At Home with Jenni Kayne
The LA-based lifestyle guru gives us a glimpse inside her cozy California ranch-style home.
By Britt Burritt
Framed by windows and oatmeal-colored pillows, designer and tastemaker Jenni Kayne looks the picture of laid-back West Coast luxury, from her beach wave hair down to her natural leather mules. Her Brentwood home, which she shares with three kids—Tanner, 10, Ripley, 7, and Trooper, 9 months—her husband, Richard, and two labradoodles, Chachi and The Dude, is impeccably styled, with an immaculate ivory couch, stacks of art books and colorful children's toys.
Kayne's serene, natural aesthetic has taken a lifetime to hone, but now you can shop her namesake housewares and clothes at a Nordstrom pop-up shop through November 11.
Tell us about your house. What do you love about it?
It's a California ranch-style, it's a [Gerard] Colcord, who is an architect that I've always admired. I just love the energy and the feeling you get in here. You almost feel like you're in a little treehouse, the way that it sits with the light and all the windows. All the windows look out to trees. It's very bright but not super sunny. It feels like you're outside. Each room has a fireplace so it feels really cozy at the same time. There's a lot of wood paneling and wood beams. It's just great for our entire family.
How would you describe your home decor?
Super clean and organic. Usually neutral. Being a designer you're always playing with color and texture and your palette changes every season. At the heart of it, I'm drawn to a more organic palette because that's just timeless and I believe in creating things that live for a long time if not forever, and not having things be seasonable or disposable. It's not overstimulating. When I come home, I want to feel light and clean and happy.
What are some items every home needs?
Soft textiles, like amazing organic throws and pillows. We have some nice linen ones but also some Alpaca ones all made in Peru. We work with a factory that's all women and women-owned. They treat all the alpaca very humanely and harvest all the wool there. We were really lucky to find them. I love layering the pillows and throws. They're all super neutral and the textures go really nicely together. I have them on my window boxes and sofa. Investing in pieces like that is really great because you can also change it up, move them from one room to another.
Your home palette is very light. How do you keep it clean with three kids and two dogs?
I don't think anything should be too precious. If it is and doesn't work for your life, you shouldn't have it. So, although most of our furniture is pretty nice, I feel like it's really durable. When it comes to white sofas, I just invest in a bunch of painter's drop cloths that I throw through the wash to make a bit softer. Once you wash them, they're actually really pretty. I drape them over my sofa whenever we have parties with lots of kids or when we're playing with the dogs. That way when I have an adult dinner or a shoot, I just take them off and the couch looks great.
What kind of parties do you host at home?
All different kinds, both with kids and without. We just love having friends over for dinners and different holidays. I'm a casual entertainer but I love setting a table. I love doing flowers and setting different scenes. I think everything always feels casual, sort of "take your shoes off" but at the same time there's a lot of thought and energy that goes into it.
What entertaining tips can you share?
A trick my friend Annie taught me several years ago is to put out the ingredients and a little recipe card that tells people how to mix their own cocktail. We always make everyone their first drink, then they're on their own from there. I also love to have a special handmade parting gift. Just something special that people can leave with. Usually something we've made with the kids like an infused sea salt. For Thanksgiving, I love to make loaves of pumpkin bread. And whenever I get home or when I'm entertaining I light candles. I believe in choosing a signature scent for your home. For me, I rotate between my Ash and Cedar candles.
Shop the Jenni Kayne pop-up shop online and at Nordstrom stores in Century City in Los Angeles, CA; NorthPark Center in Dallas, TX; and Seattle, Washington through November 18.