How Carolyn Murphy Chills Out

The model and designer’s favorite hot spots in California




Where do you live?
I’ve lived all over L.A. — Brentwood, Venice, Rustic Canyon. California has my heart.

Where do you feel most zen?
In nature; near the ocean or in the country with space and trees.

Favorite hike?
My favorite parks and hikes are in Big Sur, where the mountains meet the sea and you can smell the earth and the ocean.

Favorite beach?
I like to walk Zuma to Broad Beach and surf Trancas Point.

Favorite relaxing getaway?
I love a weekend in Ojai with friends: stay at Thacher House, ride horses, visit the springs, dinner at Rory’s Place.

Do you follow a diet?
Mostly plant-based, always organic and from local farmers. California has great fishmongers in Santa Barbara as well as incredible ranches with free-range beef.

Favorite hotel?
Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur for the treehouse style, the stars, and the sea.

Favorite workout?
Anything outdoors: surfing, hiking, Pilates at Good Point Pilates in Malibu.

What are you reading?
Reading a few and loving The House of Spirits, but I can’t read without my readers! I created The Lois style with Look Optic; it’s made from 100 percent recycled materials and named after my Nana.



Favorite spa or treatment?
The Spa at El Encanto in Santa Barbara for dry brushing, The Skin Elixir Mask, and massage.

Where do you take visiting friends?
I like The Georgian Room speakeasy; it’s like a step back in time with the Art Deco décor and live jazz. Or a day trip to San Ysidro Ranch for lunch, shopping in Montecito, and antiquing in Summerland.

What’s in your cosmetics bag?
Estée Lauder Double Wear Sheer Makeup, Turbo Lash Mascara, and Pure Color Lipstick; Aerin Rose de Grasse for a spritz.

Favorite hair products?
Innersense Gentle Shampoo, Virtue Conditioner, Milbon Hair Repair, R&Co Pomade, Sam McKnight Nourishing Balm.

Favorite musician?
Anything by Neil Young, or I just love classical piano, particularly Debussy.

Favorite podcast?
I’m inept when it comes to podcasts. I prefer being quiet, reading, or listening to music.

Favorite home items?
Jenni Kayne blankets, candles, and slippers; Matouk or Sferra sheets; Totem Home “marble” plates; Amber Interiors pillows and dining linens; Nickey Kehoe candles, decorative bits, and just about anything; Gjusta Goods for dinnerware, cookware, and spices.

Favorite flowers?
Wildflowers from the Santa Monica farmers’ market; I find making arrangements therapeutic. Eric Buterbaugh for gifting.

Favorite drive?
PCH forever.


Feature image: Carolyn Murphy wearing Lois sunglasses, her design with Look Optic.


This story originally appeared in the Winter 2023/2024 issue of C Magazine.

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