GLB: What do you do/what industry are you in?
Lale: I'm an interior designer and founder of Normal, an interior design studio based in NYC and LA. I design residential and commercial spaces, as well as build an intentional community within this industry both on social media and through in-person events.
GLB: How long have you lived in your space?
Lale: I moved into my first Los Angeles home in October 2022 after subletting in the city for a couple of months and finally deciding to go for my own, very unexpectedly.
GLB: What makes this space “home?”
Lale: This is my first LA home, in a city that I never expected to feel at home. I'm originally from Istanbul, Turkey and have been living on the East Coast for a decade now. However, when I rented this place as an addition to my New York apartment, I moved in with just one luggage and a very intentional mindset on how to design it. For me a space can only turn into a home through emotional connection, and building memories and growth. Each piece that you see in this place is either vintage, secondhand, made by a local artist or gifted to me from my family. I spent so much time putting everything together from sourcing to being patient for the right piece to find me. I think that patience and physical work I put in made this place a home for me. I definitely crave to be back at home after a long work day, and that alone is enough to feel at peace with here.
GLB: What are 3 things in your apartment that you can’t live without?
Lale: First is definitely my vintage burlwood dining table. I take all my calls and meetings there, journal, watch shows, eat…sit in silence. Where I spend the most of my time basically.
The evil eye on my kitchen wall, gifted by my mom when I moved in from Turkey. All Turkish homes have evil eyes as decor, we believe that the shape takes the negative energy in your space and protects you. A Turkish home won't be complete without one, and as tradition you have to get one as a gift, not buy for yourself, so it makes me even more happy that it came from my mother.
The blankets on my couch and armchairs. They were a collaboration between Normal and Bien Mal that we launched in 2022. They were the first reason I traveled to LA for work back then, and I decided to sublet during our photoshoot for the launch. We were inspired by the common cultural elements we share in our childhood and roots, therefore they hold a lot of sentimental value for me, both as a depiction of home and the beginning of my LA journey.
GLB: How would you describe your personal/interior style in 3 words?
Late: Past-mindful, intentional, sensual
GLB: What room do you spend the most time in? Why?
Lale: Definitely by far my kitchen / dining area. Cooking is definitely a way to calm my mind, and this is the first home I have a dining table in by myself so I have been hosting and cooking for my close people often. Lately, the way the light shines into the apartment has been changing as the seasons go, and I love how orange it gets around early evening here.
GLB: What are your favorite neighborhood spots?
Lale: My favorite coffee shop, Endorffeine in Chinatown, is open Friday-Monday.
Lasita next to it for dinner.
Cafe Triste, my favorite and most frequented wine bar in Chinatown as well, they are 5 minutes away to me so I'm listing them as my recs.
I go to Grand Central Market often, for sandwich lovers Wexler’s Deli is really good there.
It's not my first go-to but I do enjoy Blue Bottle Coffee in Downtown.
I do also love entering Bradbury Building next to it just to admire the architecture as I sip my coffee.