Veneer Designs


Back to School: Student Housing Modern Victorian

A second SC Student Housing rental property wrapped up by mid August in time for the returning students to occupy it. This one is a massive Victorian that used to be a grand single family home at the turn of the last century, but if you know the West Adams neighborhood near USC you know what sad state a lot of these old houses are in now. My clients came in to bring it back to life. It needed to be modernized while maintaining its historic sensibilities. 


There is a lot of wood paneling and trim throughout that was left unfinished and dark. Immediately I knew it needed to be painted. Its hard to commit to painting wood because once you do there is no going back. The guys were skeptical but after it was done they saw how much it brightened the gloomy spaces and were happy we painted it all.


The kitchen is large. It was obvious to me that Shaker style cabinets were called for to tie it back to its traditional roots, yet still maintain the clean lines I prefer. Even with the Victorian notes, I wanted to make the kitchen feel edgy and different. I used crazy graphic hex tile in black, white, and gray, then had the lower cabinets painted dark gray  and bright white for the upper cabinets. With matte black hardware and plumbing fixtures. 


I have been working with the boys to develop a certain branded look for all their properties in the past couple of years. Different colored upper and lower kitchen cabinets is one part of it, the requisite black chalkboard wall, funky tile, and the white subway tile with black grout are all components of the SCSH branded look. The idea is that when students are shopping around for housing, the SCSH properties stand out consistently. Without fail, we used the subway tile with black grout in the bathrooms. For bathroom flooring I referenced both the large kitchen hex tile and old timey Victorian tile by using small black and white hex mosaic tile. With almost black walls and black fixtures, the bathrooms feel traditional and modern at the same time. Quite jarring yet fun juxtaposition.


I think we did a pretty good job with a little (ok...a lot of) paint and inexpensive tile, as well as unique fixtures to create a very cool housing situation that honors its Victorian roots. 

Natalie Myers2 Comments