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Justina Blakeney Designs for the Wild at Heart

Designer and founder Justina Blakeney has lived a life: There was that time while living in Italy that she worked as a TV host for a local Tuscany-based show. There was also that time she and her sister, Faith, opened up a boutique in Florence selling handbags and vintage T-shirts—then a novel concept for Florentines (hey—it was the early 2000s!). And those were just the early years.

By the time Blakeney turned 30 she could speak five languages and had already spent time in Barcelona, Madrid, and Córdoba, Spain; Buenos Aires; Copenhagen; Marrakech, Morocco; Jerusalem; and Jakarta, Indonesia.

Though in 2009 it was the sunny, open-air lifestyle of the West Coast that lured the Berkeley native back home. After spending a decade amid cobblestone and concrete, she moved into a 1920s bungalow-style home in Los Angeles. Blakeney was relieved to be immersed in so much greenery outside her window.

It was also the first time she lived alone and could create a space that purely reflected her taste. So she filled her home with wild patterns, lush textures, and kaleidoscopic colors. And it was that winding path that ultimately inspired her to create her blog, Jungalow—a portmanteau fusing the words bungalow and jungle. Years later, the experience morphed from a blog into a full-on brand, an endeavor she bootstrapped herself.

Jungalow: Decorate Wild by Justina Blakeney, $29 at Amazon

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Now a wife, mother, and New York Times best-selling author, Blakeney has recently released her third book. In Decorate Wild she offers readers a mix of memoir with a heavy helping of inspiration to DIY their own homes in an authentic way. “The last two books were really outward-focused, and this book is really inward-focused,” she says to Glamour.

Whatever your taste—modern, rustic, boho—there’s a global message to Blakeney’s design approach. Our homes should be “a place for creating and growing.” And speaking of growing, she also recommends we all go hard on the plants (the brand is named Jungalow, after all).

For Glamour’s Doing the Work column, entrepreneur and interiors maven Justina Blakeney gives us a glimpse into her career, how we can all be a bit happier at work, and the work essentials she just can’t live without.


Glamour: What time do you get up? 

Justina Blakeney: I sort of wake up with the sun. So that means around a quarter to six.

What’s your typical morning routine?

Each day looks a little different. When I get up early, I have an outdoor shower, so I’ll just go rinse off. The sun is rising and I have a moment to myself. Then I’ll go into the kitchen and make a coffee or tea and check my emails and see what’s happening in the world. I check the news, my stocks, all that stuff. Then my family usually starts to wake up around 7:30 a.m., at which time we usually have breakfast together.

Are you a breakfast person?

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