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Elizabeth Lamont's Interior Design Blog

Jun 27, 2014   |  0 comments

4th of July Party Ideas

4th of July can easily be my favorite holiday. Everyone is flocking to the beach and the parties go on for days! I never get tired of decorating with red, white and blue... I love to add vintage touches even in the most modern setting.

This year I decided that not only would the setting be gorgeous but the food would be healthy as well as fun. My table uses the best of the summer from outdoor lanterns, to bunches of red carnations with pinwheels for sparkle. I love mixing formal and casual. Striped paper plates and plastic glasses (nice ones that look like the real thing) combined with crisp linen navy and white napkins with coral napkin rings looks fabulous. If you're serving burgers or hot dogs on the 4th, use some simple baskets lined with parchment paper and tuck burgers and fries neatly in them. You can find cheap baskets anywhere and with the parchment paper lining, cleanup is a breeze!

For this Holiday you really can't  have enough stars and flags, so add them any chance you get. Think of different ways of using them: coasters, cocktail napkins, or even as garland. Hang flags from balconies, on retaining walls over the pool - anywhere you have the space. We have a lot to celebrate as a country so bring it all on!

Here are some more ideas for your party:


Make it easy but classy with electronic Invites from Paperless post like this cute vintage design

Healthy  BBQ alternatives:

  • Sweet potato fries
  • Grilled shrimp salad, cobb salad or healthy grilled food like turkey burgers, chicken sausage or chicken drumsticks
  • Homemade frozen popsicles 
  • Drinks:  American craft beer selection for the adults: find a local store that carries a good selection or order online from Root beer for the kids!
  • Simple Lemonade 

Activities for kids (and some for adults)

  • Slip & slide or water guns
  • S'mores
  • Glow in the dark necklaces & bracelets
  • Bubbles
  • Sparklers


  • Buy tin buckets and red, white blue spray paint. Use masking tape to make stripes, spray paint and peel off. Fill with sand and stick in pinwheels and flags.
  • Set your playlist to country music
  • Bandana napkins
  • Sunflowers
  • Red carnations
  • Flags and stars in any form! 

And last but not least, think safety:

Have bug spray, sunscreen, band aids & Taxi Magic app for the drive home!


Most cities have official or private fireworks displays you can catch. In Malibu there are always private industry parties that have firework displays set off from barges off the coast of some of the most famous beach front residences. Google "Fireworks display [your city]".

Happy 4th!

Take Advantage of Seasonal Produce for a Beautiful, Bountiful Buffet

Take advantage of seasonal produce for a beautiful, bountiful buffet relaxing and catching up…that's the best part about spending a long weekend with friends and family. But too often we end up snacking on junk foods and overindulging in heavy barbeque and sodas. This weekend, plan a gorgeous buffet with fresh and colorful choices that are delicious, elegant and will leave your guests feeling refreshed and ready to welcome the summer. Getting the kids involved makes the meal more appealing to them as well.

For inspiration, enjoy a trip to the farmer's market for a variety of organic, fresh vegetables for salads and kabobs. The farmers market in Malibu is one of a kind (and always, a great place to do some celeb sightings, if you have any out-of-towners visiting).

Look for all kinds of salad greens, berries, beets, and peppers. Take the time to speak with the vendors (also our stars) to ask about what's best right now and even have a taste. This time of year go for the stone fruits, just coming into season.

When you're planning your menu, start with a signature cocktail: Watermelon Martinis! I love martinis because you can add almost anything so they are always fresh and seasonal.

Pour it into a beautiful glass pitcher and it becomes part of your decor. This is such a refreshing choice that always makes it feels like summer!








Directions: Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan and cook until  sugar has completely dissolved. Let cool. In a food processor, puree the watermelon flesh. Add a little of the sugar syrup to sweeten to your taste.

Pour the pureed watermelon into 2 empty ice cube trays and freeze for min. 4 hrs. In blender combine frozen watermelon cubes, more simple syrup to taste, lemon juice, vodka, melon liqueur and blend until smooth. Pour into 8 frozen martini glasses and garnish with watermelon balls & slice of cucumber on a toothpick.


