One of the many unexpected gifts that motherhood has brought with it is a new found sisterhood. A sisterhood of fellow Mamas, each of us finding our feet, learning the ropes of parenthood and growing up in a whole new way together. One source of this newfound sisterhood has come from Fashion Mamas. Started by magazine-editor-turned-momepreneur Natalie Alcala, and consisting of fellow minded Mamas in the creative worlds. So when they asked me to open my home for their #MamaCribs feature…how could I say no!
Here are intimate images of my family and home captured by the talented @Engfilms with words from his beautiful wife (and fellow FashionMama), Nara Walker.
I hope you enjoy!
Link to original article here.
Kathryn Eisman is an accomplished multi-hyphenate: Emmy-nominated television journalist, former head of Fashion and Lifestyle at E! News, international bestselling author, Fashion Mamas LA member, wife, and mother to daughter Capri. Eisman, along with her husband Siimon Reynolds, debated residing in New York, where Kathryn worked as a journalist. When a trip brought them to Los Angeles, Kathryn and Siimon decided to start fresh, creating their home and life together in Los Angeles’ vibrant metropolis.
Finding a home that reflected the couple’s love for modern architecture but embraced natural elements to remind them of their native Sydney was no easy feat. As Kathryn recalls, real estate is much like that of fashion, “it’s like a killer handbag you get to live in!” And as we fashion-obsessed very well know, sometimes you’ve got to be stealth and smart about nagging said killer handbag. As such, when a modern sugar-cube home quietly crept onto the real estate market late one evening, Kathryn and her husband did a midnight drive by — and the rest is history. The home sits on a quiet street just steps away from the energy of Melrose Avenue. The light-filled contemporary home balances beautifully with Kathryn’s love of pastel. We recently visited Kathryn at her dreamy home to discuss how she balances it all: motherhood, career, and her current project, High Heel Jungle.
Who do you live with?
I live with my husband Siimon Reynolds, our three-and-a-half year old daughter Capri, and our two oversized fluffy cats Samson and Lamington (named after my favorite coconut-covered Aussie dessert).
What area of LA do you live in, and what initially attracted you to both the area and your home?
We live in West Hollywood, in a pocket called Melrose Village. My husband and I are both from Sydney, and when we moved to LA we didn’t want to leave the energy and vibrancy of Bondi Beach or Soho behind. Our home is very peaceful and quiet, but step outside and you’re moments away from great coffee, fabulous shopping, and all the madness of Melrose.
Describe the vibe of your home.
It’s a mix of modern, clean lines, and whimsical soft pastel details. We both love natural surfaces. The wide raw oak floorboards remind us of our childhood in Australia, which were largely spent outdoors. I have a lifelong love of pink and pastel hues, so the space is infused with lots of sorbet shades, be it large-scale confectionary-colored contemporary artworks, crystals, or pink mid-century dining chairs. We wanted a touch of grown-up glamour, but it was essential that nothing was too precious. It’s very relaxed so our daughter and her friends (or even I) can be fun and messy!
If you could use three words to describe your personality what would they be?
Creative, playful, warm, and someone who seeks the depth and levity in every situation. (Notice brevity is not one of those three words! )
If you could use three words to describe your home what would it be?
Modern, open, and whimsical.
What kinds of items do you love to surround yourself with? How do these items identify with your personality?
I’m obsessed with the oversized works by Irish artist Lola Donoghue. Her work has a dreamy, light quality but the longer you look at it, the more layers you discover. I discovered her work and begged her to accept a commission for our home even though she doesn’t do them. The piece above our formal lounge is the largest she’s ever created and I feel so lucky that my begging, pleading, and general groveling worked!
We have large rose quartz and amethyst crystals that I’ve sourced from around the world. They have a coolness to them, but they also emit warmth and good energy.
I have always loved velvet couches. When we moved into this home, my husband said, “Kath, please not another velvet lounge!” Sorry Siimon! I am very kinesthetic and velvet is one of my favorite textures. (It might also explain why I have two enormous fluffy cats and why I can’t stop squeezing my poor daughter!)
What is your favorite place in your home?
Our formal lounge room and the back garden by the pool.
Where do you and your family spend the most time in the home and why?
The kitchen; it’s where my daughter and I bake cakes and cookies after I pick her up from nursery school. Sad fact: Aged three, Capri is already better at cracking eggs into the mixer than I am! However, we are both equally good at eating our work!
