Layered by Paige Elise: a one-of-a-kind find in Laguna Canyon

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Although it opened in November 2022, you’ve probably driven past Layered by Paige Elise many times without noticing it. A hidden treasure on Laguna Canyon Road, it’s well worth a stop to take a peek – you’re sure to be enchanted by what you find.

Owner Paige Cogorno, along with her team – Gracie Klein and Jenna Rose – brought together rare finds from international and local sources, to create a stunning collection of timeless pieces.

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Paige Cogorno, owner of Layered by Paige Elise

Cogorno admits that the business is a collaboration. Klein, who handles the marketing, has been best friends with Cogorno since sixth grade and worked with her for the past five years. Rose studied law, but decided to take a different path, and has worked with Cogorno for two years. She handles the social media, operations and shipping.

“I was really passionate about studying law until I realized how much reading was involved,” Rose said. “Now I’m doing something I love and it’s a great environment to work in.”

“I started working for Paige in 2018, so I’ve learned design from her over the past five years,” Klein said.

“I met Paige through like a random connection and then I ended up taking a community college course for interior design specifically,” Rose said. “My parents are both in marketing and I learned a lot of it through Gracie. It’s nice being a small team – we collaborate and benefit from each other’s strengths. I do the Instagram (and website) primarily – it tells people if we have new inventory and what’s happening in the store.

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One of the furniture vignettes

“Everything we do is layered,” Klein said. “We use a lot of textural elements to make it interesting.”

The colors are monochromatic, which on the surface appears to be a simple combination of whites, creams and beiges, but it’s anything but simple – and that’s where the name of the shop “Layered” came into play.

The textures – a blend of exquisite natural fabrics, weathered woods and hard surfaces – complement each other to create a rich and dense array of vignettes.

A graduate of San Luis Obispo California State Polytechnical, Cogorno received her BA in Interior Architecture at the Interior Design Institute.

“We live in Newport currently, but my husband grew up in Laguna, and we love it, we’re here all the time.”

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(L-R) Paige, Jenna and Gracie

This is the fourth store location – the others are located in Fashion Island, Los Olivos and Roundtree, Texas, which is only open during the popular antique market season.

“I always wanted to open a shop like this, but I was on the design side,” Cogorno said. A designer since 2007, she is also the owner and principal designer of Paige Elise Interior Design which was launched in 2011. “I was lucky enough to have a client who wanted her house to have authentic Moroccan doors, so she sent the team to Morocco, and we sourced all these beautiful doors.”

That’s when Cogorno fell in love with searching for and sourcing items internationally.

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One-of-a-kind design pieces

The mother of 8-year-old twins, who no doubt keep her extremely busy during the time away from the shops, Cogorno said, “We started the shop online and then in 2020, we opened in Costa Mesa as a pop up and ended up staying there for year and a half. Then we moved from the Costa Mesa store to Fashion Island (next to Macy’s).” Cogorno opened the Canyon location in November 2022 and Los Olivos in March 2023. The shop in Texas just recently opened.

“I kind of fell into this location,” said Cogorno. “Dan Luna does custom cabinetry and we’d worked together on a bunch of projects. He found the space, and he has offices here now. He said, ‘It’s time to do your store and we’ll have offices in the back.’”

After remodeling, the shop became a beautiful space for both the furniture and design finds, and the offices.

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Jenna, Paige and Gracie with an unusual design element

“Thank God I have an amazing team in Gracie and Jenna,” she said. “I couldn’t do all this without them – and my staff at the other stores as well. My favorite part is hunting down rare items. I love searching and finding all the goodies; it makes me happy. On the buying trips, we don’t always go together, but I usually have someone with me. In June we go to France and Belgium. If clients are looking for something specific, we can try and find it for them. We have many one-of-a-kind pieces.”

Layered by Paige Elise is not like a Crate & Barrel where you place your order and then wait. Customers have the advantage of being able to take an item home immediately. All the furniture is sold off the floor, there’s no ordering or waiting.

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Unique items found on their shopping trips

“The other two locations are in more prominent retail spaces,” Cogorno said. “Since there’s no walk-in traffic here, people coming to this location are coming specifically to see the shop.”

They’re open Monday through Saturday and closed on Sundays, the other two stores are open seven days a week. “We have a business manager as well and then we have staff that works the other stores. We’re lucky in that our offices are here at this location so we’re usually all working in this store.”

Events and future plans

“We normally do a different event every month, but with the opening of the store in Texas, we’re somewhat behind,” said Cogorno. “We’ve had a sound bath here and different sorts of charity events. We love having this space because our other stores are smaller, so here, we can do fun things.”

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Accessories

They have an exciting event coming up. From June 7-17, they’ll be bringing in Kemo Sabe from Aspen, Colo. “They’re a big custom hat manufacturer,” Cogorno said. “They’ll bring the hat basics and then you decorate them. They’re very popular in Aspen and a big draw, so we’re cleaning out this (big) room and they’re going to come in here for 10 days. That’ll be super fun.”

So, mark your calendar and stop by for the fun, meet the team and see what Layered by Paige Elise has to offer. You won’t be disappointed.

Asked if she’s thinking about opening another store anytime soon, Cogorno replied, “No, my husband would kill me!”

Layered by Paige Elise is located at 3305 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.

Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

For more information about Layered by Paige Elise, go to https://layeredbypaigeelise.com/.

For more information about Interiors by Paige Elise, visit www.paigeelise.com.

Follow them on Instagram at @layeredbypaigeelise.


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