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 is a self-made retail entrepreneur, interior designer and owner of the extraordinary store Room at the Beach located in Malibu, California. Her branding of the California lifestyle helps people bring out the best in themselves by making their homes a beautiful, peaceful place to be. Her message is “Surround yourself with Beauty and you will see the world in beauty.”Elizabeth has designed projects from celebrity mansions to charming beach cottages to major office spaces, including those of Elizabeth Taylor, Whoopi Goldberg, Eva Longoria, Jensen Ackles, Maria Shriver, and more. She is also a guest blogger at, and was featured at Liza America’s Host’s 2011 Social Intimacy & Social Media: Why Face Time Is Still Key, which was held at Elizabeth’s store. As a blogger/contributor to eHow, Elizabeth was chosen as one of its “100 Women That Make a Shift” along with the likes of Diane von Furstenberg, Katherine Schwarzenegger and Bethenny Frankel. Room at the Beach has also been featured as a top store in LA Magazine. Learn more at and connect with her on Learn more at Facebook and Learn more at Instagram.

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