Creating the California Lifestyle


As the warm spring days start showing up in Southern California, I am drawn to the idea of opening up my house to create that beloved indoor/outdoor feeling that I have, living in Malibu. I want to spring clean and rearrange my house. There are lots of birthdays in our lives right now and so it is the perfect time to start celebrating family and friends. What better way to do this than entertaining?

I want to share with you how to bring our amazing California Lifestyle into your own home. Let’s go…

Firstly–Throw open the doors and windows and let drops of sunshine blow away the long winter dullness. Experience the smells and scents of spring. When I walk out my door, the scents of orange blossoms and jasmine are intoxicating. I love to leave the windows open and have those scents fill my rooms. If you don’t have sweet scents outdoors, create a window box with lavender and rosemary that scents the air as the wind passes by.

California has an abundance of hiking trails and beaches and I am never at a loss to fill my home with flowers, branches all pilfered from nature. Walk down to the beach, lake, creek or wherever you can find a bit of nature and bring it back indoors. Fill hurricanes with some sand, moss and layer with rocks, shells. Put a pillar in the hurricane and you have begun your transformation to spring.

Next, change up your pillows and throws. Put away (after cleaning) those wintery rust, greens, and browns and add some great soft greens and blues. Let the colors of the sky and blossoming leaves be your guide. Large graphic prints look current and the entire room will pop with color by just changing a few details.

Now that the windows are cleaned (please no more rain) and the rooms have been freshened, let’s get to those parties.

Every April we get a flurry of friends from back East who come to the sunshine of California. Small dinner parties are my favorite, especially Friday night ones. I am always working, so the meal has to be simple, relaxing and fun. I put my guests to work. They chop for salads while I get to the main course. Fish is easy and the best when fresh and simply grilled. A quick cous-cous and the dinner is practically done. Let’s get to the table because that’s where my passion lies…

Layering and special details are what make a great table. I love a simple white plate which is best for showing off the food you have created. But what’s around it is what counts. Napkin rings are my weakness so I always pull out something fun, but anything to add just another layer of interest is great. If you don’t have some rings on hand, use what’s around you. Put a piece of fruit on the plate to act as a place card. “You, my dear, are the lemon tonight!” what fun to look at your friends as fruit!

Still a bit chilly to eat outside? What says California more than bringing inside out and vice versa? I love organic and rustic mixed with fine dinnerware. The key is to mix up your things. I have recently been in love with burlap on the table. You can get it at any fabric store and make your own. The colors of brown and blue set the color theme and off we go.

California says ease and that’s what I want you to embrace in your own homes — casual with style — that sums up my look. Until next time…hope you will be California dreamin.’


Photos :House Beautiful, Seize the day

About the Author

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Elizabeth Lamont has owned a retail shop, Room at the Beach in Malibu for over 20 years. She has been helping clients, from celebrities and locals to people all around the country, to create that perfect combination of classic, relaxed California living. You can visit her blog here or contact her to incorporate a bit of California living into your own home at Room At The Beach. She is also on Facebook.

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