3 Children • Marin County, California, USA
Kendra lives with her husband, photographer Seth Smoot, and their three children in a beautiful home just across the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County, about half an hour north of San Francisco. Kendra has enjoyed a successful career as a freelance stylist for 15 years; she is also an art director and shot the latest Mabo campaign herself. When I met Kendra for the first time, over two years ago, I right away fell in love with her kind, natural personality, as well as her minimalist yet warm and casual sensibility. We became friends, and as I considered who might be my first American muse for Over the Ocean II, I hoped it would be her. I’m very happy to share here with you a glimpse into Kendra's loving family life and home.
Hi Kendra, please tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
Kendra: Hi Birgit! I have three children - Stella (11), Imogen (6), and Truman (3). My husband Seth and I have been together since we were teenagers. We live north of San Francisco in Marin County.
Can you share 3 attributes with us, which make your home the perfect home for your family?
Kendra: Connection to nature, open + shared spaces, beautiful light.
You work as a stylist, art director and also photographer. What elements influence your creative vision?
Kendra: I love to wing it, that is to be totally inspired by the place and people and surroundings that are happening in each unique situation and respond in kind.
How would you describe your style? Are there any common values between how you dress yourself and decorate your home?
Kendra: I love neutrals and am drawn to a mix of rough + refined.
You have lived and worked in New York before you moved to California after your second daughter was born. What has been the biggest adjustment, moving from NYC to San Anselmo? And how is the day to day different?
Kendra: I spend so much time in my car now! In NYC my commute was walking, taking the train, or riding in taxis chatting with drivers. I like to feel like I’m being efficient so going someplace AND maybe having a nice interaction with someone always felt great. Now I listen to a lot of podcasts while driving which is mostly wonderful, but can also feel boring. The day to day pace is much different- every day in NYC felt exciting and bit like a grind and now our days are much gentler.
Do you have any family rituals? What does an ideal day with your kids look like?
Kendra: Our mornings are very important to us - Seth and I get up early, start coffee and turn music on. Mostly classical piano, symphonies, etc. We have a local farmers market on Thursday and Sunday mornings that I love to go to- making meals from that produce makes me insanely happy. My ideal day used to be spending all day at the beach but lately thats been shifting; time at home all together is feeling precious and I enjoy days now where we putter around, work on projects, have a family swim, bbq on the deck for dinner.
Do you have any rituals you practice for yourself to keep you grounded?
Kendra: I try to spend a little bit of time in the morning dry brushing my skin, stretching, and doing a nice face wash. I love yoga and go to class a few times a week. And I have a few girlfriends who I feel so loved and supported by that I make a huge effort to spend time together.
You own an old VW Westfalia camper. What has been your favorite trip in this camper so far?
Kendra: Every trip is so epic! I think really the best trip is the one where we rented a camper van and drove from Big Sur to the Redwoods - it’s what convinced us to move to California in the first place.
Please share with us what you think are the most important lessons to teach your children?
Kendra: To be honest, and kind, and to treat everyone with love and respect.
Thank you very much Kendra!
Photos by Kendra herself and the photos with her, by her husband Seth Smoot.
Stella is playing the guitar in her Kimono jacket from Nico Nico. Imogen is wearing the Una dress in white. Both bake and craft in their aprons from Odette Wiliams Brooklyn.
Truman loves his PDC Bear and the Arch pants from Leitmotif. He is happy to have the Sailing Ship from Haptic Lab now above his bed.