Stephanie Kantis didn’t always design the gold-plated bronze jewelry that are statement pieces for any time of the year. The former interior and children’s furniture designer has a thing for practical, beautiful jewelry that can be styled in many different ways – including the interiors of her Palm Beach, Florida, home. As she invites us in, we can tell that her aesthetic is a mix of cultures on neutral canvases that blend handmade furniture, textiles and dinnerware with utter sophistication and ease. Now, take a look inside.
NM: Tell us a little but about your lifestyle – living and running a jewelry business in Florida?
SK: My day starts by getting my mind, body and soul in a creative, inspiring place. I accomplish this by going into my Zen room, overlooking our backyard, facing the famous Breakers Golf Course. I add a bit of spa music, some deep breathing and I’m ready to tackle the day. Before heading into the office a few blocks away, I make healthy smoothies for my husband and myself and pour over WWD. By 9 am, my office is in full swing – creative meetings, sales projections, worldwide conference calls and strategic planning of the future of the SK brand. We do take a 1 pm break every day. From my time abroad, I’m inspired to give my team that respite in the afternoon to recharge and energize. I may join them, or pop out to a Palm Beach cafe for lunch with business partners or friends. The afternoons are team meetings and a time to give back and help the foster girls at KidSanctuary Campus.
NM: How do you compare your jewelry design work to your interior design aesthetic?
SK: I started designing jewelry for the same reason I started designing children’s furniture – I had a need and decided to create a solution. I enjoy designing pieces that can be used multiple ways. Just like my cribs were able to turn into toddler beds, my Stephanie Kantis chains can be worn 15 different ways, by adding a bracelet into the links and popping on a pendant. My jewelry design started as a need to have a fabulous statement look without having to travel with lots of jewelry pieces. The thought of bringing 3 pieces and changing my look, night after night, was my need…. And thankfully other fashion gals have felt the same.
NM: How was the process of decorating your house? Do you redecorate on a regular basis?
SK: Moving from San Miguel de Allende in Mexico to Palm Beach was a big change. I had collected so many fantastic pieces in San Miguel, and I wanted to incorporate that same central Mexico feeling into our new Palm Beach home. Once I decided on the layout of the large furniture pieces, I brought in accent furniture and added smaller accessories to bring the room together.
Seasonally, I change up details of our home, and that breathes new air into each room. It is wonderful. On the island of Palm Beach, the seasons are slight, but when you live here you recognize the difference – the winters are heavenly, so that’s the time to really enjoy the porch that overlooks our backyard with all the palm trees and amazing flowers. I love when guests come over, and getting an excuse to light all the lanterns and candles throughout our covered terrace fort to create a ‘cozy Island’ feeling. Pops of color and all the prints and seasonal pillows that I pull out make for a little change that goes a long way.
NM: How often do you entertain at home? Can you tell us about your must-haves for summer entertaining?
SK: My husband and I like to entertain as much as possible. Must-haves – Spanish guitar music, guacamole, salsa and chips, white wine sangria, family and friends, oh and bright dinnerware!
NM: Tell us about the colorful handwoven rugs around your home.
SK: I collected them in San Miguel because central Mexico really brings in a lot of artisan works from other countries. The assortment of textiles is amazing, starting with rugs from Guatemala, fabulous Turkish kilims, woven Moroccan textiles, and more. I would probably put a few more on the walls if I had the right space, which is where we had them when we lived in Mexico. I love that way you can get up close and personal with these works of art! My Mexican, Spanish and Italian dinnerware is also very special, and the patterns and textures have the same diversity of woven textiles that I just adore.
NM: What’s your favorite room in your house and why?
SK: Our living room because when our family visits, that is where we always end up…. Playing games, watching movies and enjoying each other’s company. Some of our favorite moments have been simply laughing together in that room.
NM: Do you have a very special item at home that you could never get rid of? Tell us more about it.
SK: There is a large armoire in my living room, which I absolutely love, and was originally made for one of my interior design clients in Dallas. It was meant to be in her guest bedroom and on the move-in day, we couldn’t get it in the room. It was just a tad too big. We took the door off and tried everything we could do, but it wasn’t going in this room. I ended up taking the armoire home with me and had a new armoire built for her. When I walk by it, I take a moment to admire all the small details. I love that armoire.
Shop The Trend Event August 13-20, 2014 and receive a pair of Stephanie Kantis earrings or cuff links with your regular-priced purchase of $350 or more in women’s apparel, accessories, shoes, handbags or jewelry, or The Man’s Store at Neiman Marcus stores, NeimanMarcus.com, CUSP stores, and CUSP.com.
One pair of earrings or cuff links per customer, while supplies last; other exclusions may apply; see a sales associate or visit NeimanMarcus.com for details.