Cortney & Jenna of A Whimsy Wonderland
Los Angeles, CA
Photos: A Whimsy Wonderland
What is some of the best advice you have ever received?
Wow! We’ve received so much. We’ve been so lucky to be welcomed into a community of supportive guys and gals who are eager to share advice! From the get-go, colleagues advised us to “know our worth.” This is so important in the social media/marketing industry. Don’t undervalue your work. Also, take pride in what you create and what you’re representing. If what you create is important to you, people will connect with it. Try your best to keep it genuine.
Are there any design rules you follow?
Not so much “rules”, but we always say “more is more!” We tend to love color blocking, pattern mixing, and complete and total monochromatic scenes!
Any secrets for capturing great images?
For our aesthetic, we go for images that are high in saturation and high in contrast! Natural daylight is our bff. Nothing beats an image captured in great natural light. Our lifestyle is very much “out and about”, so we tend to carry our camera with us for when something grabs our attention! You never know when a photo op will present itself!
Why is color so important? What does it represent to you?
It represents happiness! As cheesy as it sounds, we’ve really found ourselves in color. Dressing colorfully has truly changed our lives. It’s caused us to be out of our comfort zones a little more, thus making our personalities slightly more extraverted and welcoming to new people coming into our lives! We’ve been inspired by this entire colorful community, and through that, have gained some of our now best friends! Also, there’s nothing like the feeling when a five-year-old girl walks by you and gets excited because you’re wearing something slightly ridiculous, like head-to-toe pink (which is a pretty common occurrence around these parts).
What is something that you wish you would've known when you were 20?
Not to be so concerned with what others are thinking. Because in all reality, they’re not concerned with what you’re doing, they’re thinking about themselves. You do you!
What inspires you?
We’re very inspired by any and all things eclectic & quirky! Wes Anderson is a huge inspiration for both of us! And we’re inspired by the people around us. Both on Instagram and irl! Moving to Los Angeles kind of opened up a whole new world *cue Little Mermaid*. It’s a city full of inspiration around every corner.
What is essential to creating a personal sanctuary?
It’s essential to have a place that’s kind of your “happy place,” where you can either sit and write a whole blog post or binge on Netflix. A mood board of inspiration, your favorite scented candle, a good book or two, just positive vibes all around.
What are your interests besides blogging?
Believe it or not, we have a few! Blogging/Instagram may take up the bulk of our time, but we do enjoy spending time doing other things too! Cortney really enjoys hiking with her husband, yoga, and cooking, and anything that involves her dog, Lily. She can also give you the best TV show recommendations. Jenna is a dancer & singer (why she originally moved to L.A.). While Cort is more of a TV gal, Jenna is an avid movie watcher. Some of her favorites are: Matilda, Amelie, and Coraline! And we both enjoy a good Sunday brunch, a bold red blend, and ending our work days with pasta and Netflix. It’s a Monday tradition.
What is essential to nurturing your creativity or what drives your creativity?
We nurture our creativity by taking breaks. What’s so great about having a partner is that when life happens, we can pick up the slack for each other. We think it’s pretty cool that we were best friends first, and then business partners, and we’ve kept the relationship that way. We are pretty different people, and in turn, that keeps all of our ideas fresh, and helps us to look at each situation from at least two perspectives. Having a sounding board (each other) for every idea we’ve had helps refine each concept and inspires creativity.
Five tips for designing a nurturing home/space?
1. Find a color that makes you happy & base the concept of your space around that.
2. A comfortable seat to have while you’re working makes all the difference. Trust us on that.
3. Keep it organized. Trust us on that too. It gets tedious to clean, but you can’t create/relax in a disorganized space.
4. Invest in some cute storage that makes you happy to look at & is cohesive with the space that you’re in (such as a rental apartment).
5. We mentioned it above, but we believe a mood board is important. And create your own! It’s important to remind yourself of your goals and creative directions! It’ll force you to seek out inspiration that is specific to your taste! And change it up. There are different seasons of life, and inspiration changes along with it!
Ways to make your space come more alive?
Basically just base your space around your personality. Neither of our spaces have a specific theme. As we said before, we tend to go for a more eclectic style, so a lot of our pieces are based around that style. Don’t be afraid to go bold. Buy the ridiculous, giant photo of a flamingo with sunglasses on cause it made you smile when you walked past it. Don’t necessarily focus on what’s trending, focus on what makes you happy, and somehow it’ll work.
Any design hacks you wanna share?
We don’t consider ourselves DIY queens, and you don’t have to either! It’s totally fine if that’s not your thing. But there’s a happy medium in between building something from scratch and buying a super expensive finished product. Check your local Craigslist (or sometimes the streets of LA) for pieces you might be in need of that can easily be spruced up with as little as a coat of paint! This is where you can get creative and really personalize each item without having to use a saw.
10 Question Slam
1. Something you always have in your bag? Jenna: At least 10 lipsticks Cortney: Snacks of some sort
2. Where do you do most of your collecting? Flea markets!
3. Where do you shop to find your favorite pieces? Our top four: Los Angeles vintage shops, ASOS, Zara, and our favorite vintage shopping app @shopwhurl 4. If you had to design a room in one color, what would it be? PINK
5. Which designers or sites give you the most inspiration? Mara Hoffman, Wes Anderson, Iris Apfel. The blogs: A Beautiful Mess, Studio DIY, Design Love Fest The Instagram’s: @hotpinkpineapples, @splendid_rags, @melodrama 6. What hashtags do you use to find awesome design on Instagram? #pursuepretty, #flashesofdelight, #livecolorfully, #candyminimal, #prettylittlething, #abmathome
7. Where do you start when you remake a room? We’re saying it again (sorry, not sorry), but MOOD BOARDS! We can’t give them enough credit. And luckily we’re in the age of Pinterest, so creating a specifically curated Pinterest board for all of your ideas for that particular room!
8. What's the fastest way to shift a space? Moving the staple piece of the room first, like the bed or the couch. That gives the room a whole new feel and direction to base all the other details on!
9. One of your favorite quotes: Cortney: “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” -Albus Dumbledore Jenna: “I want to make everything around me beautiful. That will be my life.” - Elsie de Wolfe
10. Something we wouldn't know about you? Cortney: I won a blueberry pie eating contest when I was 10. Still probably one of the proudest moments of my life.
Jenna: I can’t eat anything remotely spicy. Not even black pepper!
We’re Jenna & Cortney. We met when we both moved to L.A. and became fast friends. We literally bonded over donuts. We believe everything is as beautiful as you choose to see it. We share a strong love for Los Angeles and we want to share it with everyone!