Do you ever get an itch to get a fresh start? Do you ever take a look at different rooms in your home and wish that you hadn’t selected that particular wallpaper or just want to tear down that wall? Do you ever wonder why some random architect decided to make two small bedrooms instead of one, spacious one? I’ll say it, I think we all go through this internal debate at some point or another. We are constantly reimagining our spaces, but when will we stop dragging our feet and get our hands dirty? If you’re a homeowner, you know how important it is to be demanding of your spaces - you’ve earned this right! Our homes need to work for us, our lifestyles and our loved ones.
Back in November of 2019, I first met with my potential new clients. A lovely family with two children with a home in the Tree Section of Manhattan Beach. We began the design process by going through a hit list of their current priorities: Living Room, Dining Room, Family Room & Primary Suite. This remodel took about two years to complete, after which, my client was ready for a breather. We kept in constant communication about dreams & desires for future, reimagined spaces. You know as they say, timing is everything.
Let’s not forget to touch on one pretty important, underlying vein that was present during this remodel: the novel 2019 Coronavirus. As we know all too well, lives & lifestyles were turned upside down. Adults were working from home, children were learning from home, lots of banana bread was baked. We entered an era of remote productivity, limited social interaction, and had lots of time to think about home remodels. Interior design was a profession that went into overdrive during this time. Homeowners were ready for change.
Being able to reconceptualize a space is a form of art, but it is also a survival tactic. When you’re spending so much time indoors, spaces must be able to accommodate different uses. Our clients came to us with a new challenge: transform their guest house into a workspace that doubles as a hangout spot for their teenage children. Until this moment, the guest house was inhabited by a friend full time. Once they were out, our work started. Our task at hand required us to creatively think about what the best design would be to support a busy professional keeping up with a demanding Zoom meeting schedule, at the same time, foster a fun and relaxed atmosphere for the kids.
While the space we had to work with was limited, the room had tons of potential. We demoed an existing sliding door closet and shelving unit & transformed this space into a custom (and chic!) cabinet and desk area. We installed a mini fridge in this unit too, sothat adults & kids alike could grab a beverage without having to go to the kitchen in the main house. We saved space here but maximized functionality. Across the room, we built a coffee bar with a mini sink as another convenience when work requires you to burn that midnight oil.
First thing, the pale yellow walls had to go. We brightened things up by adding Sherwin Williams “Crushed Ice” to the walls, accented by a beautiful, bold green-blue color, Sherwin Williams “Riverway.” We used this same color to make the custom coffee bar pop.
We chose a neutral colored sofa from West Elm which pulls out into a bed to accommodate those summer sleepover parties. We didn’t hold back on the fun when selecting the bright & geometric Ruggable area rug. A comfy desk chair from FourHands glides easily under a custom desk while two end tables, from the same company, provide a place to set down drinks and snacks. We found a gorgeous media cabinet from Croft House to anchor the room and the massive 72” TV screen hung on the wall, which is perfect for movie nights. Two ceramic up and down sconces from InCommon With were placed on either side of the TV, their shape mimicking the “U” design of the rug.
We demoed the existing floor and wall tile in the ¾ bathroom. Out with the old, in with the new. We selected a trendy terrazzo tile for the floor and did a rich, blue subway tile on the shower walls, while choosing playful, overscale, matte white penny tiles for the shower floor. Matte black plumbing fixtures, cabinet hardware, vanity light and mirror from Uttermost marry the design from the bathroom to main room.