unexpected guests: wendy withers and gavin lester.

i think y’all are going to love this unexpected guest. i got an email from wendy withers, a blogger who has worked with some friends of mine in the advertising world as an art producer/photo editor for many years, but recently took a break to have babies (or, the smalls, as she affectionately calls them). wendy is kindly sharing the oh-so-charming, and very hidden cape cod home in los angeles she shares with her husband gavin lester, a creative director and artist, the smalls, and the furry smalls, their pair of pugs.

i just love these inspiring images of their home in the mar vista neighborhood, near venice, which was remodeled by architect  hope alexander. and multi-talented gavin designed the ‘yours sincerely’ art in the bedroom as well as the ‘a really nice view’ neon – smashing, huh? let’s sneak past the garden gate and check it out…

What are a few of your favorite things to do in your neighborhood?
walk, eat, ride, shop, and look at the los angeles city skyline from our neighborhood hill, and then look at the ocean from our other neighborhood hill.

What are your go-to online shops?
1st dibs, topsy design and ebay (of course).

What’s your favorite flea market, or secondhand find?
jewelry. i heart my estate and vintage costume jewelry collection.

What five things can’t you live without?
my four smalls (furry and human kind), chocolate, converse all-stars, kitchen time and facials.

If you could go shopping with anyone in the world, who would it be?
elizabeth taylor circa richard burton!

What bores you to death?
hearing myself complain.

what would you attempt to do, if you knew you could not fail?
save the world or sing on broadway.

the lovely april palmer did the landscaping (which looks really beautiful when the blooms arrive for the warmer months).


•photos by claire cottrell and image locations.

33 Responses to “unexpected guests: wendy withers and gavin lester.”
  1. Cez says:

    wow …such a nice interview….and a wonderful house!!!!!

  2. Amy says:

    aaah, great fresh interview and love love the way the back of the house seems to just open up to the beautiful backyard! DREAM…

  3. leslie kingery says:

    Lovely. So not what I think of LA. Love the pig on the mantle, too!

  4. Tina says:

    wonderful house…what a lovely surprise guest you had!
    that kitchen is just inspiring!

  5. jennifer says:

    so lovely! thanks for sharing.

  6. JenLynn says:

    The house looks so peaceful and homey. The type of place to just unwind and relax.

  7. Kristina says:

    I absolutely adore this home.

  8. I love this home, and her answers! The smalls! That’s great :) I also Wendy saying it bores her to hear herself complain. :) makes me like her even more! First time visitor, but I will be back!

  9. I live in Miami, and this makes me wish I lived in California in a light-filled cute designed bungalow like this one! :)

  10. Allyn says:

    Super charming home! I, too would like to have shopped, or done anything, w-Liz Taylor circa Richard Burton!!

  11. I absolutely need that “your sincerely” poster…any leads?

  12. Jill Moran says:

    “The smalls…” I love that! I also liked the back yard sculptures, both the hanging chairs and the stacking discs.

  13. lisa says:

    wow i love that neon sign in the first photo.

  14. Ambyr says:

    Love all the questions… got me thinking…
    Shopping with anyone… Prob Logan Horne. He’s Leighton Meester’s stylist and I feel that even though I don’t have the places to go that I go wear such elaborate styles to, that he’d still push my style and limits.
    Can’t live without… my dog, family, iPhone, chapstick and my dreams/aspirations

    thanks for sharing today!


  15. Sarah says:

    Absolutely love this home! Simply beautiful :)

  16. I love the shot of the turquoise shoes and the chair, and such a beautiful house!

  17. This house has the best vibe (I usually don’t like this word!). You know that the adults and smalls that live there are fun adults and smalls!
    Love the neon signage.

  18. lynda felton says:

    I have to say this is one beautiful and inviting space – I want to live there BADLY!

  19. Miranda says:

    Wow, looking at this house from the outside made the inside a very pleasant surprise! There looks to be so much room! And not to mention the incredibly unique decorations sprinkled throughout the home.

    I want a picture of barbie framed as if she were a celebrity! And I really want that sleek hanging chair outside!

  20. Oh my…I loooove. The inside and outside just flow… It is so light and airy and collected and lived in. So glad you shared! -Ann

  21. Loved the garden shots! also discovered 1stdibs thanks to this post. very cool site. thank you.

  22. Connie says:

    I do believe that I could live here quite happily. An absolutely charming home! I adore the pig, trike and tree chair, and thoroughly enjoyed the interview.
    Thanks for sharing, Wendy

  23. Katie says:

    I love this. Not only does all the furniture make me want to start searching ebay right now, but the light reminds me so much of a cool spring afternoon. It’s beautiful.

  24. susana majewski says:


  25. nicole hill says:

    what a lovely hidden treasure! i’m diggin’ the picnic table and that white pottery collection!! wonderful interview, thanks for sharing.

  26. Sharon says:

    What a lovely house and interview! Great renewal ideas for those of us craving a bit of spring.

  27. Gorgeous. I love her kitchen and Dutch door.

  28. Rita says:

    Hey Claire….!!!
    What an amazing and enchanting collection!!
    I am here with a token of admiration for the astonishing and inspiring images. This can be s someone’s dream house. I had gone astray to see all the stuff, I really love it.

  29. I am completely in love with this sweet house! All of the photos just made me smile. I am totally inspired once again with your blog.

  30. lucy says:

    this place is heaven.

  31. roomenvy says:

    This is SUCH a charming home!

  32. wendy says:

    WOW…thank you guys!! i’m so happy you like our crib! we had so much fun with this story. HUGE honor for us. Thank You!!

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