I remember so clearly the night the Thomas Fire started in Ventura. The power was out, but our home glowed orange inside. I stayed awake all night long, reading updates as the fire progressed. My heart broke as I started to read reports of homes burning. I prayed for those who were leaving everything behind, not knowing what they would return to, if anything. I remember feeling so helpless - not just that night, but in the weeks and months that followed.
When this client reached out to me to inquire about hiring me, it was almost like a weight had been lifted, and I finally saw where I would be of the most help. We had lunch together, and I got teary eyed as she spoke to me about their experience. That was over two years ago.
It was so humbling to guide them through this rebuilding process - to watch them try and remember what stood on that ground before, and to figure out how to make the space inside these new walls and ceilings feel like home. I remember showing them drawings and design boards, so excited about what I had created, but leaving meetings feeling like I had missed the mark. I always had to remind myself that although a new home is exciting for most, this new home was not by choice. This new home was only happening because they had experienced a great loss. Their excitement came in waves, and slowly became stronger as we moved through the design process.
Scroll through for the final layout and photos of each new space!
For this specific home, my clients were wanting two different things... The husband wanted a craftsman style home, and the wife wanted a farmhouse. The architect on the project wasn't super involved after plans were submitted for permitting, so I stepped in to help figure out the details and finishes that would marry both styles together. Now they have a warm, inviting home that represents both styles seamlessly!
I love the color of the front door on its own, but I also love that it signals the interior color palette from the very first impression of the house. Rightfully so, this sweet couple wanted a sanctuary for peace, rest, and new memories to be made with their children and animals. To achieve that, wheat, green, and various blues became the palette for furniture, artwork, and finishes, and natural textures found their places in every room of the house.
It’s all about shapes + pattern play in this first seating area as you walk into the house! Loving how this fireplace turned out, with its decorative tile, painted tongue and groove, and beautiful bluestone hearth. The mantle ties in with the beams to give it all a cohesive look. And that chair is the comfiest thing ever... It swivels, it glides, and it looks pretty good while doing it!
The mix of texture, leather, plant life, and wood accents in the family room struck just the right note! Blue can seem like a big chance to take with such a large sectional, but in this case, it really grounds the space and delineates the sectional as the main attraction in the room where family and friends will gather the most. And think about it - how many times a week do you wear blue jeans as part of your wardrobe? Blue is the unsung neutral that we will gladly incorporate into our projects!
One design trend I don’t see going away any time soon is the colored island. Committing to an entire kitchen of painted cabinets may give you nightmares of your grandparents’ lime green or orange kitchen from the 70’s, so it’s no surprise that the clean, bright, white kitchen has been a staple in design for years. The same principle from the family room applies here - the island is the star of the show, the place where all the action happens. Take a chance and have some fun with your color choices! And can we talk about these amazing rattan swivel counter stools? Functional, textural, unexpected - what more can you ask for in a counter stool?!
The original floor plan of the house had a wall separating the dining room from the living room, and the architect incorporated something similar for the rebuild. Once we got involved in the design process, we quickly realized that the space in the dining room was too small to fit the entire family, and we were able to make some changes to forego the wall, and create one big open plan on the main floor, with the kitchen wall as the only barrier between spaces. Big picture windows here and in the family room fill this side of the house with so much light!
I love the echo of the tile work around the fireplace in the laundry room. Who wouldn’t want to do laundry in here? I bet you can smell a spa candle if you wait long enough looking at these photos!
In the master bedroom, we carried the painted tongue and groove wall treatment in from the fireplace in the living room, and went with serene, neutral bedding and a mist colored linen for the draperies. The cane headboard brought in yet another texture, and the artwork brings all of the space’s colors together right above the bed. I could fall asleep in two seconds flat in this space.
Photographing this project a few weeks ago was such a beautiful moment for me. My clients did the hard work... they did the grieving, they dealt with the frustrations of the permitting and building process, and they handled it with more grace and patience than I think most people are capable of. To have been trusted to walk with them in their pain, their memories, and their opportunity to create their next family home is one of the greatest honors of my life.