Welcome to At Home, a series where we step inside the most sacred spaces of visionary souls who inspire us. We were invited into the Southern California home of Molly Sedlacek, principal designer and creative force behind landscape design studio OR.CA, where she and her team create beautifully undone landscapes that feel artful, yet wild, in an inherent-to-nature, perfectly imperfect kind of way. Join us as we explore the world of design, sustainability, and the daily rituals that spark her creativity.
Thank you for welcoming us into your home. Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you spend your time.
I am a second generation landscape designer based in Los Angeles. My time is spent with plants, people, or hiking the golden hills of California with my dog, Bear.
How does your home reflect your personality?
My home is a compilation of found objects from nature and local craftspeople. I believe materials have energy. And for me, I like to collect and curate objects so that I understand their story.
What inspires you most when creating your ideal spaces? Is there a process you follow?
For me space (indoors or outdoors) is all about light. My home has clay walls which serve as a textured canvas that allows other materials to become heightened by this wonderful light/shadow occurrence that dances behind them and on them.
My process is taping a space out to see how scale feels. Proportions are so important and I often draw things larger to give them more emphasis in a room or garden. Then, holding up color options to understand what a hue does with the natural light on it. I am very slow with color selection because choosing the right warmth is really important. The more I further my career in design, the more sensitive I am to color.
Do you feel your space is driven more by aesthetic or function?
Aesthetic because I cannot function in a space that feels unharmonized visually.
Sustainability has always been extremely important to me as it means protecting Mother Earth, who gives so much to us, and ensuring that future generations have the privilege of experiencing her in the ways that we have been able to.
Can you tell us the stories behind some of your favorite things in your home?
- A redwood burl that my friend Dave from Hawk and Stone carved.
- A walnut mirror my dad made using an old trunk he had at their home in Oregon.
- A plant dyed textile art piece called “Horses” by my friend Lucie.
- A raked piece of Yuba Tuba Granite cube in the garden.
- My collection of ceramics that I’ve gathered over the years and have been gifted.
Which Coyuchi piece do you gravitate toward the most?The linen bedding, because it makes me feel at ease. There is a softness and a relaxed quality to it that always looks good with little effort in making the bed, and always invites me into it to unwind. I wake up quick, and early, and having a simple ritual of making the bed is important to me. The linen works great for my lifestyle.
What steps have you taken to make your home more sustainable? And why is sustainability important to you?The home I live in is constructed from nearly all local and sustainable materials. The countertops are made from LA river rock, the timber is all upcycled from fallen LA county trees, the exterior is cork oak, and the brick is from Sacramento. To me, homes should be made of materials that are in proximity to the job site. There is a resourcefulness and responsibility when it comes to sourcing materials for construction (both home and landscape). This is very important to me because we have a choice of where the materials come from. My motto is keep it local and lighten the building footprint.
How do the realms of design, food, and entertaining intersect in your life?
My home sits above ORCA’s studio and workspace. Therefore most of my days are spent with our team or clients in the garden and the outdoor spaces I’ve created. There’s a wonderful feeling of gathering outdoors in Southern California and the outdoor design is what we commune around.
What are your must-do daily rituals and why are they important to you?
Coffee, yoga, burning sweet grass incense, a walk in nature with Bear, a salt bath, tea, chocolate. I am a big fan of exercising all of the senses and these rituals do just that.
And lastly, please describe your style in 3 words.
Intentional, worn, substantial.