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Field Trip: Sunset Mag Idea House

This past weekend I popped into the Sunset Magazine Idea House in Manhattan Beach. We go to the beach down there very often that it was easy enough to detour at the show house once it opened to the public August 1. Its different than other show houses where every room is assigned to a different designer in that the buzzworthy DISC Interiors was charged with the entire home. I'll walk you through my favorite spaces.

The casual dining area immediately upon walking in was hands down the most innovative space I saw. I loved the extra long modern farm table and the Elsa stools as laid back seating on a flat woven striped rug. Coupled with the tall ceilings, extra long linen curtains, and a sophisticated lighting fixture, it was an excellent example of what graceful beachside living should look like.

Immediately adjacent to the dining area was the living room, loosely configured by a pair of arm chairs and throw pillows. The textiles used were the main draw for me - a collaboration between DISC and Smith and Noble. I appreciated the restrained use of a neutral palette and natural textures like leather, jute, linen, etc. throughout the house. I don't know that I would have so much self restraint, but the end product was  consistently pleasing. 

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In the study, a custom wallpaper by Design Your Wall conjured from a photograph by Laure Joliet was an excellent take away idea. I think it would be better in a commercial application. For here though, it totally worked.

It was all in the details for me. I liked the earthy ceramics by Heather Rosenman displayed throughout the house in interesting vignettes. I adored the wide plank French Oak floors and a marble stair tread, just because.

The laundry room of my dreams. Storage and plenty of horizontal surfaces for folding and sorting. The white cabinetry offset by Cle 2x8 glazed brick tile back splash. Just gorgeous. 

There were 5 bathrooms in this house and 4 of them had white subway tile with black grout - an application I have used A LOT because it packs a graphic punch, is low maintenance and super budget friendly, and just looks great with any floor tile. On one hand I was disappointed that white subway tile with black grout was used extensively in the idea house because its not a very unique idea. On the other hand, I was kind of delighted that something I use so much was "good enough" for the DISC team which I admire so much. On the third hand I started to worry that this look was becoming too ubiquitous and maybe even played out. Can I use it again or will it start looking dated? On the fourth hand, maybe this is a modern classic. I am so CONFUSED. A First World dilema people. Seriously.

image via DISC

image via DISC

Other than that I thought the kitchen, great room, and bedrooms to be kind of boring. I was surprised espresso stained wood was used as much as it was for the cabinetry and built ins since to me that is pretty dated. They were very nice, don't get me wrong, but not much nicer than any high end open house I have seen - nothing ground breaking or stimulating of ideas. I really appreciated that every resource for every room was specified. You didn't have to guess on how to make your own version at home, it was all spelled out and the guess work was eliminated. 

image via DISC

image via DISC

As it turns out, I was invited to an evening at the Idea House for a design trend discussion with DISC and Sunbrella later this month so I will report back if I gather any new insights. 


Natalie MyersComment