Gail Smith Peterson


GAIL SMITH PETERSON  AUTHOR FOUNDER a wife, mother, entrepreneur and business women with a passion for all things connecting family and home, the women behind Casual Loves Elegance.

Mission statement: “Creating an adventure to inspire the heart in all things that I do.”

Gail’s natural instinct for design began as a young girl, her aesthetic is inspired by her love of vintage, she says ‘a home isn’t home without nostalgic essence.’ Her work is un-expected, playful, simple, yet lux. Always cosy and memorable.  Details set her apart and her touch adds a sparkle from the heart. She holds a sense of longing for the pure and good. Gail desires to see families gather again around tables, tell stories, for gardens to be planted, for homes to become memorable and for days to be soaked in doing what fills and satisfies the soul. 

The blog...Casual Loves Elegance a lifestyle blog that connects readers through posts filled with design, entertaining, useful tips, musings, DIY’s, updates and reveals on current projects. Gail loves spreading the love about others, giving shout outs to her favorite spots that she discovers locally or traveling. Darling vintage shops, delicious restaurants, beautiful architecture, and the cool vintage finds she brings home from vintage markets. She’s comfortable sharing her first adventures as a farm girl with her readers and sharing an occasional silly or heartfelt special moment.

... in her blog she reminds us that “our lives can be filled with beauty, creativity and a style of living that connects us to home, it’s where our hearts should not wonder from”, she believes. When asked  her thoughts on about hosting gatherings she answered by saying, “Entertaining is an extension of ourselves and if we can give that to others, it’s a beautiful gift that becomes an experience to be cherished”.

Back story...

As a former Model, Spokes women and aspiring ingenue, her career flourished. This small town midwest girl was deeply grounded by family, she remains humbled and dedicated, but not afraid of big dreams.

With the birth of her first baby her priorities shifted. Leaving her career to raise her family and reside Southern California.

Gail’s not the type that waits for everything to be perfect, she rolls up her sleeves and jumps in. Her first challenge after giving birth to their son who was a kiss shy of 10 pounds, was design renovation project of their first home. It began with their 6 weeks old newborn swaddled in a blanket or in a front pack.  The two year complete renovation of their family home was a fantastic experience, she really fell in love with many facets of home design. The on site in their 125 square foot guesthouse without a kitchen or tub with their new baby. That’s a fun story in itself.

The next adventure...

Before the paint was dry, Gail’s difficulty outfitting her large baby had her thinking about an idea.

Reality was... she was a new mom and super busy also still finishing up their house. There were a few important elements missing with her idea, design and business experience and being under-funded. A big risk. “Those were obstacles”, she said. Guided by her instincts, she focused on new baby’s needs. Her passion to excel with her newest career fueled her. She took the risk and utilized her creativity with a vision to fill a niche missing in the children's apparel industry.

An entrepreneurial business women emerged when she created a business model and developed the concept, designed and launched her own brand of european inspired styled luxe baby - children's wear. Her R & D cemented a fool proof sizing chart she developed.  Proudly the Made in America label found it’s way to exclusive boutiques across the country and Barney's of New York. “Buckingham Gear,” was an instant hit. Designing year round at first in her living room, to a studio her husband built for her on their property, then out of the home to a small coastal workroom and retail front. She scaled the business into her own brick and mortar she named “Buckingham Mercantile”, then onto a larger location extending the brand.

The homespun back story sought the attention of news and media. International press, features in books, radio and talk show appearances, entrepreneurial women events featured Gail as a speaker to share her passion, experience and inspiring story with their audiences.

After a decade of launching the brand, two retail stores later it was time to close the business. She treasures the experience, but as the needs of her growing family were changing she recognized that she needed to be fully present with her family, she felt she was lucky to listen to her motherly instinct and be there during those special years.

At the moments she’s...

Currently renovating a dated late 70‘s house, transforming it into a French Normandy Farm house for their family. There’s always a twist...while living in it!  Gail’s smitten with the opportunity to create this beautiful and cozy home for her family, it’s a sweet honor she takes seriously. Gail’s not entirely the girly-girl one might perceive...this former model is usually in torn jeans, a white-t shirt of one her sons. Working on the renovation or in the grove harvesting the lemons for the local market with her bff’s Mr. Lincoln, their Saint Bernard who’s usually at her side and occasionally Miss Chloe, a gorgeous Tibetan Mastiff will make an appearance.

The large project is being completed in Phases as follows, unless they play and hit the lottery!

Phase I is completed. Consisting of a a vintage Garden Folly, oodles of stone work utilizing stone from the site. To cozy up the the 2.6 acres Olive and Cypress trees were planted to border the beautiful private Lemon grove. Large oak trees were planted for each of their dogs. Interior projects completed are- 2 new constructed master suites and en-suites, foyer, new powder bath.

Phase II plans include Kitchen, butlers pantry, laundry, gathering room, living room, master bedroom with en suite, walk-in closet, staircase, front entry, landscaping, pool renovation, outdoor entertaining area.

Phase III plans for a petite vineyard, croquet court, bb court, 3 car garage with bunk house complete the landscape.

Whats next for Gail?  “I have a few exciting ideas I’m working on. I don’t have any experience with my new adventures either, but that ok, I prefer the challenge, the bigger the better, the lessons are sweeter in the end”.... she says.

Contact Gail