Casual Sophistication

Sally Bartz, the creator of cool bag company Halsea, weaves her love of 1960s and ’70s retro into her home filled with casual sophistication.

Casual Sophistication

Sally Bartz, the woman behind Halsea, is known for her adorable line of bags that are a little bit Brady Bunch yet can be seen on luggage carousels from Palm Beach to Nantucket. Sally grew up in the laid-back California coastal city of Corona del Mar, where she continues to make her home.

From a very young age, Sally was interested in art and color, and inherited her love of making things and decorating a home from her mother and grandmother. Her parents fostered her creative side by exposing her to any and all artistic avenues they had available. “In Southern California there are a lot of art opportunities. We went to art museums all over Los Angeles and to La Jolla to see plays,” she says.

kitchen table

Growing up in the late ’70s and ’80s, Sally experienced a freedom and openness of design that she attributes to her location more than anything else. “There is a newness and vastness in Southern California; we are not tied to any traditions,” she says. “The sand and ocean provide a natural beauty that can be translated into the home.”

Sally translates the easy, lighthearted approach she uses in designing her totes as she does in designing her home with casual sophistication with a contemporary feel. When she and her husband, Aaron, found the home in 2005, they were instantly drawn to the spaciousness and possibilities it presented. “It has a great backyard where the kids can run around as well as a great space for a veggie garden,” she says. “Most of all, I liked the freedom it offered.”

home bedrooom

While the color and whimsy in her children’s rooms encourage them to unleash their creativity, Sally cherishes the time the whole family spends in the kitchen. Sitting down for meals is an important family time that she looks forward to every day.

“There has to be a place in the house where everyone can sit down and eat together. It is essential,” she says. Her other home necessities include books and fresh air. “I like an indoor/outdoor feeling. It brings a freshness in that makes home a wonderful place,” she says.


In order to keep her home a true sanctuary, Sally keeps her work space and living space separate. Because the home belongs to everyone, it is impractical to fill the space with her fabric and design materials. “With two young kids at home, things never stay where you leave them,” she observes. “At work, I can leave at night, come back in the morning and everything is where I left it.”

Most importantly, Sally keeps to what she likes but is never afraid to experiment or evolve as a designer. Her home is the embodiment of what her totes represent: effortless style built on comfort and durability.


By Regan-Elyse Elder
Photography by Mark Tanner
Styled by Jacqueline deMontravel

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