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Life by Design

The making of a lifestyle maven

Twelve years ago Camilla Styles started a namesake blog. Around the same time she moved into a house she and her husband of 13 years built in Tarrytown. She and her husband, Adam TK, have since made that house a home where they currently live with children Phoebe, 10, and Henry, 7 - when not at the 1950s beach house they're renovating in Malibu, California, Casa Zuma – the inspiration for her lifestyle line of the same name.

For our Home Issue, we caught up with Camilla who says, “My mission is to empower people 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.” Read on to see how she’s doing that for her audience, and herself.

You launched your first business, an event planning company, in 2009. How long did do that? I ran Camille Styles Events for about 3 years, with my blog as a creative side hustle


What did love most about that company? really loved planning events. Meeting with clients and helping them develop a vision for their event, and then collaborating with people to bring it to life was so much fun. I learned so much from the chefs, florists, set designers and I learned how to stay cool under pressure. In the world of events, it’s not if but when something is going to go wrong, so it’s all about learning to handle a potential disaster and being the calm anchor for everyone else.

When did you wrap that up and why? I started my blog as a side creative outlet when I launched my event planning company. It was a place to share 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 decided to try blogging full-time.

How has the blog evolved? When I launched the site, it was about entertaining and cooking, inspired by what I was doing as an event planner. While those are still major themes, the intent has changed from one that was about ‘planning the perfect party.’ a la Martha Stewart vibes, to now being a voice that embraces authenticity and imperfection and approaches gatherings as an opportunity to connect with the people. 

Do you still do a lot of the writing? I still create many of our recipes, write articles about my own design projects and each week I write my Breathing Space newsletter, which is a more personal letter to our community about what’s on my mind.

Have you always been a positive person with a zest for life?

I do think that positivity and resilience are in my DNA—I’m a passionate lover of life and I've always had an inherent sadness over how quickly it races by. The silver lining is that I'm constantly trying to wake up and pay attention to my actual everyday experience because every moment is so precious and I don’t want to miss any of it.

When I look back on the things that brought me joy and excitement as a little girl, there are many patterns that still carry through. I loved making things with my hands, beautiful imagery that sparked my imagination, reading and writing great stories. I inherited my love of beauty and nature from my mom. We would take nature walks and collect everything that we found, like flowers and leaves, and put them in a scrapbook with labels identifying the names of everything.

When did the vision expand to launching your own lifestyle brand retail?

I’ve thought of a lot of different product ideas through the years, and while many of them could have worked and even been fun to pursue, I knew that if I was going to pour my heart into something it had to feel purposeful and core to who I am. Ultimately, the brand was inspired by the slower way of living we discovered as our family began renovating a 1950’s 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. My passion for handmade ceramics, textured table linens, and beautiful glassware run deep, and I’ve spent years searching for the best versions of each one.  For example, I’d long searched for the perfect linen napkin, so I designed a heavyweight oversized napkin that is a true essential for the home. Our stemless handblown wine glasses are what I love to drink out of at home, so I worked with artisans in Oaxaca to make my ideal version and they’ve been one of our most popular items. 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. 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.

Your ritual mug comes with several suggested rituals, what are some you practice regularly? Our Ritual Mug is a limited edition drop that will happen every fall—our final 2022 batch sold out in four hours! (You can get on the waitlist for next year’s mug now at The Ritual Mug was actually the product that started it all and was inspired by my own morning ritual. Every morning, no matter how busy my day is, I spend some time journaling or reading, doing something that puts me in a good headspace. I also look at my schedule and my goals, so I can be really intentional with my time that day. And I always do it while holding my coffee in the same handmade ceramic mug that I’ve owned for years, made by a ceramicist in Santa Fe. So, when it came time to design the Ritual Mug for Casa Zuma, I reached out to her, and she agreed to team up with us on this launch product. It was really special.

How did you meet your husband?

We met at work. Before I launched my company I worked for the digital marketing agency that Adam had founded. In general, I would say that dating the boss is a really bad idea… but in our case, it all worked out. 

It sounds like he helps you with your businesses?

Adam and I are constant collaborators in each others’ projects, and I feel so lucky to be married to someone with so many shared passions. Our date nights often consist of opening a bottle of wine and talking about design projects, work ideas, or dreams for the future—nothing gets us more excited.

What’s something you learned from motherhood?

Motherhood forced me to look at the way I was spending my time in a new way. Pre-kids, I actually loved working around the clock, and then when my kids were little, I felt a constant pull between giving my 110% to both motherhood and work, until I realized that something had to give. Now I’ve learned how important it is to carve out space just for them, with no distractions. When I'm working, my goal is to do the most focused work I can on the things that are really moving the needle for my business so that when I do unplug, I can fully unplug and live life to the fullest. My absolute top priority in the world is these two precious people who bring so much joy to my life every day—I’m so grateful that I get to be their mom.

Why do you think Austin is such a good place for them to grow up?

I love raising our kids in a city that prioritizes getting out in nature, being active, and most of all, being open to new ideas. Austin celebrates creativity and individuality, and I want my kids to grow up feeling confident to be exactly who they are.

What’s your favorite part of your house?

The natural light that floods the spaces—the big steel doors that open to the backyard and create a seamless flow between the indoors and out.


When did you start the garden?

We finished building it in August, and I began planting right away. 

What do you grow?

This was my first season to grow a vegetable garden, and I was surprised by how much you can plant in a Fall garden in Texas! Since cooking is my passion, I planted the things I knew we’d want to eat—all the winter squashes (butternut, acorn, spaghetti), spinach, peppers, tomatoes and as many different types of herbs as I could get my hands on. For me, fresh herbs are the quickest way to add layers of flavor and beauty to a dish, so I need variety!

How hands-on are you with the garden?

My husband Adam loves working in the yard and takes care of all our hedges, shrubs and olive trees around the property. He actually built the raised beds for my vegetable gardens, but the planting and maintenance are all mine! We ran drip sprinklers, so while there’s quite a bit of work involved in preparing and planting at the beginning of the season, once things start growing, it’s pretty simple. I love putting on my gardening gloves and going out to work. Since I spend so much of my time at work on screens and connected, I find it really meditative to get outside and dig in the dirt.


 The tagline on your blog is ‘Live life like you mean it.’ What does that mean to you?

On the site, I write a lot about living intentionally and being more present—themes that I’m always working on in my own life. I think when we realize how short life is, it inspires us to spend our time on what matters most. For me, "living life like you mean it" means being purposeful with every day, knowing our time is limited and that the way we spend it should be aligned with our deepest values. And sometimes, that means letting go of the things that aren’t, to create more space for what matters.

Keep up with Camilla at


Quick Fire:


Go-to dinner party meal: Pizza! I swear by my homemade dough recipe (on and we recently got an Ooni Pizza Oven that has made our backyard pizza parties so much fun! 


Favorite type of pizza?

My Margherita pizza with slow-roasted tomatoes, on a thin, blistered crust.


Favorite book?

A Short Guide to a Happy Life

Favorite cookbook?

Gjelina: Cooking from Venice, California

Favorite TV show?

Newest season of The White Lotus, hands down.

Favorite quote?

“Love is the quality of attention we pay to things.” - J.D. McCatchy

Favorite restaurant for a ladies lunch in Austin?

June’s All Day

Favorite place to shop for a charcuterie board?

Whole Foods 

Coffee or Tea?

Love both, but couldn’t live without coffee

If you could have a meal with anyone, who would it be?

My best friends