The Casa Zuma founder's organic modern abode exudes warm minimalism.
Camille Styles’ Idyllic Austin Home Harnesses the Beauty of Nature
The Casa Zuma founder's organic modern abode exudes warm minimalism.
Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we celebrate innovators, artisans, and crafters of all types by taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, we tour editor-in-chief and founder of slow living homewares brand Casa Zuma, Camille Styles’ organic modern home in Austin, Texas.
Deciding to start a career in the digital world is always a risk, with technology and trends constantly changing, it can be hard for business owners to keep up with the demand put before them. However, editor-in-chief and founder of homewares brand Casa Zuma, Camille Styles, has found a balance between successfully running her direct-to-consumer home goods brand, while remaining true to her business values.
Having always loved expressing herself through writing and visuals, Camille completed a journalism major at school, which ended up being the perfect foundation for her to build her self-titled publication. After years of hard work were put into her digital publication, Camille saw an opportunity for business growth “I knew very little about digital media at the time, I took a leap of faith and the next decade has been turning a small personal blog into a magazine-style site with editors all over the country” she shares with Bed Threads Journal. Covering design, beauty, food, and gatherings, Camille has created a holistic lifestyle site that empowers its readers to create their most beautiful lives.
Over the past year and a half, Camille has been tackling her newest project: Casa Zuma. Inspired by the slower way of living that she and her family discovered when they started renovating their 1950s beach house in Malibu, across from Zuma Beach. “We wanted to share that experience through handmade goods that could inspire our community to slow down and enjoy life, and so Casa Zuma was born.”
Camille has been working with artisans around the world to curate a beautiful selection of homewares that are available for sale on their website, ranging from bespoke glassware to handcrafted plates, inviting their audience to surround themselves with items that spark joy in their lives.
Camille discovered her home over 12 years ago, after falling in love with the beautiful views of Austin that the property provided, and the array of lush greenery that surrounds their one acre lot. Upon first glance, the property was run down and needed a lot of work “we could immediately see the potential of what the property could be with a lot of patience and love” Camille shares.
It took two years for Camille to build the house from the ground up, resulting in the gorgeous finished product we see before us now. Similar to her brand Casa Zuma, the home places an emphasis on being filled with items that have an intention and purpose.
Inspired by the natural landscape that surrounds the house, Camille is constantly finding ways to bring the outside into her home. An array of natural materials have been used to form a neutral basis for her interiors, which she builds upon with organic textures. “I usually stick to an earthy colour palette that recalls the beaches and mountains that always make me feel more at peace, and I incorporate as many natural materials as possible.”
The emphasis on organic modern architecture is prevalent in her contemporary farmhouse home, using raw clay tiles in the bathroom, woven light fixtures, rattan furniture pieces, and wooden cabinetry, which all work together to create varying textures and depth.
Camille’s favourite room in her home unsurprisingly houses her favourite piece of furniture, a custom bed frame made by a local carpenter, which is the perfect canvas for her Oatmeal Bedding Set.
We took a tour of Camille’s neutral-toned home and spoke to her about her career journey to date and some exciting projects coming up in the future.
Hi Camille! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?
I’m a bit of a multihyphenate in that I’m the editor-in-chief of the digital publication Camille Styles, and I’m also founder of direct-to-consumer home goods brand, Casa Zuma. I love that I get to create content and engage in storytelling in the digital space, and also play in the physical world of a products-based business. It really stimulates me creatively on all fronts, although sometimes knowing how to split my time between the two can be a bit challenging!
How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?
I do think I’m inherently a “builder” at heart – I get so much energy from creating something out of nothing, giving birth to an idea and bringing it into the world. Whether it’s planting in my vegetable garden, developing a new recipe, designing products for Casa Zuma, or writing stories for Camille Styles, the creative process is what makes me excited to get out of bed in the morning and gives me a zest for life so that things never feel stale.
Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to pursue this line of work?
My site, Camille Styles, began as a side creative outlet back when I was running my event planning company 13 years ago. It was a place to share all my own tips and inspiration through my lens as an event planner – and I was a Journalism major in school and have always loved expressing myself through writing and visuals. As the blog started to take off and build an audience, I saw an opportunity to turn it into a real business. So, even though I knew very little about digital media at the time, I took a leap of faith and the next decade has been turning a small personal blog into a magazine-style site with editors all over the country.
