We sat down with Lizzie and Kathryn Fortunato of Lizzie Fortunato Jewels to chat all things personal style. The twins dish it all, including where they find inspiration, their design do’s and dont's, and who’s the better cook.
When it comes to good style and curated taste, Lizzie and Kathryn Fortunato of Lizzie Fortunato Jewels know that it’s not about how much you have, but rather how to maximize what you have.
The NYC-based duo (who just so happen to be twins) have kept their business independently owned, while focusing on integrity over “quick growth.” They create highly ornate jewelry collections and feature international collectibles from their travels in their Homewares line. Able to express taste through any medium, Lizzie and Kathryn are leading the charge of what it means to transform your “stuff” into an actual way of being.
Tour The Kitchen
We sat down with the pair to get the full rundown on how to maximize minimalism in our day-to-day lives.
How do you each describe your personal style + aesthetic?
Kathryn I like to think my style is layered but classic. I love to layer — blazers, vests, trenches — to mix up a look with solid building block pieces. Some of my favorite brands are Dries, Toteme, Demylee (for sweaters!), Kule (for my striped shirts) and Apiece Apart.
*Lizzie and I banned “fast fashion” from our wardrobes years ago in an effort to really practice what we preach, so I invest in much fewer (but nicer) pieces in both my wardrobe. My friends can never believe how spare my closet is, or that I only own 3 pairs of blue jeans, and yet that I always look like I have something different on. *
How do you describe the style + aesthetic of your overall brand?
Lizzie + Kathryn *Our brand is all about being able to layer really head-turning accessories on top of those outfits that you always return to in your closet. Like if you have the perfect shirt or pair of trousers, then what better way to update it than a gorgeous beaded collar or colorful earring. The same goes with the Fortune Finds homewares that we curate on our website. These are meant to be “pops” of interest, be it a stunning, patterned Indian Kantha quilt or brightly colored ceramic that adds depth to your space. *
What’s your process for curating home decor goods?
Lizzie Our assortment of curated homewares was born from my travels and the “souvenirs” I was bringing home for myself. I was traveling to places like France, Morocco, India, and Mexico. I would always bring home textiles or ceramics that inspired me.
Now, whether I’m selecting one-of-a-kind wares from an estate sale or market, or from an artist’s linesheets, I always look for pieces that I would want in my own home and that feel timeless. I also want homewares that don’t feel like you could purchase them anywhere.
What’s a common misstep people make when curating goods for their home?
Lizzie + Kathryn Feeling like you have to do everything at once! We believe a home should feel collected and deeply personal. Sparseness is totally better than purchasing everything at once and then having your house feel like a catalogue.
If you’re really desperate for “filler” accent pieces then our trick is to use something natural (and likely free!) like a pinecone, seashells, or stack of rocks.
What is some design advice you would give to someone moving into their very first home?
Kathryn Invest in one special piece to build your space around. In my first big(ger) NY apartment, I found the most amazing old wood farm table at Brimfield antique market — it made for the perfect dining room table to gather friends around. I invested in that and then built the room around it.
Lizzie Don’t rush!
Where does your Caraway Cookware Set live in your home? What is your color of choice, and why?
Lizzie The Navy Cookware Set lives between our kitchen drawers and out on our stovetop. I usually always have the fry pan out on the stove because we’re a big breakfast family and make eggs daily, and this pan is my favorite go-to.
Kathryn Our Cream Cookware Set lives in drawers (resting in their dividers which I am obsessed with), but is on our stovetop daily because we use it all the time. We decided to paint our bottom cabinets a dark midnight color and all the upper cabinets a beautiful cream color that matches the cookware almost identically. I love that it feels like my Caraway cookware was made for this kitchen!
What does your Caraway color bring to your kitchen?
Lizzie The Navy feels so sophisticated against our white walls and cream cabinets. Also, I have a small backsplash behind my cooktop that features fabulous green tiles, and I love the way the rich blue and green hues speak to each other.
Kathryn Cohesion! The Cream Set matches our cabinets perfectly. It’s a really nice subtle way to tie everything together.
What do you wear while cooking?
Lizzie Totally depends, but often includes an apron because I’m the queen of spilling. I have a handful that my paternal grandmother has needlepointed my initials on, which I love!
Kathryn Ditto! Aprons are key to keep my clothes clean while cooking and feeding my 15 month old son.
Turning Up the Heat
- While Cooking, Jewelry On or Off: LF: On!
KF: Always on!
- Favorite Dish to Make When Entertaining: LF: Among others, chili!
- Most Contentious Item You Have In Your Home: LF: Right now we have a big contained area for our one-year-old, which I'd like to see evolve into something more chic.
KF: My husband just got an Xbox...
- Worst Bargain: LF: Yard sale or flea market items that you buy just because they're cheap.
KF: Anything plastic. I try to avoid it!
- Caraway Cookware – Countertop or Cabinet: LF: Countertop!
- Dream Dinner Guest: LF: Oprah.
KF: The Obamas
- Favorite Kitchen Memory: LF: Making my grandmother's gingersnaps with my mom. I think my favorite would be helping her with the sweet stuff. My grandmother's gingersnaps were the best and we would always try to make them as well as she did
KF: Crowded kitchens. Holidays and family get-togethers often are spent with everyone crowded in the kitchen – cooking, eating and drinking. This is the ultimate joy.
- Country You Imagine When You Imagine Your Retirement Kitchen: LF: Ooooh this is fun...Italy.
- Lizzie or Kathryn – Who's The Better Cook: LF: Kathryn is, but we're a good team!
KF: It's a tie!
- Lizzie or Kathryn – Whose Kitchen Is Better For Hosting: LF: Mine.
- What's for Dessert: LF: Pie.
KF: Fancy cookie ice cream sandwiches cut into pieces so everyone can try all the flavors.