Step Inside Justina Blakeney’s Vibrant Southern California Home

An unapologetically self-identified maximalist, Justina Blakeney founded trendsetting design blog Jungalow back in 2009 to bring her personal vision of beauty into the world and help others tap into their creativity by better expressing themselves inside their homes. Since then, she’s continued building the Jungalow empire, launching its namesake design brand in 2014 and cultivating a passionately engaged digital community that follows her every move. While the pandemic slowed the world down, Blakeney was busier than ever, publishing her third book, Jungalow: Decorate Wild, and expanding the Opalhouse designed with Jungalow collection for Target. On top of all that, she and her husband, Jason Rosencrantz, and their now nine-year-old daughter, Ida, were also creating a new home.

The multihyphenate entrepreneur vividly recalls the first apartment she lived on her own at the age of 28, a botanical-print-filled space in L.A. that she moved into after spending seven years in Italy. “That was the first time I had a place all to myself,” she recalls. “Although it was somewhat short-lived because I moved in with my then boyfriend—now husband—about a year later, I really was able to express myself in a way that I felt like I had never had the freedom to do before that. It was really just about me.”

Justina Blakeney (wearing an 11 Honoré dress, Ulla Johnson earrings, and Odette New York bracelets and rings) at home in California.

Hair by Tammy Yi using Goldwell hair products at Exclusive Artists Management; makeup by Soledad Waddell at Crosby Carter Mgmt.

1970s rattan-and-chrome chairs surround a 1980s Italian travertine dining table, both from Chairish. Wood Senufo stool; rug by Justina Blakeney for Loloi; on walls, Farrow & Ball’s Ointment Pink.

Carve Travertine Large Cocktail Table

By Studio Anansi for CB2

Vintage Boho Chic Peacock Chair

While growing up in Berkeley, California, Blakeney lived in a modern house built by the architect Benson Ford. “I was five when we moved in, and seeing a Black architect at that time made me realize we can do anything,” she remembers. That home was an eclectic mix of antique furniture bought at auctions, cultural artifacts from her family’s travels, and a massive collection of Pan-African art. Paintings with scenes from Jewish folklore were hung next to depictions of Ethiopian royalty, she notes. “It was a living interpretation of the different mix that my household was made up of.”

As much as she and Rosencrantz loved their starter house, a 1,000-square-foot 1926 bungalow located in Frogtown, the family of three had started craving more space. Their new place in Altadena is a Spanish-style abode built in the early ‘30s with traditional Mediterranean details and midcentury-modern flair. The 2,700-square-foot property is a slice of paradise that checks all of the boxes for Blakeney: There’s an internal courtyard, a pool with an incredible view, and mature fruit trees amid the surrounding foliage. Most of all, she appreciates how the spacious house supports an indoor-outdoor lifestyle while also feeling intimate. “It has a coziness to it that I really love,” she notes, “and a circularity about the flow of the energy because of the way it surrounds the courtyard.”

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