At our core, we’re about embracing authenticity and imperfection, and approaching gatherings as an opportunity to connect with the people you care about. On the site, we cover Design, Beauty, Food, Gatherings, and Wellness, and my mission throughout all of our content is to empower our audience to create their most beautiful lives. I want to give them all the tools and inspiration and knowledge they need to truly design the life of their dreams.
My new company, Casa Zuma, was inspired by the slower way of living we discovered as our family began renovating a 1950s beach house in Malibu, across from Zuma Beach. We wanted to share that experience through handmade goods that could inspire our community to slow down and enjoy life, and so Casa Zuma was born.
As a former event planner and lifelong party thrower, I have a strong POV about the plates, glassware, and linens that I want to use on my table. So when I thought about designing and sourcing my own products for the table, I got that feeling deep in my soul that just said - YES.
Over the last year and a half, we’ve been working with artisans around the world to create handmade pieces for the home and the table - and I am truly obsessed with every single one. Casa Zuma’s products align with so many of the ideas we’ve long explored on my site: learning to be more fully present, surrounding ourselves with things that spark joy, and connecting with the people who matter to us.
What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to further your career?
My career story has really been about following what lights me up without really knowing exactly how it would all play out. I'm lucky enough to have grown up in a home where it was encouraged to pursue the things you love, that you want to spend your time doing. I’ve always tried to follow what interests me and what sparks me curiosity, and not be afraid to take a few risks along the way. I think this is the key to building a career that you love.
What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your career?
I’m so grateful that even after all these years, I still wake up excited to get to work every morning. Digital media is such a rapidly-changing industry, it feels like every year requires a pivot to stay relevant and competitive, which means there’s never a dull moment. For me, launching Casa Zuma was a major bucket list item, and now I’m just really excited to see where this adventure takes me. It feels like a new layer to my career with endless opportunities to stretch and grow.
Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self or someone looking to pursue a similar line of work?
Instead of asking what you're going to do today, start by asking yourself what you're not going to do. Create the space you need to do what's most important.
How do you balance motherhood with running your businesses?
It's something I’ll never fully master, but I do try to show up and get better at the balance every day. And know there will be times when I have to recalibrate. There are days when I wake up and I’m really there for my family in the way I want to be, and there are times when I allow too much work travel to get on my calendar, or maybe I’m home but my mind is a million miles away thinking about some Instagram comment or email that just came in my inbox. But I've realised that in a culture that's constantly connected to our devices, this struggle of feeling distracted but wanting to become more engaged and more present is something that almost every single person I know deals with. My continual journey is about becoming more present and bringing my best self to whoever I’m with, whether that’s work or family.
Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?
How did you initially know this was the space for you?
We bought the property for the beautiful views of Austin and all the beautiful trees on our one acre lot – there was an old house on the property that was pretty rundown, but we could immediately see the potential of what the property could be with a lot of patience and love.
Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?
We built our house from the ground up. It was about a two-year process.
My career story has really been about following what lights me up without really knowing exactly how it would all play out.
- Camille Styles
What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?
I think of home design as an act of self-care – there are few things that nourish the soul as much as living in a space that feels authentically you! I’m always looking for ways to harness the beauty of nature by choosing pieces for the house that bring the outside in. I usually stick to an earthy colour palette that recalls the beaches and mountains that always make me feel more at peace, and I incorporate as many natural materials as possible - raw clay tile in the bathrooms, woven light fixtures, rattan furniture pieces, and wood cabinetry to create a beautifully textured effect.
What are your favourite pieces in the home?
I love our white oak bed that we designed and had custom-built by a local carpenter - it’s perfect for the space, and I love that it’s truly one-of-a-kind. And of course, my Bed Threads linens that make me happy to climb under the sheets every night! I love their natural texture and muted colour palette.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
The bedroom - I like to feel like I’m in a cosy cocoon, and this space in our home is full of textures and materials that immediately make me feel calm.
What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?
A minimalist aesthetic doesn’t mean it has to feel cold or spare – my design approach is based on “warm minimalism” that incorporates lots of texture and materiality to make a home feel cosy. I’ve found that when I have less stuff, I often discover more joy in the things I do have. It’s an approach that’s not built on trends; rather it’s slowly building a collection of pieces that speak to you, being thoughtful about each of your purchases.
Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?
Our family is currently renovating a 1950s beach house in Malibu, and it’s our greatest design challenge yet. It feels like the culmination of everything I’ve learned about design up to this point, and will be an incredible place to continue getting inspired and creating new products for Casa Zuma. We’ve been in the design and permitting phase for two years now, and are hoping to break ground soon!