Jessie Randall, the creative director behind beloved shoe and handbag line Loeffler Randall, lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with her husband, three kids and a Chihuahua. When we stopped by, she handed over a plate of cookies. “I baked these because my house smelled weird from the worm,” she laughed, nodding at a pet millipede her son was taking care of for his science class. Here’s a peek inside…
On buying a home: When we first saw the house, it was very dark with Pepto-Bismol pink shag carpeting in every room. I forbid my husband Brian from making an offer, but two days later he said, “We got the house!” He was so smart. It’s a nice neighborhood and a pretty block. The renovation was intense, though; I would never do it again!
On working with your spouse: We’re together 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We’re always together. I would be hand making shoes in my kitchen if it weren’t for him. He’s the business genius.
On wagon-wheel coffee table decorating moments: Like every decision! My husband is lovable but opinionated. We’re yin and yang. I stopped asking for his opinion a few years ago. I just started buying stuff and letting him deal with it.
On cooking at home: We do a lot of assembling during the week. On the weekends, I’ll make more ambitious recipes. The Loaves and Fishes Cookbook is amazing; whenever we have guests, I make their potato salad. For the kids, I also printed and laminated our rules for the dinner table. No one really adheres to the rules, but it’s nice to be able to point to them.
On organizing the kitchen: I love my P-Touch labeler. I label kitchen drawers; I label everything. Do you have a P-Touch? It will change your life. I P-Touch a label under every light switch.
On (necessarily) spare decor: I have the kind of children where anything and everything will get knocked over and smashed. We don’t have any lamps, or anything on our coffee table. We definitely don’t have candles. That’s a recipe for disaster.
On this embroidery pillow: I had jury duty last year and needed something to do, so I made our family tree. It takes at least an hour to do each head. Then my husband’s sister and her partner got married and had a baby very quickly, and I was like, this is really messing up my pillow! But I added them in.
On crafting love: I do a lot of knitting, cross-stitching, sewing, quilting. I once got asked in an interview what I want to be when I grow up and I said, I want to be a grandmother.
Cozy pillow: similar here.
On living in Park Slope: It’s like Portlandia. The skits I can imagine happening here, with a lot of the same cast of characters. I was watching that show, and was like, that’s where I live.
On playing around with wallpaper: I prefer just a little; I wouldn’t want a whole room. I love the children’s clothing line, Bobo Choses, so I reached out to them. They designed this wallpaper and I had it printed. You can ask designers you love or people on etsy to make things custom for you. It’s not much more expensive than getting something off the rack and it’s so much more special.
On arranging books by color: The knitting store Purl has everything organized by rainbow colors; it’s lovely. Then I was home for the day last year, and, on a whim, I said, I’m going to do it!
On favorite books: I loved the Patti Smith memoir; it was so beautiful. And The Immortal Life of Henriette Lacks; I like things that are science-y. You know that series America’s Best Short Stories? I like reading those, they come out every year. They also have The Best Science and Nature Writing, so I read that, too. And I end up reading a lot of New Yorker articles.
On the commute to work: I like to listen to Howard Stern. That’s my happy place. It’s so good. He’s changed. He’s such an incredible interviewer. He gets the most in-depth stuff. So many of my friends, so many girls just like us, love him. I love that curmudgeon. Like Larry David.
On living in bed: I use my bed like other people use their living room couch. I’ll eat snacks there. I’ll read, sketch, do my craft projects. It’s the most comfortable place in the house, and then I’m close to my kids if they need me. Sometimes Brian will come into bed early too and watch his Cubs game on mute.
On a serene room: My life is chaotic enough, so I want my bedroom to feel like a hotel. Not a lot of stuff, just a big comfy bed. Brian also likes to have all white sheets and towels. It’s a thing with him. Otherwise you end up with mismatched sets later.
On the joy of a king bed: When my husband and I were first dating and totally in love, we had a double bed, and we were like, this is great. Then we got married and saved all our money for a queen mattress. Then we had kids and got the king, so they could climb in. We need our space!
On sleeping well: What’s that game, musical chairs? Well, we have musical beds. All night long in our house, someone needs me to snuggle them. Every night, I hear little footsteps. Every single night.