Main Course De-light

The main course doesn't need to be heavy to be wonderfully satisfying. Keep the dishes light and colorful. Grill Veggies first then Salmon and it will pick up delicious flavor from the veggies. My dear friend Karen Parcell, makes the most delicious grilled salmon ever. Here's her recipe:


Whisk together the mustards, honey, horseradish, mint and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a small bowl. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before using. Can be made 1 day in advance and refrigerated . Bring to room temperature before using. Brush both sides with the marinade with a bit left over to add before serving.

Heat the grill to high. Brush the grill with the oil. Place the salmon on the grill, skin side down, and grill until golden brown and slightly charred, about 3 minutes. I tented mine with tinfoil.

Karen's recipe, like her, will close any real-estate deal in the Palisades (Visit her website at


Roasted Veggies

This recipe came about when I arrived home after a long day of installing furniture in a client's home and was surprised by my daughter making me dinner! She whipped up some grilled veggies and added them all to a salad. Fantastic! Try it this Memorial Day Weekend and you too will love it.


2 bunch Asparagus - ends snapped off
4 Zucchini - cut into long 1" strips
2 large yellow onions - cut into 1" rings
2 basket of cherry tomatoes - cut in half
1 head of romaine lettuce - torn into bite size pieces
1 bunch of Arugula - stems torn off
6 oz feta cheese - crumbled (buy in a block as fresh as you can, from a cheese shop)
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Ginger dressing (recipe to follow)

Turn grill on high. Thoroughly clean and dry all the veggies. Put asparagus, onion, and zucchini in a ziploc bag with olive oil less small amount for grilling. Add salt & pepper to veggies, just a pinch or two of each. Massage your veggies so they are well coated. Throw a small amount of water on grill to make sure grill is nice and hot. When grill sputters it is ready. Dip a paper towel in remaining oil and using tongs wipe the grill grates with oil. Lay the veggies sideways on grill to prevent them from falling thru grates. Let them get a nice char about 3 min per side for onions, and zucchini and a bit less for asparagus. Remove and let cool.

A big bowl is important for not only presentation but allows you room to toss the salad, making sure each piece is well coated with dressing. Add all the ingredients except the cheese. Add the dressing slowly about 2 oz at a time, gently toss the salad. Get some air into it so every piece has that delicious flavor. Crumble feta cheese on top before serving and a couple turns of fresh, cracked, black pepper.

Ginger Dressing

Makes about 9 oz

1 cup of good olive oil
1/2 cup of rice vinegar
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1/4 cup of grated ginger( best to buy to already done in a sauce at any market - I love the Culinary District brand from Surfas here in LA)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1tsp of crushed red pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp blk pepper

Add all ingredients into a bowl and whisk well. Can stay at room temp for 4 hours or in fridge for a month.

Fun & Healthy for the Kids

For the younger guests, create a special kabob assembly line. When children are involved in the choices, they tend to be more willing to try a variety of foods. Offer cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, chicken sausage chunks (throw those on grill after veggies and on side of salmon), and yellow or orange peppers to make an inviting activity that ends in a healthy meal! There may be a need for some dipping sauce so pour a bit of ranch dressing in individual bowls for bright flavor (make it fresh with mayo and the ranch dressing packets, it tastes so much better).

Add a basket of fresh, crusty bread and you are set.


Sweet Endings

For a sweet yet sophisticated ending, create a berry parfait buffet. With some charming glass dishes and a variety of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, along with some fresh whipped cream or vanilla yogurt, guests can create their own layered treat. Wine glasses or mason jars are lovely if you don't have dessert bowls, and clear plastic cups are great for the kids (we suggest our Govino plastic wine glasses). Add some granola, chocolate chips or crushed nuts for a sweet, crunchy garnish.

And really, when it's dessert, don't we all love a "make your own" treat? And even better that this one is actually so good for you!


It may be a cliché to say that mothers always put everyone else's needs before their own, but it is generally true.  We just can't help ourselves!  Even for Mother's Day, we often end up doing the grocery shopping so the kids can make us breakfast in bed!  This year, make sure it really is a day off and a day celebrating you.

