passionate. Witty.
I am freelance stylist but spend most my off days figuring out how to raise my family naturally, so naturally I relaunched my blog with this new intention, Roseview!
Tell us a little bit more about Roseview.
Growing up in London, my home life was an insane mix of fashion and music because both my parents worked in these industries. However, my parents also came from the hippie era and were fond of raising me in a natural holistic environment. My entire life I wanted to work in fashion; so, I pursued a career in styling. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I took a big step back and looked to my upbringing for a healthy way to raise my new family.
Around that same time, my mom was diagnosed for the 4th time with a brain tumor. As a child she had numerous brain surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy. With conventional treatment, she also sought alternative medicine remedies that I believe carried her through all these years. She is such a strong, fierce, spirit who has had such a successful career through all of it. With the news of her tumor returning after 12 years of remission and being 3 weeks pregnant, I knew we would be on a mission together to stay healthy and research what integrative treatments could be available for her.
Over the past two years she has undergone two more brain surgeries; and sadly, we are now out of traditional medical options. So we are on a mission to help her naturally! It has been an incredible journey thus far. We have gained so much knowledge; and, there is an inconceivable amount happening in the world right now. I wish to share it with those around me whom may be suffering with a loved one going through cancer.
I felt the time was right to shift my blog (formerly eenie meenie bambini) into a whole new focus. I rebranded with the name Roseview, because this is the street we live on and the main content is about how I raise my family naturally and holistically. Everything we are doing at home is Roseview. We bake bread, tend the garden, make our own Elderberry syrup, we use lemon wraps to bring down fevers, and make tons of yummy essential oils blends. Within the blog there is a portion called Gabylein which is dedicated to the research we have done on alternative treatments. Anything from tips on what supplements to take whilst on chemo, what new treatments are being offered under the radar, diets, remedies… I just want to share what we have learned. If I can help just one person it would be mean so much. I hope to bring some amount of awareness to living in a more natural state, using what Mother Nature has blessed us with, and believing in our bodies to heal themselves without always having to rely on conventional medicine.
What kinds of items do you love to surround yourself with? How do these items identify with your personality?
I surround myself with items that make me feel good. Being a mom is beyond rewarding; however, let’s be real: it’s exhausting at times. There are moments when I’m drained emotionally, physically or spiritually. I am desperate for a pick me up. I had to rid coffee and replace it with much needed self care. So I surround myself with essential oils, plants, books, crystals, knitting, food and wine.
What is your favorite place in your home?
Probably my dining table. I love sitting here in the morning after school drop off. All the windows and doors are open so I can hear the birds chirping. Then we all come together for dinner, we talk, play games and laugh, so much laughter comes around this table. Currently trending is lots of pee and poop jokes — anyone else there yet?
Where do you and your family spend the most time in the home and why?
Our home is a modern loft layout, so we are all together most of the time. As our kitchen, dining and living area is all cozied up in one room. It really lends itself to entertaining. However, there are times where I’m like, “Please can everyone go outside? I need some peace.”
What are some of your go-to places to shop for decor?
For bigger ticket items we love Lawson & Fenning, for hip fill in’s around the house a good general store (Venice) or Individual Medley (Atwater) or Dotter (Highland Park) always make for a fun shopping experience. Then the rest is down to flea markets or etsy. And who doesn’t love a Heath Ceramic guilty-spending spree?
What changes have you made inside your home as your family life evolved? (And how have you made these changes without compromising your aesthetic?)
Well, we never really baby-proofed. There was a baby gate at one point and maybe a few of those foam corner wedges. We just taught Coco early on to be aware of her surroundings. The hardest thing to maintain is a tidy house, kids are like mini tornados. We try to enforce the: put your toy back once you have finished using it method, which helps. I think at one point our living room felt like it was being taken over by toys that was frightening. Even a director used our house as a reference once to recreate a family home that was taken over by kids for a commercial. I think that was the wake up call. No more toys; and, the toys that are staying are going into her bedroom. I wish (Coco) had a playroom, but we don’t have the extra space! So now we try to be minimalist where we can.
How have you translated your aesthetic into your child’s room?
Our home has a consistent theme of built-ins from room to room. So naturally her room fits in with the rest of the home. I try to keep her room bright and airy. She has an Oeuf bunk bed that feels fitting for a five-year-old girl in a modern home. I’m particular about choosing all her art, bed sheets, and towels; but, her clutter is her treasure, I can’t hide that.
Was it difficult to transition Coco’s room from a nursery to a big kid room?
Not really, it was a slow organic process. Her crib converted into a toddler bed, so that was the first transition. Then slowly the baby toys got replaced with more mature toys. The diaper station was no longer needed. Some of the art changed. Before you know it, it’s a real 5 year old girl’s room. We try to do things as organic as possible so as she changes, things change with her. This way, the room becomes her and she can connect to it.
What is your favorite thing about Coco’s room?
I love the light. It is so bright and fresh. If you open the doors to the outside you can hear the pond in the courtyard and the birds. It is so peaceful. We love hanging out in there it just has good vibes. Her shelves are also awesome, a great way to display all her treasures.
What is one of your favorite family traditions or rituals? Where in your home does this ritual take place?
Favorite family tradition is really all about Christmas, we love to throw a great Christmas Eve party! Then once everyone is asleep we do the preparations for the next morning, my husband and I do this together, my parents did it, their parents did it ... it's really special.
Other rituals are our dance parties where we just go bananas, usually before bedtime. Then Coco and I have our own bedtime ritual which involves refilling her diffuser with oils, lighting a candle, singing a good night song, three books, an oil foot and leg massage (growing pains) and then we lay down together. I treasure this time.
Records In Current Rotation in Sophie’s Home:
We love to play obscure old French music, titles like Exotica. Coco’s favorites are Jolene by Dolly Parton and What “U” waitin’ “4” by Jungle Brothers. I also am a sucker for classics like Crosby, Stills and Nash, Bob Dylan, Eagles.
Nara Walker is a Fashion Mamas LA member, producer and writer.