At Home With Tom & Karian Forsyth
Tom and Karian Forsyth’s home in Rancho Santa Fe’s The Crosby is much like they are: glamorous yet approachable, formal and yet fun. Karian, owner of The Ideal Match, a dating and matchmaking service, met her own match in Tom, owner of the Florentine Company, which has specialized in granite, marble and quartz for more than 60 years.
Little wonder then that the Forsyth home is a showcase for gorgeous natural stone from around the world, from the kitchen island, fashioned from black galaxy granite from the Himalayas, to the formal dining table, crafted of translucent honey onyx from Pakistan, up-lit to bathe the room in a warm, golden glow. In the living room, a sculpture of lovers is formed from giallo siena, a rare Italian marble, while the powder room is tiled in Persian red travertine.
Karian has added elegant touches, combining high-end antiques with revamped flea market finds. In the dining room, for instance, Mediterranean chairs refurbished from a thrift store in Ocean Beach go beautifully with fine French antiques from the McNally Company. In the living room, a chair from a second hand store, repainted and covered in silk and velvet, pairs perfectly with a pricey Louis XIV. Karian also collects glass, whether from Murano, Italy or Home Goods, grouping them together in a striking display. The couple has also purchased carved wooden tapestries from Italy, and tables and other furnishings from The Country Friends Consignment Shop in Rancho Santa Fe.
The Forsyths’ glamorous backyard resort features a coliseum-style fire pit designed by Christopher Lee, the artist know for the iconic Hillcrest sign and numerous public art projects including “Water and Sun,” the dramatic installation at Lindbergh Field. Denise Webb designed the outdoor furnishings built by Dovetail Furnishings in Ramona. There’s even a canopy bed for some serious poolside lounging.
Karian, a former fit model who retains an enviable figure, thanks to spin classes and personal training three times a week, favors Roberto Cavalli, the designer known for complementing a woman’s curves. But she also likes to shop small, “no-name” boutiques. “I like the finds,” she confesses. Tom, who dropped 30 pounds in recent years, credits Karian for making him not only happy but healthy. He stays trim through golf and workouts, and prefers Tom Ford, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci. This past year, he was honored as one of Leonard Simpson’s “10 Best Dressed,” generously donating to the Moyer Foundation to aid children in severe distress.
Married at St. Martin’s La Samanna, the couple has traveled widely, visiting more than 30 countries — the French West Indies island of St. Bart’s, Greece, Italy, and Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos are favorite destinations. Here at home, they celebrate special occasions, Valentine’s Day, birthdays, and anniversaries, at Rancho Santa Fe’s Mille Fleurs and Bertrand at Mister A’s in Bakers Hill. They also like the oyster bar at The Fish Market in Del Mar. While they often attend fundraisers for charities they support, including Voices for Children, Promises2Kids, Miracle Babies, and many more, Tom and Karian are, at heart, homebodies who prefer to dine in rather than out. Karian is, more often than not, the designated chef, preparing healthy fare of seafood and vegetables. Says Tom with a grin: “I open the wine and clean up.” Andrea Naversen
Photography by Vincent Knakal