By Kristina Houck
From a penthouse in New York City to a mansion in Maui, Solana Beach resident Kris Lajeskie travels across the country and around the world to design businesses and residences. With the recent launch of her retail showroom in the Rancho Santa Fe Plaza, locals can now purchase various items Lajeskie has gathered from her travels.
“What’s so wonderful is that people get to not just pick up a lamp or a table, but they get to see all of the artisan treatments that I’m so well known for,” said Lajeskie, owner of Kris Lajeskie Design Group. “This is a design showcase of my work.”
Located in Encinitas, the 2,200-square-foot building features collections of furniture, rugs, fabrics, accessories and other pieces Lajeskie has approved with her design eye. The showroom opened in June and a Grand Opening was held Oct. 9.
“People take a small trip with us when they visit, because they learn about what it is that we’ve done in there,” she said. “We explain the artists behind the work and the different elements. We’re always telling a story with each and every piece, and that’s what is really gratifying. It’s just so much fun to share.”
Originally from New Jersey, Lajeskie began her career in the retail industry as a corporate executive with Macy’s. After 12 years with the company, she relocated to Santa Fe, N.M., and later married. On a nearly 200-acre ranch, Lajeskie and her then-husband created their new home, which included a 30,000-square-foot residence, museum and colonial village based on authentic Spanish Colonial architecture that utilized only traditional materials and building methods.
After the architect died in the midst of the building process, Lajeskie became the general contractor on the project. She had already been working with the craftsmen and builders, and in her new role, she learned about design, and specialty artisans and builders in New Mexico.
“I was doing all this research on the architectural features that were regional to the area. Through that research, I realized I wanted the house to be authentic,” she said. “It was just unbelievable. It was a four-year journey, and through it, not only did I realize I had this unbelievable gift, but I discovered it was my true passion.”
The project inspired Lajeskie to open her own interior design business in 2002. Since then, her work has included a $15 million penthouse in New York City, a mansion on a private peninsula in Maui and a number of boutique hotels.
Some of Lajeskie’s long-term clients reside in Rancho Sante Fe and the greater San Diego region. After years of traveling to the area, two of her local clients convinced her to relocate to North San Diego County in January. They helped her find a home in Solana Beach and a commercial space in Encinitas.
“It got to the point where my clients essentially did an intervention and said, ‘You’re coming here full time,’” Lajeskie said. “They literally made it possible for me to be here.”