Of The Moment: Georgia McElveen & Andrew Uihlein
It’s a family affair.
Casa Branca is “a vision for the home”--a one-stop-shop for all things refined wovens, playful prints, and textural wallpapers founded by Andrew Uihlein’s mother–and Georgia McElveen’s mother-in-law–design icon, Alessandra Branca.
Andrew and Georgia serve as Casa Branca’s President and Creative Director, respectively. Below, we caught up with them at their whimsical Southern California home as they give us the inside scoop on how to Casa Branca-ify your home, favorite family recipes, what they’re most excited about this summer, and the best spots to visit in LA.
Shop Their Looks:
The Best Part Of Living In California Is…
The museums & great outdoors. Having access to hikes within 5 minutes of where you live is truly special.
Be curious! And kind. :)
Take yourself or anything too seriously.
A bath or a laugh cures all.
Personal Fashion Style:
CA Restaurant Recommendations?
Tell Us About Your CA Home:
Our 1920s Spanish Style home has so much character! It is our first home together and we've had so much fun getting a chance to decorate with our Casa Branca collection. We both love to host so much and have thrown a wide range of parties. Most recently we had an adults only Easter Saturday party which featured Italian magician bartenders in our pink dining room and 3 long tables in the back where everyone wore bunny ears for dinner.
Shop Georgia’s Look:
What Is The Inspiration Behind Casa Branca?
Casa Branca is based off the design ethos of my mother-in-law, designer Alessandra Branca. Designs are color coordinated across collections and categories making it easy and fun for any level of designer to mix & match. Everything is rooted in quality, craft, and a touch of whimsy.
What Are You Most Excited About From Your Summer Collection?
Where Can We Find Casa Branca This Summer:
Advice To Entrepreneurs:
Start small and focussed and then grow from there. Don't grow faster than you can keep up with. You don't want to confuse your customers by losing control of your image.
Into the blue. Casa Branca interiors are influenced by modern and European art, classical details, rich colors, patterns, and textures, distinctive accessories, and antique and custom finishings. Image courtesy of Branca.
What Is Your Favorite Success Story:
Launching Casa Branca during Covid! Our original launch date was March 17, 2020 in a popup space in Palm Beach, which we of course had to cancel. Luckily everyone spent too much time in their homes and started redecorating or moving to new vacation homes. Because our model was all about having stocked inventory, it worked out super well for us at a time when it was very difficult for designers to get anything in a timely manner.
What Is The Most Rewarding Part Of Your Job?
Being such a new company, every day is an adventure. There is never a dull moment and it has been so rewarding to look back on our tremendous growth over the past three years.
Must-Have Interior Pieces?
How Does Your Personal Style Impact Your Work?
My work impacts my personal style!
When I Need Inspiration I…
Travel somewhere new, go to a museum, or go for a nature walk.
The namesake and the muse: Alessandra Branca designed her Chicago townhouse. Image courtesy of Galerie.
Favorite Interior Designer:
Alessandra Branca! Her attention to detail, mix of high and low, combinations of pattern and color is unlike anyone else and always FRESH!
Every House Must Have…
A mix of old and new! That is the secret to making a home feel like a home (comfortable, warm, and homey).
“Decorating a room is a little like making a pasta sauce—you have to balance the design just as you would balance the flavors.” Nonna’s pasta is famous in the Casa Branca family.
- Fill the bottom of a medium-sized saucepan with a layer of olive oil. Add 4 garlic cloves to the oil and sauté on medium-high until golden brown on all sides. Promptly add tomato sauce followed by a handful of basil leaves to the pan and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Lower heat to medium-low and allow to simmer, covered, for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sauce can simmer for up to 1 hr. After simmering, remove sauce from heat and add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste.
- While the tomatoes are simmering, prepare the ground beef. Mix, knead, and season the meat with salt & pepper. Fill the bottom of a second medium-sized saucepan with a layer of olive oil. Add 4 garlic cloves to the oil and sauté on medium-high heat until golden brown on all sides. Add chopped onions and cook until softened, 5-6 minutes.
- Add meat in scoops and brown on all sides. Once browned, break apart the meat to reach desired size/texture. Lower heat and simmer until meat is cooked through.
- In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil and cook pasta to al-dente perfection. Strain the pasta, keeping a cup of the pasta water. Add 1/2 cup pasta water to the tomato sauce. Mix tomato sauce and meat together.
- Serve sauce over pasta with grated Parmesan and garnish with basil leaves. Buon appetito!
Add a tiny amount of sugar or sweetener to balance any bitterness.
Allow meat to reach room temperature.
For a creamier sauce, add a tablespoon of Mascarpone and grated Parmesan.