The Style Files: Lauren Liess

lauren liess

One of my favorite things about writing this blog for the past nine years is that it has brought some wonderful friendships into my life. I don’t remember exactly when Lauren Liess and I first became friends, but it feels like forever ago. She started her blog, Pure Style Home around the time that I started writing La Dolce Vita and she always says we’re part of the same “graduating class”. We’ve been in this world from what feels like the beginning and we’ve both experienced the amazing opportunities that blogging has brought our way. I could not be prouder of everything Lauren has accomplished– the list is not short! She has a thriving design business and her work has been featured in House Beautiful, Luxe, Southern Living, and Domino, among other publications.

Lauren is not only an incredibly talented designer, she is also one of the most genuine, sweetest, and inspiring people I know. She has so much on her plate between managing her design business, product design, writing her first book, Habitat with a second one on the horizon, and her wonderful husband and four children,  yet somehow, she does it all with grace and always has a smile on her face. Lauren doesn’t complain, she just figures it out. She is also one of the most astute women I know in the design business and has been such a kind and supportive mentor and friend to me.  I am sure most of you must already know about and follow Lauren, but I hope you’ll get to know a bit more about what makes her so special in today’s installment of The Style Files. Enjoy!


Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Lauren Liess: Relaxed, natural, collected.

Liess Home

PC: Has living in the Washington, D.C. area influenced your aesthetic in any way?

LL: I think there is a level of formality in DC decorating that helped me define my style in contrast. I first learned what was traditional “DC” to me and then sort of tweaked that a bit into something I loved and felt excited about, which meant adding in more natural elements, casual materials & textiles, and quirks.


PC: What does your home say about you?

LL: I think my home shows that although we’ve got four kids and a dog, we haven’t given up fighting the good fight and still truly care about design and living beautifully. Yes, there’s mess (oh my gosh, is there mess!!!) but I have white floors, a white sofa, honed marble countertops and other supposed “no-nos” for a busy household. No rooms are “off-limits” to our kids and they’ve learned to be careful of certain things. It also probably says we love to eat; we have a vegetable garden instead of a front lawn and spend a lot of time out there, hanging out and picking vegetables for cooking. And finally, I think our home says that I love nature. We love to collect natural objects and display them around the house.

Liess Home

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

LL: Nature, old textiles, gardens, places I’ve visited (or read about when I can’t travel enough)– boo hoo!


PC: Who is your personal style icon?

LL: Sharon Tate

sharon tate

{Sharon Tate | Image via The New York Times}

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

LL: Terrible reality TV. Love it.


PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?

LL: Goodness. I think it’s hard to be good and kind and we all have to work on it, so I really admire those people who don’t’ get caught up in unimportant things, drama, etc. and treat everyone respectfully and with kindness.


PC: Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

LL: My dad. He’s always had his own companies and I admire his entrepreneurial spirit.


PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

LL: Being with my family and friends, enjoying great food, drinks and music, and being outside somewhere beautiful.


PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

LL: I’m moving again, so I’ll be working on another home over the next couple of years. I’m really excited about a new build we’re working on in Gibson Island designed by Hutker Architects that features four shingled “buildings” connected by a concrete central area surrounded in glass. We’ll finish up late next summer. Another book is also on the horizon. I’m releasing a new textile collection for Lauren Liess Textiles late this Fall and launching the Lauren Liess Textiles wallpaper collection.



Snip20160815_105Go-To Outfit: jeans/peasant blouse

Style Mantra: Fresh, effortless, natural

Scent: I can’t pick between my favorite “white flower” scents I love them all!! Magnolia, Gardenia, Jasmine, Lily of the Valley mm mm!!

Piece of Jewelry: simple diamond pendant

Color I Never Tire Of: white

Flower: Queen Anne’s Lace

Indispensable Design Element: something sculptural in every room

Era for Design: 60s

Dream Project: a vacation home on a beautiful property… could be on the water, in the mountains or in the country… just somewhere that has its own soul where the setting guides the project

Fabric/Textile: linen

Hostess Gift: something from my garden

Meal: charcuterie & fresh greens and vegetables

Drink: Pinot Grigio

Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: Hanging in my garden with my family, wine, and cheese


3 Things I Love About My City: the museums, its beauty, and historical places

Weekend Destination: New Orleans

Hotel: Cheeca Lodge

City: Venice

Museum: Smithsonian Natural History Museum

Artist: Archimboldo

Actor/Actress: Heath Ledger

Prized Possession: My grandmother’s ring

Risk Worth Taking: owning a business

Greatest Extravagance: Delivered Whole Foods

Go-To Color Palette: white, black and wood

Movie Set Design: Parent Trap (the original) or High Society

I can never have too many… chairs!

Paloma Signature

{Photography by Helen Norman, Courtesy of Lauren Liess}

Shop The Post
You May Also Like...
The Prettiest Collection: Khaite Resort ’19
One of my favorite labels as of late has been Khaite, designed by Courtney...
Lust List: June 2018
Now that summer is officially here, I have pretty dresses, breezy silhouettes, tan leather...
A Note on Style: The Beauty of A Neutral Story
Is there anything more chic than a summer wardrobe based on warm neutrals? A...
Revisiting a Very Chic House
A few years ago, I came across the stunning home of Emma Jane Pilkington...
2018 LDV Father’s Day Gift Guide
Father’s Day is just two weeks away! Can you believe it? It usually feels...
The Style Files: Benjamin Reynaert
Benjamin Reynaert is an up and coming editor with a brilliant eye and vibrant...

Tell Me What You Think! leave a comment...

  1. Thank You Paloma for your great post! You TWO – lAUREN and yourself are my two most favourite bloggers ever and a True INSPIRATION!!! Thank you sooo much for what you TWO do!! All the BEST to YOU!!

    LOVE and big hug to YOU & Lauren!
    you are read in Poland! 🙂

  2. Lovely interview, Paloma! I’ve been a huge fan of both yours and Lauren’s blog for the last couple of years. You two are such an inspiration and a real pleasure to follow! Good luck (to both of you) with your new home design plans. I’m looking forward to follow along 🙂