To ensure the day's success, you may need to actually tell your family what you want to do.  It may be fun to imagine being surprised or that your loved ones will plan a fabulous day for you, but is that realistic for your family?   Of course they love you and want you to have a wonderful day, but do they really know what would make your day?  Do you want breakfast in bed or a fabulous brunch at that restaurant with the view?  Do you want a bouquet of flowers delivered or would you rather take a walk through a botanical garden?  Maybe you just want to stay in with a cup of tea and a good book.

Once your family has some ideas for the day, make sure the planning does not fall on you.  Specifically delegate if you must!  Gently (or not so gently) suggest that they decide who will make the restaurant reservations, check the timing for the show you want to see or do the grocery shopping.  Some suggestions might be in order for the grocery list (champagne, maybe?), but generally your family should be able to take care of it themselves.  Then, let the details fall on the family.  

However, it doesn't hurt to ensure a wonderful gift that you know you'll love.  Stop by the store and pick up a little something for yourself.   A new side table for those ubiquitous flowers or some new bedding for the best mom to snuggle right in! (to enjoy a well-deserved nap!). Personally I have my eye on the new Pine Cone Hill Chambray Linen duvet cover and shams....



With spring comes the desire to renew. We want to throw out the old and bring in the new, readying ourselves for warmer days ahead. An easy way to completely change your home is to use fabrics. Sofas and chairs can get a new look with custom upholstery. A living room set can be completely redone at the fraction of the cost of what it would cost to buy new. 

This year we’re seeing lots of cool grays and the teal blue trend from last year continues. Consider mixing patterns with a similar color palette. A boring sofa group becomes more interesting with a striped couch and floral patterned armchairs in the same color palette. Bring in light linen drapes for the sea breeze to play with.

Kravet is of course one of my favorite fabric companies, and we are fortunate to carry their brand in my shop. One of the highlights of their collection this season is a new collection by designer and TV personality Sarah Richardson of HGTV’s Sarah’s House and Sarah 101 TV series. Sarah’s signature approach to interiors mixes classic influences with modern design to find the right balance for today, which is very much what we’re about at Room at the Beach. Her new Kravet collection reflects that fresh approach to design and can help create that custom look for your home.

The Sarah Richardson Collection for Kravet includes stylized floral prints on linen combined with versatile geometric prints in a variety of scales, and are anchored by textural woven elements. Complimentary palettes creates playroom to layer, experiment and create your own vision of comfortable elegance.

Stop by the store to take a look at the collection first-hand and make sure you take advantage of our March special: this month only, we are offering a free in-store design consultation with one of our designers and receive 10% off any fabric purchase. Call us at 310-456-9777 to set up your appointment and let us help bring some “spring” into your step.


Jan 24, 2014   |  0 comments

Bedding Care 101

How often should you really change your pillows and bed linens?

Recently Dr. Oz reviewed Kathie Lee's pillow on the Today Show, and the findings were pretty disturbing. Did you know that the reason pillows get softer over time is because of the bacteria buildup? In fact, it's the droppings from the dust mites that make it soft... I know, eww!
So how often does Dr. Oz recommend that you change your pillows? The answer: every two years.

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We recommend pillow covers for the longevity as well. They will protect against makeup and body oils, preserving a clean surface on your pillows.

Sheets & Linens
Generally it's recommended that you wash you sheets once week using warm water. (If your sheets have delicate embroidery check the label first). Hot water can make the fibers shrink and fade color so stick with warm water and turn your pillow cases inside out to preserve colors. Personally I prefer white sheets, nothing says relaxation to me like crisp, white linens! In addition you can easily bleach them if you should get a stain and they'll look brand new. Use an oxygen based bleach that will be gentle on the fabric. Tumble dry the linens on low and remove them before they are completely dry to minimize wrinkles. Then take the extra time to iron them, it's so worth it!

I like keeping my linen closet neat and organized so it's a pleasure to take out a clean set. Line your cabinet with tissue paper that will keep your linens from yellowing. Fold all linens neatly and store sets in linen bags (one of the best inventions ever!). You'll never have to search for a missing pillow case again and your linens will stay fresh  longer.


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