Kirsten Blazek Loves Orville Peck, the American Southwest + More


Kirsten Blazek is the creative director behind the Los Angeles-based A1000xBetter, a multi-faceted design firm founded on the principle that design is a layered process requiring you to look beyond the surface. Her distinct point of view embodies an authentic, purpose-driven design philosophy, and she brings knowledge of art and color theory to each thoughtfully curated project. Kirsten has an eye for design, and her eclectic interiors showcase a love of vintage treasures, bohemian style, moody spaces, and penchant for the American Southwest. A1000XBetter is one of the most sought-after design firms in the Los Angeles area, and their work is beloved by celebrities and high-profile clients. The firm’s work has been featured in California Home + Design, Architectural Digest, Domino, Dwell, Emily Henderson, House Beautiful, Martha Stewart, and more.

Today, Kirsten Blazek joins us for Friday Five!

black and white photo of light-skinned woman with dark hair pulled back wearing western wear with her hands on her hips

Kirsten Blazek \ Photo: Justin Wilczynski Photography

mysteriously clad cowboy dressed in gold pants and a mask posing in front of smoke

Photo courtesy Orville Peck

1. Orville Peck

I have loved Orville since I first heard his incredible voice in 2019. There’s just so much to love about this masked singer. I recently went to see him in concert in Santa Barbara – I had tickets for April 2020, which were canceled due to the pandemic, so it was a long time coming and worth the wait. He is an incredible live performer. I have his album Bronco on repeat and there isn’t a song I don’t love. Not only do I love Orville’s voice but also his inspiring fashion, he is truly the definition of cowboy chic.

simple bottle of perfume with silver cap and white label on grey background

Photo courtesy Le Labo

2. Le Labo Santal 33

I have been wearing Santal for over five years, and it is definitely my signature scent. I can’t leave the house without a daily spritz. Sadly, because I have been wearing it for so long I can’t smell it on myself at all anymore, but I get comments on the fragrance everywhere I go. One of my co-workers recently commented that she knew I had been somewhere because she could still smell the Santal hours later.

looking down and cowboy boot clad feet on a geometric rug

Photo: Kirsten BLazek

3. Cowboy Boots

My cowboy boots are on my feet daily! I have quite the collection of both vintage and new boots, and even in the summer when it is quite toasty in L.A. cowboy boots are still my go-to daily footwear. I love going up to Yucca Valley and shopping for vintage cowboy boots. One of my favorite stores there is Moon Wind Trading Company. I rarely leave without a new pair of boots and other great finds. Right now I am wearing the Serpentine boots from PS Kaufman (a local LA company). These boots are well-made, stylish, and super comfortable.

desert landscape

Photo: Kirsten Blazek

4. Travel

Traveling is essential to my creativity and nourishes my soul. My favorite short trips are to the Yucca Valley, Palm Springs, and Montecito. My good friend Tamara Honey (from House of Honey) has an incredible home in Montecito and I love spending time with her there. The vintage shopping is incredible in all of these places. I love The Blue Door in Santa Barbara, which is great for unique vintage items. Last summer, I was blessed with a girls trip to Capri that ended in Rome, and I now have a full on love affair with Italy and its people and culture. I grew up in Scotland, so of course my annual trips home are an important part of my life. Scotland is such a beautiful place and the people are warm, friendly, and have the best sense of self-deprecating humor!

three light-skinned woman standing in front of a landscape of water and mountains

Photo: Kirsten Blazek

5. My Friends

There’s one thing for sure, I couldn’t navigate life without the support of my three best girlfriends. We have all gone through a lot of major life changes together, but we always have fun and we never stop laughing, which is truly the key to staying sane in this crazy world! There is nothing like the support of female friends and I don’t know what I would do without them in my corner. Being a single mom and running a busy business can be all-consuming, but the fun we have together makes it all balance out.

 

Work by Kirsten Blazek and A1000xBetter:

neutral eat-in kitchen

Craig Avenue \ This charming and character-filled home in Altadena, California, was in need of some major updating. Kirsten preserved the original character of the home by blending its Spanish-style qualities with a mid-century modern design sensibility. Her clever floor plan opened up the kitchen and dining areas, allowing for easy flow and entertaining. She thoughtfully chose materials that fit the already-existing muted, refined tones of the home, and infused the space with rustic and modern elements with subtle textures. Kirsten was inspired by the homeowner’s work as a talented ceramic artist. and the quality and color of her work helped the team select the design, color palette, and finishes. The home strikes the perfect balance of rustic, lived-in, moody, mid-century charm. \ Photo: Alex Zarour, Virtually Here Studios

eat-in kitchen with island and large banquet with able and chairs

Montecito Avenue \ Prior to renovations, this early 2000s kitchen in Sierra Madre, California was in need of updating. The kitchen now features an expansive island, dark cabinetry, and a custom banquette, reflecting a modern approach to design with classic details weaved in. The kitchen is bold, sophisticated, and reimagined for today’s living. \ Photo: Alex Zarour, Virtually Here Studios

large neutral bedroom with large windows and wood ceiling

Duque \ This project is a gut-renovated, 5-bedroom, 5-bathroom Post and Beam home in Studio City, California. The home features a gorgeous expanded kitchen with custom millwork and a 25-foot Buff and Hensman inspired island, an expansive principal suite, modern architecture, and innovative design. Prior to the renovation, the aesthetics of the home were disjointed and several of the rooms were poorly remodeled. Kirsten and her team wanted to reinvent the entire space and breathe new life into the home while infusing quintessential mid-century architecture and forward-thinking design. With its clean lines, bold textures, and tonal color palette juxtaposed with sharp contrasting colors, the home blends the minimalist simplicity of the era with the functionality and style of today’s living. \ Photo: Alex Zarour, Virtually Here Studios

living space with fireplace, art, coffee table, armchairs, and large light fixture

Linda Vista \ Kirsten’s vision for her family home was inspired by travels to the town of Ojai, California. The design features mixed woods, unexpected patterns, natural materials, and eclectic vintage pieces, which speaks to both Kirsten’s own design sensibility and the unique charm of Ojai. Kirsten’s affinity for the Southwest is reflected through the artwork in her home, featuring work by Mark Maggiori, Stephanie Vovas, William Gollings, and Gabriel Rivera. Kirsten brought life and her innovative design aesthetic into the outdated home by changing the floor plan, incorporating vaulted ceilings, adding herringbone flooring in the family room, and bleaching the red oak flooring throughout. \ Photo: Alex Zarour, Virtually Here Studios

Kelly Beall is senior editor at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based graphic designer and writer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, and enjoys sharing her finds with others. When undistracted by great art and design, she can be found making a mess in the kitchen, consuming as much information as possible, or on the couch with her three pets. Find her @designcrush on social.



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