Santa Monica 3 - The Living Area

You have seen the exterior in the previous blog post, now let's work our way inside. As is typical in a lot of these small LA homes, the walls breaking up rooms into teeny tiny compartments are usually torn down during renovations to create one larger open plan living space.  

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Seeing this configuration is pretty common but I wanted to make it feel really different and edgy. The all white modern kitchen and large glass windows was a nice start for the vanilla box.  The first thing we did since we were very short on time (my client was only in town for 5 weeks and the first week we spent on concept and design development - nailing down the look and feel of the space) was go to a vintage furniture store and buy as many large items that caught our fancy. My client definitely had a funky aesthetic and sought out the weirder items. In a good way. How else are you going to add a lot of personality to a bland white space? Those nesting tables in the living room and the console at the entry are two such examples.

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The second thing we did was get up very early on a Sunday morning and visit the Long Beach Antique Market. A favorite source for midcentury finds at negotiable prices.  That's where we found a lot of accent pieces and the dining room chairs. They needed reupholstering and new chair pads which of course cost more than the set of 4 chairs, but it was worth the effort of cramming them into his car and bringing them back since they add a lot of wamth and life to what would be an otherwise stark space.

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Once we felt like we had our fill of vintage items and hand washing after sifting through some grubbiness, it was time to balance out the vintage with clean shiny new things that still had a midcentury feel to them, but that would be available in 4 weeks or less.  The custom sofa from Thrive Furniture was made in 10 days. That gorgeous leather lounge chair was ready to go from HD Buttercup, as well as the sculptural wood accent chair from Organic Modernism. West Elm is always a reliable source for shelf styling objects. And that stunning black chandelier from Townsend Design was worth the full 4 week wait, even though I was worried it wouldn't make it in time. It really completes the entire larger living space.

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Bright colorful objects from local sources and textiles from around the world helped add energy and vitality to the overall neutral space. Its happy and bright and makes me smile when I think about it.