Insight: Elaine Smith

Insight: Elaine Smith

“I like to produce designs that have a timeless feel,” says Elaine Smith, the creative force behind her eponymous luxury indoor-outdoor pillow company based in Lake Park. “They should be current and relevant, but not trendy.” A former jewelry buyer, Smith fell into design after a chance interiors job with a decorator friend had her creating custom pillows. After producing a collection of 17th- and 18th-century-inspired cushions incorporating French textiles, she was hooked. “It wasn’t at all like work,” she admits, “so I decided to turn it into a business and it grew from there.” She debuted her collection in 2004 and now launches a new line each year—some paying tribute to the antique materials she grew up with in her parents’ London décor shop and others moving in a more current direction. Crafting upwards of 100 designs a year, she and her team employ a blend of unique textures, color palettes and mixed media, which makes for an original yet functional accessory. “It seems like a winning formula,” she says. “The variety creates more interest, which makes each pillow truly special.”

LX: Greatest influence:

ES: My mother loved Asian antiques, and that fascination rubbed off on me. My parents had a shop named Chinoiserie that was filled with carved chairs, cabinets and intricate silks.

LX: Design muses:

ES: Fashion and nature are constant sources of inspiration. I especially love Chanel, Valentino and Alexander McQueen. And the natural Florida landscape is stunning.

LX: Favorite shop:

ES: I adore King’s Road in London. You can get lost for weeks. I always peek into Designers Guild, a mecca for luxury home furnishings.

LX: I collect...

ES: Objects from each place I travel. I was once at a French restaurant in Carmel, California, and they had original art for sale. I had to have it and negotiated throughout brunch.

LX: Describe your home:

ES: I fill it only with things that I love: family pictures, antiques mixed with modern pieces, thousand thread count sheets, the smell of fresh coff ee, music, warm sunlight and my Bengal cat Pasha.;



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