Genius. I must admit, at times I didn't feel like we were geniuses. This was a big job. Cosmetic, but bigger than we thought. We slowly attacked each room of the house, one floor at a time.
We moved in with the design inspiration of Malibu Beach Cottage. Since the house was perched high on a hill overlooking the city we pretended that the view was that of the Pacific ocean instead of skyscrapers. I grew up spending my summers in a Laguna Beach cottage overlooking the Pacific and this house's view felt very comforting and familiar. White clapboard siding on all the walls, white slipcovers, dark wood floors, sisal rugs. Clean, crisp, kid and budget friendly.
As we lived in the house we realized that the white clapboard look wouldn't suit our ever changing collection of furniture and design aesthetic. We wanted something less beachy and more refined. Something that would work with our love of Asian antiques and the pieces we had collected from our first house. We moved forward without a design inspiration yet stuck with a color palette of a warm camel and creamy white that would unite all the rooms of the house.
By the time we were done we had ripped into every wall except the upstairs bedrooms. We also changed the exterior and re-landscaped the front and backyard. So much for a cosmetic job!
Of course nothing is ever done as I'm always adding and tweaking. But here are a couple of the after pictures. I hope you enjoy it and it inspires you to maybe make an offer on that not so perfect house!
In keeping with my design philosophy, almost everything in my living room was found at a thrift store, antique store or inherited and re-done. Some of the pieces are still waiting to be done (the end tables next to the sofa need to be painted or stripped and stained. I'll get to it someday). The sofa was my grandma's yet it didn't have any redeeming style. I didn't have the heart to send it to the dump so I had it reupholstered as an English sofa. The Baker club chairs were another consignment store find. It's amazing what a good neutral fabric can do. The only pieces in my living room that I paid full retail for were the Oly nesting tables and the bamboo chest. When you love something buy it. It will make you happy.
Incredible wheat lamp. It was on it's way to the dumpster from my grandpa's house when I snagged it. Another item I love as it reminds me of him.
Check out the new fireplace. It's the focal point of the room now. So long wood paneling. White chairs in front of fireplace were 1950's white oak with floral. Very scary.
Yep, these are the chairs I found on the street. So yummy. My kids and friends dogs seem to love them too.
Yep, this was the orange and harvest gold kitchen. Not huge but it works. My kids love to wrestle on the rug in front of the sink. It makes cooking an adventure.
The old location of the bay window.
The bathroom that was covered in metallic floral wallpaper and had the beautiful wood column separating the sink and toilet.
This piece was part of a french bedroom set from the 1950's. You know the ones.. creamy yellow with gold trim. I painted it a dark chocolate. Great storage for entertaining.
Looking back at the before pictures makes me proud of our accomplishment. Our little beach house in the hills turned out okay. But, having a house that feels like home is the best reward.