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Our Story

The Intimate Living Interiors design approach is to promote a profound sense of well-being and love of hearth and home in your environment. We believe our 18 years of experience provides our clientele with the experience to combine function with livability.


Founded in 2005 by Principal Designer Kari Arendsen, ILI remains a pillar in the design community. Kari is known for her unparalleled ability to interpret the full potential of a space. Applying her acute design sensibilities with intelligent application of key design principals, and knowing when to conserve budget, push boundaries, maximize function and emphasize distinctive style are the elements that make up her sought after designs.

Specializing in:
- Full Service Interior Design
- Custom Remodeling
- Interior Architectural Detail
- New Construction
- Project Management

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"Your home should embrace the precious moments of your past, nurture the present, and promote the aspirations of your future."


“The spaces we live in have a profound effect on our well being. Colors, textures, and materials are just some of the tangible elements that affect how we feel in our daily lives. But creating a truly inspiring environment goes beyond look and feel. It is essential to know how energy flows through every room, and how light interacts with every surface. We distill individual preferences, translate personal styles, and incorporate worldly fascinations to help each client realize their dream of living in a home that brings them deep joy and an inspired quality of life.”

We provide a custom curated process specifically designed for each clients needs.


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“Good design is in the layers of detail and the intention and heart behind those details. It evolves. I love walking into a home time and time again to find something new to discover — a story yet to be told.”


KARI ARENDSEN | Founder and Principal Designer

Years ago, I was asked when my relationship with design began. What was it that led me to become a designer?  At that time I believed that my realization of becoming a designer was birthed during my studies in Paris.  The beauty of old world architecture, the cozy outdoor cafes, and ivy covered buildings combined to fill me with a deep sense of love and happiness. While it was this experience that called me to pursue a career in design, it wasn’t until years later that I realized this was not actually the birth of my love for design.  It was however, the moment of recognition of an inherent quality which had always been within me; the love and appreciation of beauty in our built environment and the effect it has on us. This has become the cornerstone of our driving philosophy here at ILI.

My passion for architecture and design runs deep and stems from my family history of minds that are both logical and creative.  My father is a builder, my mother an exceptional artist, and my paternal Grandmother – a draftsman in the US navy in WWII- also my personal hero.  My maternal grandparents were elite collectors. Growing up we’d visit the estate my grandfather built in China Cove, Corona Del Mar. It was a magical place. Every square inch was graced with a refined elegance that brought the home to life. Every piece of furniture, art, artifact, accessory told a story personal to them. It was like unfolding a manuscript, page by page: from The Napoleon Room that documented their voyage to follow Napoleon’s footsteps, to the enchanted antique carrousel horse that my Grandfather bought for my Grandmother on their trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico - It was an exquisite pair to the antique carrousel band orogen that moved us with its electric boom! The Train Room told the story of their days living on orchard in Rancho California while my Grandfather developed the city of Temecula. Our growing family was honored as each new precious soul arrived, a Cherub was added to the ceiling fresco in the grand entry. Too many stories to share - each and every piece vibrated with life! Their home was magical palace, and at a very young age I inherited a refined palette that has evolved over time. It’s as if I was touched by a magic wand.

Creativity, design, beauty, health and happiness, are the foundation of my life.  My interior design sensibility has been cultivated over the past 18 years through education and experience, but it is the unnamed magic and keen sensitivity to our natural and built environment  that has set me apart in my artistry of using untenable energy to create spaces of optimal well-being.  

Over the years I have refined an approach to design that is known for its timelessness, sensibility, and most notably the ability to create a space driven by the uniqueness of each individual client.  While creating a timeless environment, it is important to know that design trends run parallel to the societal trends of personal health and style, each of which have an emotional purpose that can enrich a space when properly sourced. 

As our Principal, my design vision imbues all of the work we do at ILI. I lead and collaborate with our team to ensure that every project meets and exceeds all of our clients’ expectations.  The foundation of my design career is based in my rich worldly experience and my family's roots. That foundation runs through the culture of ILI, a space where personal relationships, a deep understanding of each client, and an approachable environment has made us a highly sought-after firm nationwide and globally

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TORY PETERSON | Partner and Lead Designer

Some of my earliest memories are of my mother carefully crafting beautiful draperies from a variety of fabrics that felt as good as they looked. Running my fingers along the material, I would watch her work, fascinated by the perfect planning, flawless execution, and intuitive approach she applied to everything she did.

My aesthetic sensibility is influenced by my time working for some of the most sought-after designers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Doing great work for people with sophisticated needs and high expectations comes naturally to me.

I am driven by a commitment to excellence, led by an innate ability to discern core project needs—often before they are fully articulated. As a result, I have been fortunate to work for a select group of interior design firms, which has led me to ILI. I am honored to be part of such a talented team. My role at ILI enables me to apply my diverse skill set to a vast range of projects for local, national, and international clientele. Our team shares a common passion for doing transformational work—no matter how small or large the project.


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