"The physical and immaterial sense of home is intrinsic to who we are. We are more influenced by place and the culture around us than we know.” Neada Deters has lived in many spaces. Between her coastal Sydney upbringing and an extended stint working in the epicentre of hustle – New York City – the founder and creative director of organic skincare company LESSE has honed her skills in transforming any house or apartment into a space for creativity, growth and renewal.
Following those seven years in NYC, Deters and her now-husband, Drew, made the sea change to L.A., eventually putting down roots in their current neighbourhood of Venice Beach. “Venice is a quintessential beach suburb, which is nostalgic for me of growing up in Sydney,” she explains. “When we left New York, we weren’t sure if we would be staying in Los Angeles, but being near the ocean and mountains makes for a beautiful life. You forget how even the sound of the ocean can be uplifting to the soul until you come back to it.”
“I’m always moving things around and giving ornate items away to friends when I find new pieces to reinvigorate the space.”
After viewing properties across the city with no definite plan, Deters describes how, when stumbling upon their house by chance, they both felt an emotional connection. “I always lived in old homes growing up, and love their character. This house has great bones and really just felt right, but it hadn’t been cared for,” she recalls. “We managed to expedite a six-month renovation into three months and moved in a few days before Christmas, and a few weeks before our wedding.”
The layout of the house has had many incarnations. With the original framework constructed across 1911 and 1912, the backyard pool and pool house were built at the turn of the millennium, along with the second bathroom and its beloved claw foot bathtub. “In every way, we have done our best to maintain the integrity of this home by restoring its early 20th century elements, such as the fireplace and awnings,” Deters tells.
“I prefer pieces with a history, so most of the furniture in our home is vintage. It’s difficult to plan with vintage pieces so it has been a slow build of items.”
With an aesthetic she describes as minimal yet warm, her home is accented with reflective and essential pieces that work in harmony with the pair’s creative vision. “The pieces, down to every bowl and mug, were considered and purchased thoughtfully, simply because we love them.”
It’s a ‘less is more’ attitude that extends to her business, LESSE – a company Deters launched and manages from within these walls. “There is space here in L.A. to be creative and define your own path. It is an incredible place to be creating something new; I’m not sure I could have had the same success with LESSE anywhere else. The community here is so supportive and fosters entrepreneurial growth … You can be a founder but also human.”
“I feel so at ease here. Our little street is so quiet and verdant, it provides such a perfect space for creative thinking and being at peace.”
Many of Deters’s much-loved pieces are vintage finds: “I’m always collecting small pieces from markets, eBay, or from makers that I admire. I … prefer to shop for our home than my closet.” Favourites include the dining table crafted in Copenhagen and shipped to America in the 60s, as well as the Sciolari chandelier that hangs above it (“maybe the piece that best illustrates my love of design and makers throughout history”).
At the end of the day, however, the most treasured aspect of her home that it is shared with her husband and their dog, Alfie. “Landing here has been both challenging and inspiring. I miss Sydney and I miss New York, but this house will always be where Drew and I lived when we really decided to create a life together, and it will always be where I spent late nights and early mornings working on LESSE,” she muses. “I don’t love the notion of being indebted to a physical space, but this home holds so many memories, it would be emotional to ever leave it behind.”