Designer Crush: Intimate Living Interiors


Since their inception in 2005, Intimate Living Interiors has graced Southern California with many thoughtful, sophisticated homes that are infused with soul. Founded by Kari Arendsen, the firm’s approach as she states is “to maximize function and emphasize distinctive style are the elements that make up their sought after designs.” Here she shares insights to her start, who inspires her and what brands she is currently coveting.

Photos by Karyn Millet.

How did you get your start in design?  I started out interning for Courtney-Ford Design, a model home firm specializing in high-end spec homes. I quickly earned myself a fulltime position where I absorbed vast knowledge around how to design in quantity, quickly and appeal to a broad demographic

-How do you describe your style and what makes it unique?  I would describe our style as elevated yet grounded, sophisticated yet casual, and organic yet refined, and soulful. Our interiors evoke a feeling of clarity and calm and strive to be aspirational. What sets us apart is our innate ability to capture all of your senses, leaving an unforgettable impression of home to anyone that walks in the door.

Photos by Karyn Millet.

-Who are your biggest professional role models and why?  Michelle Obama comes to mind, as do several women that exemplify a strong ability to lead with unwavering conviction, and the ability to integrate the voice of many into a single vision, all the while having fun and basking in the joy of the journey.

Describe one particularly memorable project and what made it so special. With most of our projects being here in Southern California, and being a native here myself, I was met with an aggressive demand to be adaptable and creative, while in the face of frigid temperatures and complicated logistics when we installed our Ritz Carlton project in Philadelphia. This brought a whole new meaning to achieving our goals come rain, sleet or snow!

Photos by Karyn Millet.

Any brands or furniture/decorative artists you are obsessed with right now?  We love a myriad of artists! We are drawn to product and artistic applications that are inspired by a deep love and connection to creativity and living well. 


-Favorite pandemic meal? Doordash – all my local faves!

-Band or artist you are listening to the most right now? Edo & Jo

-First concert? Barry Manalow! Geesh, this ages me, but I was dragged along with mom!

-Current designer crush? John Saladino!

-Favorite design book? An Affair with a House by Bunny Williams – my first crush as I entered the world of design.

Photo by Ryan Garvin.

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