Summer Blues

August 16, 2022

Let’s talk about a phenomenon we may occasionally feel but are perhaps afraid to bring up - the Summer Blues. Now, while I don’t completely understand how someone could feel down during the season when the sun is shining brightly, a cool breeze comes off the ocean, and there’s an unspoken excuse to up my ice cream intake - it happens.

However, our Summer Blues are looking quite different this year. They’re taking on a new positive and exhilarating tone, achieved by a home renovation, of course.

Not long ago, a young couple from Redondo Beach contacted me for interior design services for their first home. Upon walking through the space, I knew there would be challenges with this home interior.  I realized  there would be a decent amount of overhaul needed (why oh why is that tiny octagon window there? And over there, too?!). Right away I knew I wanted to get this house out of its funk and freshen its feeling.

Here we have an open concept living room, dining room, and kitchen. Since this is all one large space, I wanted to create a cohesive look from one room to the next. My client and I decided the natural wood ceiling is a strong focal point which helped in leading many of the design selections throughout this home.

Layers of different shapes and textures move your eye across the room. A tufted velvet sofa was selected with extra deep seats, asking you to ‘stay a while.’ Camel colored leather chairs and some knit poufs say, ‘I’m sophisticated AND fun.’ We also juxtaposed finer materials to balance the rustic brick fireplace and wooden mantle, which we left as is.

With this room being on the second floor of the home, it gets tons of natural light. While I am all about light, I felt blinded by the light. I wanted to provide this space with more dimension and intrigue than what all the windows currently allowed.

I covered up a few windows in shiplap panels and painted the wall in Dunn Edwards’ ‘Wharf View.’ Our client may not have ocean views but this hue is giving me anything but the Summer Blues. I mean, how gorgeous is it? Utterly rich but not overwhelming. I finished this space by the fireplace with a few contemporary design elements: a stained  wooden cabinet, clean lines, natural accessories, and a sweet bronze sconce.

Since we’re speaking about summer, let’s go outdoors.  Our clients have a small but decent sized outdoor space they wanted to spruce up for moments of entertaining…lots of them!  A downstairs bedroom was transformed into a common area den in order to be a place to get the party started. Everything was painted bright white, cool geometric tile floor went in, as did the customary mini fridge to have those beverages ready to go.

Welcome to the good life, where the only Summer Blues you’ll experience are the fun tiles in your very own, custom outdoor spa. The original backyard was, well, forgettable. There was a small patch of grass, with a smaller concrete deck atop said patch of grass. A couple of chairs and an umbrella hung out there too. This was not going to cut it for my young clients who were excited to show off their new home.

I chose to give all of those elements the boot. We leveled the backyard and put in smooth concrete on the ground. A water feature was a must, but not one to merely look at. A custom spa was built along the back edge of the yard, enclosed in a richly stained wooden fence. The natural wood and concrete spa give a laid-back vibe, and the natural gas fireplace, in my opinion, hits it out of the park.

Summer Blues don’t have to get you down. Retrain your brain to think that Summer Blues come in all ways and forms - paint, accessories, furniture, outdoor elements. How will you redesign your Summer Blues?

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