Being arguably one of the world’s finest designers and cultured influencers, Aerin Lauder needs no formal introduction. We caught up with the billionaire heiress about her inspirations and approach to life as the world adapts during these uncertain times.
1. Aerin, we’re massive admirers of your work and your style is impeccable! Where do you get your inspiration for the design of your home collections?
Aerin Lauder: I am always so inspired by my surroundings, but most of my inspiration comes from friends, family, heritage, travel, museums and exhibitions. A lot of our products are inspired by destinations. We have a whole candle collection inspired by different places in the South of France, Colorado and England to name a few. The same goes for our fragrances, which are always tied to a story or experience from some place. A lot of the elements of our brand, whether it’s fragrance or candles or even when you walk into our store, you are very much taken someplace; it’s a wonderful escape.
2. What is your favorite hostess gift to give?
Aerin Lauder: I love to gift candles. AERIN has a beautiful candle collection. The packaging is so pretty, you almost don’t even have to wrap it. We have different fragrance sets depending on if the person is more spicy or tropical. There’s something for everyone.
3. How have the past few months of “stay at home” changed your entertaining style?
Aerin Lauder: Since I have my whole family at home, I am really enjoying our meals together. Between meetings, emails, house works and my boys’ virtual classes, it’s that special time of day that we spend as a family. I don’t think that my entertaining style has changed all that much during this time; coming together as a family continues to bring a smile to my face. I also still like to set the table for every meal. Depending on the mood or the occasion, I mix and match my tabletop pieces. This keeps setting the table fun and interesting.
4. How did you stay inspired while staying at home?
Aerin Lauder: Working from home has allowed me to approach my work with a fresh perspective. Being in a new environment, surrounded by family, heritage and nature have given me so much inspiration for future projects.
5. What is your typical day like?
Aerin Lauder: My days have actually been very busy, filled with many meetings and work calls, along with the housework and cooking that needs to get done. Since I am home with my husband and two boys, I have been cooking, cleaning and organizing more than ever. However, I do like to set aside a little bit of time each day to relax and unwind. Whether it’s going for a walk surrounded by nature, taking a bath or calling a friend to check-in, self-care has become an even more important part of my routine.
6. What is your favorite meal to entertain and why?
Aerin Lauder: I love hosting dinner parties with close friends and family. I always serve classic comfort food that is delicious and easy for everyone to enjoy.
7. What are the must-haves to get the ‘Aerin look’ in ones home?
Aerin Lauder: I always try to decorate with a sense of easy elegance. Nothing is ever forced. Every element in a space should work together, without appearing stuffy or overdone. This design philosophy can apply to all aspects of your home and life. Living beautifully should be effortless and every room should be useful and serve a purpose. I think that a starting point in decorating for me has always been mixing and matching of different colors and textures, as well beautiful lighting pieces that can serve as the focal point of any room.
8. Who is your favorite interior designer?
Aerin Lauder: I have worked with Jacques Grange on many different projects and I am always so inspired by him. He structures a room to feel clean and inviting, and then builds on it with colors, fabrics and textures to make it feel personal and warm, yet elegant.
9. What is in your vases at home?
Aerin Lauder: My home is always filled with fresh flowers. A few of my favorites are peonies, hydrangeas and orchids.
10. How do you keep your look so classic but fresh without getting too trendy?
Aerin Lauder: I usually keep my personal style simple, streamlined and timeless. I like classic colors like black, white and beige and I finish up my look with an accent of gold jewelry. I learned from my grandmother that gold is a neutral. I have many staples in my wardrobe, but my go-to look is usually a silk blouse with a fitted black pant. I have always dressed this way and my style has remained very consistent throughout the years.
11. Who are your style icons?
Aerin Lauder: My grandmother, Estee, was an amazing grandmother, friend and of course, style icon. She was an incredible role model and taught me the importance of passion, style, hard work, family and all things beautiful.
12. How do you keep your homes so stylish yet livable?
Aerin Lauder: Every space in my home must be livable. I have two teenage sons and three dogs so nothing is too precious. Our home was decorated with the intention of using it and living in it as a family. I love layering colors, textures and objects to make our home feel warm and welcoming.
13. How do you always style the perfect vignette?
Aerin Lauder: I love to mix and match. I incorporate vintage pieces with newer pieces, as well as different colors, textures and natural elements to keep things interesting and pretty. Fresh flowers are also an essential finishing touch.