Jenni Kayne :
Nature, Simplicity, and Beauty
Los Angeles-based designer Jenni Kayne looks to the landscape
to inspire fresh, California-curated worlds.
For lifestyle designer and founder of the casually luxe, Los Angeles-born lifestyle brand Jenni Kayne, the natural world is a touchstone. She turns to the landscape and its seasonal bounty for helping cultivate an aesthetic she describes as “decidedly inspired by nature, driven by simplicity, and defined by beauty.”
This is not boilerplate—her artistic interpretations of this sensibility, including in the home design and entertaining realms, have made Kayne the most reliable brand ambassador for the easy, elegant lifestyle, if not the Martha Stewart of SoCal (with a less elaborate agenda).
The sense of freshness and stylistic consistency that infuses Kayne’s boutiques and her blog Rip & Tan (named for her kids, Ripley and Tanner) gives vision to her new book Pacific Natural (Rizzoli), an inspiration-rife guide featuring seasonal settings in the designer’s sumptuously designed West Coast homes, along with cataloging all manner of advice.
These lush, minimal vignettes have the feel of the Jenni Kayne Home collection, a line expressed by cozy textiles, calming neutrals and tone-setting décor. Together these elements evoke an easy Southern California elegance that hinges on Kayne’s primary influence across all her platforms—nature.
With respect to the local landscape, Kayne says: “You hear a lot of stereotypes and preconceived notions about Los Angeles. . .but what a lot of people don’t realize is that it’s not a vast land of strip malls and mansions, but rather a dynamic metropolis that’s cultured and diverse, both in its population and its vegetation.” Kayne calls on this texture for her designs. She is not the only designer to do this, certainly, but does seem more mindfully attuned about doing so. Her preoccupations are her practice and vice versa. Pacific Natural argues—in the aesthetic of a gauzy, holistic dream state—a strong case that perhaps we should entwine our lives similarly.
Few are as responsible as Kayne for the quintessential California cool look, all flow and organic beauty with an obvious provenance. But should one need a firmer definition of this idea, then “Pacific Natural” hits it the head quite nicely. Consider accenting: Kayne mixes a fairy dusting’s worth of exterior elements into a kind of effortless, made-in-the-moment milieu that one loses herself to on Instagram then frantically tries to recreate in a space of her own making.
“Whether it’s a foraged arrangement of florals and clippings, or place settings with sprigs of rosemary or thyme, or takeaways that tie back to the meal,” says Kayne, the work is “always rooted to what you can find outside.”
The aesthetic result is grounded and soulful: lovely layers curated from an intentional place. It is quite like Kayne to take a bunch of clippings from her garden to the florist for an arrangement or keep things easy and do a little decorating with available fruit and vegetables. Using what one has, she notes, taking stocking of the scenery at hand, is the crux of her personal ethos. One perfectly suited to these times, when the urge to simplify is as overwhelming as it is socially responsible.
Keeping it simple is never truly easy, of course, but in reclaiming the landscape to make life a little more beautiful, Kayne is a natural.
PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY OF © ANGI WELSCH