This Fifth-Generation Angeleno’s Home Is a Love Letter to Her Family and City
Through vintage heirlooms and local art, she’s building a legacy for her sons.
Published Dec 29, 2021 1:10 AM
“L.A. runs through my veins,” designer and stylist Jordan Adero says proudly. She’s a fifth-generation Angeleno (on her dad’s side) and the great-granddaughter of Paul R. Williams, the architect behind structures like the Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airport and the 28th Street YMCA. Adero lived most of her life in a predominantly Black neighborhood in South Los Angeles until she headed to the East Coast after high school, kicking off her interior design career in New York City, working for the likes of Nicole Gibbons and Danielle Colding.
After meeting her husband, Rob, in New York (he happened to be her real-estate agent) and a brief stint in Atlanta years later, where the couple welcomed their first son, Jah (now 2), Adero returned to her roots. At the beginning of the pandemic, the then family of three left Georgia and moved into a two-bedroom apartment in Baldwin Hills that’s only a five-minute walk from her mom’s place. “The moment we walked in, we immediately felt this is where we want to raise our family,” recalls Adero.
You could know nothing about Adero’s past and still understand her love of California by simply stepping inside her space. Much of the art and furniture she’s sourced is from local South L.A. businesses, like mother-daughter–run shop Post 21, and artists, from Mariella Angela, whose oil painting portrait of Tupac Shakur hangs on the main gallery wall, to photographer Kasey Stokes, who captured scenes of lowriders in Crenshaw. “My home is a love letter to my family, my city, and my culture,” says Adero.
Her space is also a living legacy. In the living room, Jah and his 1-year-old brother, Yasir, can sit at a little desk that once belonged to Adero’s father when he was a child. “For me, design is about longevity. So many pieces in the house were passed down to me from my grandparents or my great-grandparents,” she shares. The curtains in the corner are a custom project: The top part is old Anthropologie window treatments Adero sourced secondhand; the bottom is fabric that the designer’s mom sourced on a trip to Ghana. The pair of authentic Yoruba chairs, which Adero sourced from a vendor who gets the hand-beaded furniture from Nigeria (they take about three months to make), are future heirlooms for her sons. “Everything I do is for them one way or another,” she says.
Many of the objects are meant to be conversation starters, whether it’s the collage of family photographs in the entry (look closely and you’ll see a snapshot of Adero’s reporter grandfather interviewing Bob Marley) or the textile hanging on the wall by the dining table (her grandparents brought the fabric back from Egypt where they renewed their vows). “I want my kids to see things and ask about them, so I can tell them little stories about our family and our culture,” she explains. The vibrant cloth is also a reminder of what it takes to maintain a marriage, “especially when things are really busy,” she notes. “You have to carve out time to make special moments with your partner.”
The abstract painting hanging in the boys’ Yves Klein Blue bedroom is another nod to the couple’s relationship (Adero and her husband made the piece together on one of their first dates). “It took a lot of wine to get to the painting point of the evening, but it was fun,” she says with a laugh. To zhuzh it up a bit, she stuck a vibrant fabric sample in the center.
Even though Jah and Yasir are surrounded by personal treasures, nothing is overly precious. The crisp white sofa from Crate & Barrel in the living room is meant to be climbed on by the kids. (Psst: The chic piece is slipcovered.) “It has seen wine spills, applesauce, peanut butter—the whole gamut,” Adero confirms. “I’m not always on edge.”
All bookworms at their core, the family doesn’t own a TV. In the living room, the kids’ books are displayed on low shelves so they can access them on their own. In the couple’s bedroom, a James Baldwin quote from If Beale Street Could Talk in bright neon letters lights up the wall: “Love brought you here.”
“It felt really good to be home and feel settled,” says Adero of deciding to make the sign the one-and-only mounted artwork in their room after moving in. “It really felt like love brought us back to L.A. and to each other. It’s the perfect exclamation point to where we are in our lives.”
Favorite home stores:
- My own online store, where I sell curated collections of home goods
- Post 21
- Cultural Interiors
- Bole Road Textiles
- 54 Kibo