The career of Elizabeth Etienne has led her around the world and back. From the cobblestone streets of Paris to the sandy beaches of southern California her trademark style is visible in every thing she creates.
In 2014, she hung up her camera and set down her pen trading her former career as an award-winning, pro photographer and published author of 3 books for a PASSIONATE career in Interior Design! Grabbing a tape measure and a hammer she renovated 7 properties, in 2 states, (working remotely!) in less than 4 years! She also managed some of those properties as both short term and long-term rentals generating substantially increased revenue for the owner.
As the daughter of an award winning Interior Designer, Elizabeth admits she had a head start at early age assisting her eccentric mother with her various design endeavors - from residential homes to multi-unit income properties. She learned hands-on construction-design experience and the essential understanding that, "All design should serve an emotional purpose". She and her siblings had a screwdriver and a paintbrush in their hands before they could even drive a car!
When she started designing vacation rentals at the beach in southern California the property owner had a very limited budget and an extremely tight deadline. Jumping into action quickly she organized her contractors and she and her crew worked around the clock. Her inventive ability to repair, build and design quickly, think outside the box and repurpose inexpensive items enabled her to transform a dark and dusty, alley-way studio, into a lucrative cash machine in less than 4 weeks! “I just thought of all the things travelers associate with this particular part of the world - bamboo, palm tree branches, and a carefree lifestyle so I included these things into the unit along with relaxed furnishings. I even included an indoor Tiki Bar just for fun, remembering all they want to do is kick-off their shoes and leave their worries behind”. Her California rentals became so popular, (booked solid 365/days a year!) that The LA Weekly even featured one of her units in Quirky Staycations Rentals in L.A
When Etienne designed a Chicago-based property in a historic building surrounded by brick streets and Victorian mansions she scavenged flea markets, garage sales, second hand stores and her mother’s antique shop to find just the right pieces. She wanted to replicate the sentimental “feelings” of a time when life was slower. The goal was that the guest could fully “experience” the culture and history of a destination the second they open the door!
Designing an elaborate, 3000 sq.ft. rustic residential home nestled between the grounds of a former dairy farm and a forest preserve Etienne incorporated an eclectic mix of farming inspired barn wood paneling, a barn loft, vintage doors and hardware, a French country kitchen and French doors all around to allow light and nature to be seen from all sides.
“When working with my residential clients THEIR needs, wishes and desires come FIRST. I have a compassionate interest in how they want to live their life, what hobbies or interests make their heart’s sing and consider how I can create a home that incorporates those elements so it becomes a part of that life they want to live. I then translate these feelings to contractors and architects to ensure my client’s vision comes to life. She adds, “One can add “life” to even the most contemporary, minimalist home when you understand how to effectively collaborate living elements. I do believe your home, regardless of size, can be more than just a generic shelter. A home should be a place to inspire your passions but simultaneously provide a peaceful respite with practical function.
Elizabeth Etienne, like many successful artists, is one of those people who CAN do it all while always maintaining her trademark style. She will soon be expanding her business to include boutique hotels and restaurants so keep an eye out for more to come!