Being an interior design fanatic usually means you’re a homebody at heart. And while popular home décor and style blogger Emily Jackson of Ivory Lane does spend a lot of time and effort perfecting her Utah-based digs (just check out her recent master bedroom reveal), when she’s ready for an escape she heads straight to the beach. We caught up with the mom of two (who’s pregnant with twins!) after she returned from her first trip to the Hamptons with her sister and family. Here, Jackson talks personal style, her decorating aesthetic, and her top beach vacations. And naturally, she’s already got her next seaside getaway booked.
LUXURY RETREATS: Personal style, from your outfits to your home, is the cornerstone of your blog, Ivory Lane. So what’s your style when it comes to vacations?
EMILY JACKSON: My husband and I are such beach vacation people. We go to Laguna in California a lot, and Maui in Hawaii is my very favorite place. I grew up going there and I’ve been back every year with my husband, Taylor, since we’ve been married. We’ll relax, swim, go to great restaurants, we tried zip lining the last time we went there… We love Kapalua and Wailea beaches and we always go back to Mama’s Fish House to get fresh, amazing fish straight out of the ocean. I’m a fan of their Mahi Mahi served with some sort of mango sauce—I don’t even know exactly what it is, but it’s really, really good.
LR: You recently returned from a beach vacation, this time in Southampton. Was it your first time visiting the Hamptons?
JACKSON: Yes, I’d never been there before. I loved Southampton, it was so quaint and really beautiful, with so many trees and flowers and beautiful homes. It felt like being inside a storybook walking down Main Street, it’s so picturesque. The whole area felt totally laid-back and the beaches were really pretty with white sand, yet weren’t crowded or touristy at all. We went to Cooper’s beach and Fowler beach, and they were totally different than most other beaches I’ve ever been to—they were just empty of tourists. I definitely want to go back.
I also love the TV show Revenge, which takes place in the Hamptons. All the beautiful homes and the beaches look exactly like they do in the show. The weather was really nice while we were there, but there were a couple of overcast days—and on Revenge it’s always overcast. On those days it really felt like we’d stepped inside an episode.
LR: Luxury Retreats provided a complimentary stay for you at the Infamous Hamptons villa. What was your first impression?
JACKSON: It’s so, so gorgeous on the outside, at first glimpse. It’s totally what you’d imagine a Hamptons home to be like, with the shingle style, all the hydrangeas, and the beautiful landscaping. And the pool and the kitchen were super-nice. The concierge service had the house stocked with groceries, which made it really easy to grab food or cook, plus they brought cribs in for us, which was really nice. There’s just a lot that you travel with when you have kids, and our concierge had everything there for us that we needed.
Spending time with our family in this quaint, picturesque place was amazing. My sister Rachel and I have been to Hawaii and California together on vacation, but we’ve never stayed in a house together before. This trip was such a great, relaxing experience.
LR: What else did you and your crew of 9—that is, you, your two kids, your husband, plus your sister Rachel’s family of 4, and a nanny—all do together in the Hamptons?
JACKSON: It was really a chill vacation. We were always either at the beach, at the pool, or out to dinner. Our concierge arranged dinner reservations at Sant Ambroeus for delicious Italian food, and we went shopping on Main Street.
The concierge service also arranged for a catamaran rental one day, which was so much fun. It was just cool to explore the beautiful coastline and my kids [Capri, 6, and Cannon, 2] got to jump out and swim in the ocean. I spent some time swimming, but mainly relaxed and watched the kids and the scenery.
LR: Do you have any tricks for packing for a beach trip as a style blogger—not to mention one who’s traveling with kids, and pregnant, too?
JACKSON: I plan out my outfits really carefully. I also always bring a little portable steamer with me so I can steam my stuff when I get there. I really don’t like ironing, and even for a beach vacation, I’ll bring cute dresses that I might wear out to dinner that may need steaming. I always bring a hat, as well as a straw beach bag that I can throw all the kids’ toys in, one that I don’t care if sand gets in it. And now, being pregnant, I’m in flow-y dresses all the time. In the Hamptons I didn’t bring any shorts or pants, just dresses. I’m all about comfort, and a wrap dress is my favorite to wear when I’m pregnant. The trick is to look for a high waist that fits on top of the bump. I get a lot of mine at Revolve, Shopbop, and Nordstrom.
When I travel with my kids, I’ll always bring a backpack filled with stickers, coloring books and snacks, things they can go through and pull out that will keep them entertained during a flight.
LR: Does being a mom affect your fashion choices, or even your home decorating aesthetic?
JACKSON: Obviously, if I’m taking my kids somewhere with me, I’m not wearing five-inch heels. But I try not to let [motherhood] effect how I dress. My style is pretty classic, I’m definitely not edgy. I don’t go for really crazy, unique pieces—I’m classic, but definitely girly and feminine. My home is kind of the same: It’s traditional, with lots of neutrals and clean lines. Crazy paint colors, like bright red or yellow walls, bother me. I like it to be calm and serene in a home; mine has lots of blues, grays, whites, and purples. But I really tend to do what I want with clothes and my house, and my kids are along for the ride.
A lot of people probably think I’m crazy, but I have a white couch—and I’ve never had a problem with it. My kids just know they can’t eat or drink in that room. They eat and drink in the kitchen.
My blog definitely leans more fashion, but I’m actually drawn more to interiors. But decorating a room and a space takes a lot more than putting together an outfit. And I definitely love fashion. I grew up in a house full of girls with a mom who loves clothes and shopping. Our Saturday activity would be going out with my grandma to pick out new clothes.
LR: Back to your love of beaches: Do you have a dream beach vacation destination?
JACKSON: I really want to go to Capri, Italy—we named my daughter after that city, and we really want to take her there someday. I’ve never been there, I’ve only seen pictures, but the coastline just looks so beautiful and serene.
LR: In the meantime, which fabulous beach are you headed to next?
JACKSON: Back to Maui for a babymoon! We usually always go in January or February to get away from the Utah winter, but I’ll have two new babies around that time, so we’re going at the end of September instead.