Lynn von Kersting--Could her campy, colorful style translate to cabins?

I've always loved her style.  Originally made popular by the wildly successful Ivy restaurant in Los Angeles, owned by Von Kersting and her husband, chef Richard Irving, Von Kersting specializes in a kooky, whimsical garden-on-the inside, pretty, pretty look.

Could it translate to Tahoe?  You tell me.  In the photos below, imagine log walls, stone fireplaces and lake views.

Inside the Ivy Restaurant, a mix of colorful Americana artwork, floral and checked cushions and toss pillows, flowers (always lots of flowers everywhere) in casual vases, floral dinnerware, Old Hickory seating, and farm pottery and antiques.  A very pretty interior and yet so casual and welcoming. 
Outside seating in the Ivy patio.  Wicker, vintage floral fabrics, strawberries and fresh flowers.  By the way, this is not just styled for a photo shoot.  This is how it always looks.  There are planting beds all around the exterior of the patio that are packed with old rose varieties, fuchsias, geraniums and lots of flowering vines.

On the Ivy patio, an old picket fence is strung with Christmas lights.  There are pretty umbrellas, crisp white fresh linens and flowers everywhere.
The Ivy is located in the design district so you get a mix of design professionals, LA locals and, of course, movie industry folks and movie stars.  It's always great people watching.  Does it seem odd to you that such an anti-glitz restaurant has been so very popular for decades in a town known for over-the-top glamour and style?

In Von Kerstig's store next door to the Ivy, Indigo Seas, you see a similar mix of color, Americana and whimsy.  Love the pond boat collection  and the wicker sun hats in the background.  

Another room in the Ivy.  I just love this charming and cheerful look.  Over the years, it has changed many times, and yet it always looks the same.  The floral fabrics are usually vintage finds.  

Another view of Indigo Seas.  Lynn does a brisk business in selling antique chairs and sofas that she has slip-covered in vintage textiles.  Years ago when I lived in LA, I used to shop in here a lot and I still own a number of pieces from Indigo Seas.  And, of course, The Ivy was always my favorite restaurant.  A great place to meet girlfriends for lunch in the garden patio on a sunny LA day, and a wonderful place for dinner with friends.  At night, the whole place glows in candle-light and twinkly lights.
What do you think about the way Von Kerstig indiscriminately mixes colors and patterns until she achieves this carefree bright and cheerful combination?  Nothing really goes together and yet, it all just goes beautifully.

A Von Kerstig interior that is a little more planned out, yet still manages to retain that exuberant feeling and color excitement. In this case, there is less emphasis on the faded, vintage textiles.  Yet there is a lot of trademark Von Kerstig intensity in the crazy pile of no-two-the-same striped pillows.

Another Indigo Seas photo.  Doesn't this just say "welcome" in the most charming way?  It's like a great big crazy party of color and pattern but it is also relaxing and cozy.  And pretty...did I mention pretty yet?
Again, can you picture these kooky fun colors and textiles at the lake?

Von Kerstig loves her collections--shells, boats, party lanterns, transfer-ware and other colorful pottery, Moroccan carpets. and anything colorful she sees out on her travels and shopping trips.  It's all a big sophisticated flea market.
The dinnerware pattern used at the Ivy displayed with 1940's and 50's tea towels and table cloths.  It's available for purchase, by the way.  In addition to fresh flowers, many vases are stuffed with fresh herbs and bundles of mint.  There are also always bowls of fresh lemons and apples.  
Could you see these flower patterns working at the lake, especially in a summer cabin?  There are a number of people here who love to create pretty flower gardens in our short gardening season where perennials thrive and return year after year.

Although Von Kirstig loves Americana.  She also uses a lot of country English shapes in her furniture.  Also, British Colonial and Raj style furnishings are often used.  

A beautiful living room in Von Kerstig's trademark style.  It gets tamed a little bit in her interiors.  After all, the store is really a place to sell stuff and is often packed to the gills.  In her interiors you see the editing of all that crazy fun.  But it's still there, of course, just to a lesser extent.

Another pretty Von Kerstig room.  Can you count the number of different fabrics in this one small seating area?  

Indigo Seas

A pretty breakfast room.

More Indigo Seas.

The Ivy

Indigo Seas

Well, what did you think?  Could you see this style in a lakefront cabin?  I could.  I also think I'd love to show up to a cabin decorated like this on summer weekends.  Would you?

For more on Kersting as a designer, see here.

1 comment:

  1. Love seeing your blog on Indigo Seas and The Ivy ! I have been to both many times when driving down from my store in Montecito. I make the pleated hand sewn lampshades like the ones in her store. We have moved up your way to Nevada City, CA where I opened Belle Lumiere specializing in custom lampshades. Bellelumierecustom@gmail .com
    Hope to meet you one day ! All the best to you, Mahna Freeborn


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