What is your favorite item in your home and why?
I love the 15-foot vintage Moroccan Boucherouite rug we hang in our atrium. I purchased it from ABC Carpet & Homewhen I was in New York covering Fashion Week for E! News. It was a bit of a gamble and I hoped it would fit the 25-foot space. I love the irregularity, the imperfection, and how the vibrant shades have mellowed, but not disappeared over time. [I also love] how creativity and hard work have literally turned rags into art.
We always have fresh flowers in the home, often large fluffy garden roses, peonies, or cherry blossoms from Lily Lodge in West Hollywood. Her flowers actually smell like flowers and I love the life and sweet scent they bring into our home. When they start to wilt, rather than throw them out, I use the rose petals in Capri’s bath each night. I sprinkle them above her head and she laughs with delight, although I better stop before she gets too used to this kind of treatment!
How have you translated your aesthetic into Capri’s nursery?
It has the same pastel and white ethereal quality that I adore. When I moved to New York from Sydney at the age of 21, a very sophisticated slightly friend [of mine] had silk dupioni curtains in her fancy Upper East Side apartment. When I was decorating Capri’s bedroom, I found white dupioni silk and had curtains made to drape to the floor. They remind me of my friend’s magical apartment.
Right next to the curtains is a rather tired looking sky blue sofa that was the first piece of furniture I bought as an adult. I was 22 years old, working as news reporter for NBC in New York. This sofa became the centerpiece of my tiny Nolita apartment. I was so proud of it. I keep it as a reminder of my journey, my struggles, and my blessings.
What is your favorite thing about your child’s room?
One item that has deep meaning to our family is a small silver angel that hangs from the dogwood tree over Capri’s crib. It was a gift from Capri’s beloved nanny, Patricia, who passed away a couple of months ago after an incredibly brave and devastatingly short battle with cancer. It was something she hung when Capri had been sick one day as a baby, never mentioning it to us. It reads, “Prayers go up, blessing come down.” It is a reminder of the kind, beautiful angel we had in our life and miss so deeply.
What is one of your favorite items in the nursery and why?
It’s not an object; it’s the sacred times we spend here at bedtime, reading stories on the couch, laughing, dancing, and hopefully, eventually going to sleep!
What has been one of the biggest home/life adjustments you’ve had to make as your family has grown?
From the day she was born, my daughter has been my number one priority, but I don’t think you need to sacrifice your creative passions just because you become a mother. In many ways, I’ve found motherhood to be my greatest inspiration.
When I was nine months pregnant with Capri, I was offered the role of head of fashion and lifestyle coverage for E! News. Understandably, my family thought I was a little crazy for accepting such a demanding position at the same time as I was about to become a mother for the first time. But I knew myself well enough to know that I would thrive with the structure a job like that provided. Seven weeks after Capri was born, I started full time. It was a very exciting and challenging time, concurrently undertaking an intense professional role and motherhood. Let’s just say that there wasn’t much time to wash my hair, but it made me cherish my 4.5 hours a day and weekends with Capri all the more.
I then helped launch FABLife on ABC, which was an amazing experience working with so many inspiring, dedicated people. I was responsible for creating an hour of national programming every week. I was leading a team and working up to 17 hours a day, six days a week. Suddenly the work-life balance was out of whack so I decided to make some changes. I didn’t want to stop working hard, but I wanted more flexibility so I didn’t miss any precious time with my daughter and family.
Today, I shoot two to three television stories and interviews a week, which I also write and produce. I also have the blog, High Heel Jungle, and numerous ongoing collaborations. I’ve never been busier, but I can spend enormous amounts of time with my daughter and give her 100% of my attention when I’m with her. I can put her to bed each night and work after that.
You’ve had a successful career in TV. What was behind your decision to start your blog, HighHeelJungle.com?
There are amazing blogs that cover celebrity or motherhood or fashion, but I felt there wasn’t a single space that celebrated a woman as a whole: how to look amazing, how to balance motherhood with having a thriving creative life and career, how to solve relationship issues — basically how to navigate the jungle that is modern life in high heels.
Every other day I’m sitting down and interviewing some of the most fascinating women of our time. As women, we can learn so much from each other! [High Heel Jungle] is a space where readers can have access to these interviews, [and] feel inspired and supported.
Thanks Kathryn for sharing your home with us!