The saying goes that if you choose a job that you love, you never have to work a day in your life. This is how I feel, as I am able to spend my days transforming houses into warm and elegant homes.
I was so pleased to be able to work recently with Jensen Ackles (of TV's "Supernatural" fame) and his lovely wife, Danneel Harris, to update their nearly 6,000 sq. ft. Malibu home. This is a dynamic young couple and the dark, outdated style of the home just didn't suit them (or the home). I wanted to help them recreate the space with a more relaxed feel, yet maintain sophistication and style.
The Ackles had brought with them some beautiful furniture from a previous house, but we really needed to capture the more relaxed Malibu attitude for this home. I began with a palate of blues, grays and ivories to draw on the colors of the sand and ocean, which allow additional accessories to further enhance the mood. We used many of our custom pieces from Room at the Beach to add that comfortable ease and low-key style.
I love to start with the entryway, as that space sets the mood for the home and is an immediate reflection of the homeowners' taste and personality. Before, this entryway had just a too-small table that sat unadorned alone. Instead, I added an extra-long, custom bench and a beautiful oversized painting from artist Karen Bezuidenhout to create a relaxed, yet bold welcome area.
The original kitchen dining area had a rustic farmhouse table and large upholstered chairs with traditional tufted detail. We replaced the entire setting with a custom fumed white oak table with a natural light grey stain finish. This table has very clean lines that are balanced by the rounded back of the wishbone chairs. A striped neutral rug anchors the room and patterned custom cushions on the chairs are whimsical, yet elegant. The Room at the Beach-designed, grey wooden chandelier adds a lighter feel than a traditional metal or dark wood chandelier, and a dark green banana tree in the corner brings the outdoors in.
Typical of Malibu, the home has amazing views, but many homeowners are reluctant to install any window treatments for fear of obstructing those views. I was able to demonstrate that drapes do not have to cover the windows or be heavy to create a more finished look. Additionally, I always feel that there is no sense of privacy or definition at the doorway if you can see directly into the home. We added drapes in many of the rooms to add that extra detail.
I loved this project because the house itself was a beautiful design with grand ocean views, but desperately need updating. It is a perfect example of how the interior design can easily change the overall feel of the house, even within the same frame. What before was heavy Mediterranean, is now, with lighter colors, fabrics and unique accessories, the embodiment of relaxed, coastal living.
The Ackles have recently have put this home on the market, but it was wonderful to work with them and I find so much joy when transforming a home. Now, it's been quite exciting to see the house featured on many websites, like: Yahoo.com, LA Times, and Wall Street Journal. Let me know what you think of the home in the comment section below!