At her sustainable Topanga Canyon home, top model Angela Lindvall, 35, greets us without a hint of makeup…or attitude. She’s the real deal. And she’s embracing the life she long dreamed of when she operated at the other end of the lifestyle spectrum. “I’ve lived a lot of my life in airplanes and photo studios, and I used to dream about having a homestead,” says Lindvall.
Now she does—but she took a circuitous route to get there. “In my twenties, I was living in New York City and fighting for environmental causes,” the longtime activist explains. But then in 2006, she went through a divorce, and a few months later, her sister died in a tragic bicycle accident. “Everything just caved in on me,” Lindvall recalls. “Here I was trying to save the planet, and meanwhile I was a mess—I was falling apart.”
“I think this photo looks like something out of Little Miss Sunshine. My partner, Chris, and I take the boys camping or on road trips in our little VW. There’s the inevitable complaining and fighting along the way, but we always look back fondly on the outings.”
So Lindvall went on a healing journey. She studied Kundalini yoga (a dynamic form of yoga that involves awakening awareness). She traveled with her two sons (Dakota, 12, and Sebastian, 9) to destinations like Bali in order to broaden their perspectives. And she put roots down, literally: She planted about 40 fruit trees around her California property, as well as an elaborate vegetable garden.
“Hiking is one of the most beautiful things you can do with your kids. It’s a chance for them to quiet their minds and get in tune with nature. Being a parent is such a trip. Now that my boys are getting older, they’re becoming my biggest teachers.”
Inside the house, she decorated with green materials like reclaimed wood and upcycled denim. She also installed a chicken coop, an in-ground trampoline (surrounded by rows of herbs, “so when you jump, you breathe in these amazing scents”), and—her favorite—a yoga tent made from an old army parachute.
“I’m wearing a Chanel jean dress I’ve had for years that feels farm-appropriate. This picture is so me—it captures the dichotomy of my life. There’s my high-fashion side, but at heart, I’m just a shit-kicking tomboy from Kansas City.”
“It’s been really powerful to realize that one of the best ways to make change is to start with yourself,” she says. “When you make good choices, it has a ripple effect through your family, your community, and beyond.”
• Photographs by Angela Lindvall
• Story by Christine Richmond
See more of Angela’s life in Naturally, Danny Seo. Premiere issue out now.