Home Tour + Interview with Sissy Sainte-Marie Chacon
It's officially fall, but recalling the lovely summer-like afternoon spent at the beautiful home of Sissy Saint-Marie Chacon and Eddie Chacon while back home in LA. Tucked away in our old 'hood in Los Feliz, their stunning cozy home blends their design aesthetic while paying homage to the original features of the Spanish Mediterranean architecture.
Sissy is well known as stylist extraordinaire for her distinct work with an amazing roster of clients from innovative designers, boutiques and publications. We may know her from a glimpse of her work in lookbooks, magazines, or her Instagram, but there is truly nothing better than the face-to-face interaction with someone. While that label is true, given a moment with Sissy and as you get to know her, she is so much more...and the visual narrative only tells part of her story. Her colorful path to fashion includes a diverse background in education, music and vintage sales. Layers of experience combined with the intuitive process, she is doing what she loves while creating visual stories that is uniquely her own both in her style and approach to interiors. Her no-nonsense ease, ethereal quality and wit fuses the timeless with the trend while balancing the minimal and the whimsy.
It was a joy getting to know her and chatting about health/wellness, travel , 90's fashion (biker shorts and scrunchies!), previous jobs, food (she loves to cook!) and everything in between. So happy to share her story and stunning LA home!
Your home is a labor of love and has seen transformations. Can you share the story about your home?
It is a 1930’s Spanish home . My husband purchased it in the 1990’s, 11 years before I moved in. Eddie had it meticulously decorated in period style so when I moved in it looked more like the Adamson House. The antique furnishings were regal and beautiful but began to feel oppressive and heavy after 10 years. The walls were a deep amber, the curtains were burgundy velvet and sage satin, we had a lot of antique books on the shelves, ornate frames. lamps and sconces, and vintage hook rugs in every room. It began to feel like all of it was just collecting cat hair and blocking the natural light and we couldn’t feel the beauty anymore, just frustration. We considered selling our beloved home and buying a new condo in downtown LA with an open floor plan, white walls, and lots of sunlight. The realtor would only agree to take our listing if we painted the walls white and removed the curtains. Once we did that, we realized we had what we wanted all along, plus 20 years of equity. So we stayed, purged, and redecorated.
How did you fuse Eddie's and your design sensibilities while paying homage to the Spanish architecture?
Eddie’s criteria is to incorporate furnishings which are substantial and swanky, yet extremely comfortable. He loves symmetry and is obsessed with systems of organization and despises clutter. He prefers bright colors but I would rather be surrounded by serene colors and natural materials. We are both pragmatists so we keep things sparse and easy to clean. In decorating this way, the Spanish features such as the arched doors and doorways, built in shelves and nooks , and wooden beams become more prominent.
You have a distinctive style in the area of fashion, how would you describe your design approach when it comes to interiors?
In both the way I style, dress, and decorate, I would say I’m drawn to soft curves, natural materials, and neutral tones. Smart , classic, slightly whimsical. Simple, beautiful, impactful.
With a diverse background in education, travel, fashion and music, what informs your style and design aesthetic?
The need to stay balanced, replenish my spirit and make way for my destiny.
What is your favorite space in the house? What are your favorite items you collect for the home?
I love my living room. I love sitting on my big soft white couch, looking out of the huge window at the treetops and answering Q and A’s on my laptop. I try not to bring anything more into the house but I do love collecting practical pieces that are also beautiful like Vuela’s handmade salt and pepper bowls and some really special pieces that are nice to feast the eyes on like Vuela’s vintage marble mini vase.
Your home is located in the beautiful neighborhood of Los Feliz in LA. How would you describe the neighborhood? What are some of your favorite spots in the area, restaurants, shops, etc?
I would describe Los Feliz and a large cozy village. It is surrounded by other charming neighborhoods like Silver Lake, Atwater Village and Frogtown. We love a place called Salazar which serves delicious cocktails and mexican food alfresco. We like to go around sunset and have grilled trout and mezcal palomas.
As a stylist, you've worked with an amazing roster of designers, boutiques and publications. How do you approach each project? What are your inspirations or creative process?
I often am given creative direction and from that, I have to approach the project in a way that is very “me”. I figure if a client hires me they want “me” not a reiteration of what they’ve done in the past. I’m often hired by clients who want to go in a more elevated direction, more modern, sometimes they want me to shake them out of their comfort zone. Occasionally I get treated like a glorified shopper or dresser but I love when a client really wants what I have to offer and they’re willing to trust me. And when possible, I try on all of the looks myself and create looks that I would actually wear.
Running a business requires a lot of time and passion for what you do- on your down time, what are your other interests, passions or activities that you enjoy?
I enjoy cooking, going to the gym, going to the movies, eating, and just hanging out with Eddie.
While we see the styling wonders you put together on your feed, you're an avid cook and it's always a delight to catch a glimpse of your creations in your IG story. What are your favorite meals to prepare?
I love to prepare healthier versions of my favorite restaurant dishes. Zoodles with romesco, savory sweet potato waffles, sugar free desserts, breakfast salads, three- cup chicken made with leaner breast meat instead of thighs.
What are your must-have kitchen essentials?
A kitchen scale, a NutriBullet, and a really sharp Japanese steel knife.
Fun facts about you. Secret talents? Any irks and quirks you'd like to share?
I can sometimes do good impersonations. I kind of have Spidey Senses and therefore I’m a pretty good bullshit caller.
LA is home, but where would you like to travel next? What are your favorite places to visit?
I love visiting friends and family in the Sierra Nevadas, Maui, and Copenhagen. In October we are going to Spain, Portugal and maybe Morocco. After that I want to take a roadtrip across the USA. I want to see National Parks and natural wonders. One day I want to go to Japan for cherry blossom season.
Thank you so much Sissy and Eddie for welcoming into your beautiful home. It was truly a pleasure exploring and hangin' at your space and getting to know ya.
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