One way or another, Brittany Peltz Buerstedde says she’s always been creating. Starting with her childhood as a competitive ice skater and on to a budding career as a fashion designer—including her own skating costumes and then a children’s clothing line—through to her latest venture as an interior designer and purveyor of carefully curated luxury lifestyle items on her e-boutique, Buerstedde pours all her passion and energy into creating businesses that go beyond merely offering items for sale: They reflect moments in time on her life’s journey.
After injuries crushed her dreams of competitive ice skating, Buerstedde attended NYU Tisch School of the Arts and interned at Gagosian Gallery. She met and married the love of her life, Rhone Capital Managing Director Franz-Ferdinand Buerstedde, in Palm Beach in 2014. The couple welcomed daughters Eva Leah, 6, and Lila Rae, 4, and her children’s wear company, Leah + Rae, was born out of the frustration of not being able to find girl clothing that resonated with her aesthetic. The burgeoning business was on its way with a line of some two dozen styles before the pandemic hit. “Our incredible factories shut down and my life shifted out of NYC [to Miami],” she says.
Her personal priorities took a turn as well. “The energy in the city felt off, and I didn’t feel safe sending my kids out,” she says. So the family, which by that time included son Phoenix Blu (now nearly 2 years old), headed to Palm Beach for a break—and they ended up buying a home in Miami. As a young mother rebuilding family life in a new city during a lockdown, Buerstedde recognized a new opportunity in helping people not only design their homes but create a nurturing, sacred space. Enter her next act: SENA, encompassing an interior design business and related lifestyle e-boutique that exemplify her philosophy of balancing wellness, spirituality, and good energy to make a home an oasis of tranquility.
Her new e-boutique, SENA Lifestyle Studio, extends the reach of her design philosophy to a wider audience, offering a mix of products ranging from postnatal smoothies that deliver needed nutrients to new mothers, to locally made jewelry and hand-woven pillows and Moroccan rugs. Everything is ethically made, sourced from high-quality materials, and selected to promote alignment of mind, body, and soul. “All the pieces on the e-boutique are ones that I would personally use in my own home for myself, my family, or a client,” she says.
The name of the new business was the result of a somewhat exhaustive search. “I wanted a name that was universal and not limiting in scope or style. Nothing felt right until I found SENA amongst a list of baby names I had saved on my phone.” One of its meanings, “bringing heaven to earth,” resonated with Buerstedde. “Our work is not purely grounded in the physical beauty of a room, but in creating a room and a home that speak to a person’s lifestyle and how they want to spend time in each of those spaces,” she says. Ashley Sidman, who hired Buerstedde to design and renovate her family’s homes in Miami Beach and Deer Valley, Utah, says she wept when she first saw the rendering for the bedroom of one of her daughters. “I wouldn’t trust anyone but her, and she is divine to work with,” Sidman says. “As an interior designer, her style is effortlessly timeless.”
Buerstedde’s own piece of heaven on earth in a gated community in Miami near the Design District is a far stretch from the home she and her family previously occupied in a high-rise in lower Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood. With plenty of rooms for homeschooling the kids and an office for Franz, the new location checked all the major criteria for the move, Buerstedde notes. “Most of all, we needed a home where we could all thrive under one roof. During a very uncertain time, these were our priorities.”
The home’s design came instantly, as soon as Buerstedde walked in and saw the open layout with the “gorgeous nature” outside. “I came into the house and could immediately feel that homey sense and see my vision coming to life.” Stripping the brown and green wallpaper, incorporating a liberal use of white paint, and removing the Italian glass-blown chandelier allowed her to transform the palette from dark and moody to soft, light, and warm.
Nature is important to Buerstedde, and she takes full advantage of it in this home. “Despite having moved many times [during her childhood] I did learn the love of the outdoors and the healing power of nature, which I want my children to experience,” she says. “I can see their hearts at ease and their smiles brighter and bigger when they spend those blissful days outdoors collecting plants and fresh fruit from the tropical fruit trees. Instead of a Starbucks and Duane Reade on every corner [in New York], we have palm trees and iguanas.”
Family is the touchstone of Buerstedde’s life. Growing up in an insanely productive brood—father Nelson Peltz is a billionaire businessman, mother Claudia is an ex-model, two of her siblings are actors, and one is an ex-NHL hockey player—gave her the grounding for her life as a mother and entrepreneur. “I loved my upbringing and am so grateful to have the most incredible parents, who taught me that family and love are, above all, most important.”
Balancing family and work is a “constant effort,” she says. “When you know your priorities, it definitely helps a lot. My commitment to my family and children will always come first. Bedtime routines and nightly cuddles are a must. It’s very important for me to start and end each day as a family.” Sidman, who developed a friendship with Buerstedde because their daughters were in the same dance classes, says she often wonders how she accomplishes so much with gratitude and ease. “She is the best of everything as a friend, mother, and an interior designer. As Coco Chanel would say, ‘Elegance is when the inside is as beautiful as the outside.’ This is Brittany.”
Last year may have been driven by “the world stopping on its axis” during the pandemic, but Buerstedde says she and Franz love their new life and haven’t looked back since setting down new roots in Miami. “I was and am still grateful every single day for the palm trees, sunshine, and fresh air, which have become the new backdrop for our lives.”