At Home With: Bungalow J

This storefront features pieces made by women around the world.
Photograph by Emily J. Davis

Kimm Jones opened Bungalow J in San Clemente in 2020. Not only does her shop carry home decor products that are hard to find elsewhere, such as handmade stoneware from Tunisia, but she also offers interior design services. Celebrate the holidays with Bungalow J and other shops during the city’s Puttin’ on the Glitz event Dec. 3.

How did you get into interior design?

I was an interior designer ever since I was a kid. When my mom wasn’t home, I would rearrange the furniture in the house and switch bedrooms with my brother and sister. It kind of just came naturally to me. My mom was very creative and talented, and we always lived in a beautiful house, but I tried to put my own personal touch on it. 

How did you start Bungalow J?

I’ve had my own design business for the past 20 years. Bungalow J was actually the name of our first beach house. When it came time to name the store, there really was no other name. It was my brainchild for a couple of years, but when we moved to San Clemente, I knew this would be the place we’d live and I’d open my business. I decided to do that, and it turned out to be the first year of COVID-19. The community supported us, and that’s how we made it through. We’re lucky, and I’m super grateful for that. We have people from all over the world who have been to our store. 

Bungalow J customers find items with a global flair that aren’t available elsewhere. Photograph by Emily J. Davis

Tell us about the products you carry.

One of the concepts of Bungalow J is that we buy from women in villages all over the world. We’re a women-supporting-women business. It’s always amazing to me that people who have the fewest resources make the absolute most beautiful products, and I’m proud to carry them in the store. We have stuff from Africa, Morocco, India, Spain, Bali, and more. We don’t normally reorder things, but when something is a great staple, we will continue to buy it. It’s important to me as an interior designer, and as a local to San Clemente, to bring something totally new and fresh. They’re not things you can buy on Amazon or that other people carry; it’s important to also have a global view about things. There’s a whole global market out there that I want to make people aware of.

What’s your favorite aspect of interior design?

It’s the people you work with who make the project super fun. Putting together a beautiful living space for people brings me great joy because I think everybody should live well. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. You just want to surround yourself with beautiful things, and you want to choose things intentionally. 

145 Avenida Del Mar
San Clemente