Pro Portfolio: Mar Vista family home made colorful, playful


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Every Monday we post a recently built, remodeled or redecorated home with commentary from the designer. This week we look at modern Mar Vista house redecorated as a family friendly -- and colorful -- home.

Design: Vanessa De Vargas, Turquoise.


Designer’s description: I took a boxy space and added color and pattern. My client wanted to reupholster some existing items and to purchase some new furniture and accessories.

We focused on colors and patterns that my client liked. Because my client has two young kids, we wanted the space to feel more playful and cozy but maintain its modern feel. We used large-scale geometric patterns that weren’t too busy or fluffy.

The results is a fun yet balanced space. We only chose two or three colors for each room. I shopped at Duralee at the Pacific Design Center and Diamond Foam & Fabric.

The home began with a modern palette, so we could get away with breaking the rules, mixing a large gold mirror with a large chrome dining table or mixing a yellow toile regency chandelier with a pair of Bertoia chairs. My client and I also searched EBay, Etsy and stores such as Surfing Cowboys.

The photo, above right, shows the living room before. The photo at top shows the same room with the old sofa retained but moved to a new location, the chairs reupholstered and repositioned, the coffee table and rugs swapped out, lamps and poufs added to the mix and art hung to break up the vast expanse of glass blocks. To see more, keep reading ...

The vintage pie-crust table was a score from EBay. The table’s soft lines create an unexpected juxtaposition with the modern sofa. The diving photo is a bit of whimsy.


In this ‘before’ photo, the kitchen was largely a contrast between dark and light.

As part of the redecoration, the stark kitchen was given a feminine touch with custom green upholstery for the counter stools. Also note how the change from dark to light changes the feeling of the corner seating area, even from afar.

The white canvas was dressed up with a vintage yellow chandelier, Jonathan Adler plates on the wall and custom pillows.

I thought it would be fun to place this adorable photo of the kids making waffles on the counter to add some humor and warmth to the space.

The dining room before it was redecorated.

And after: Custom zigzag drapes and a rug help to finish a once-bare room. The image on the wall was the client’s photo of her parents’ winning Del Mar horse. It was enlarged and hung in a simple black frame, creating a more intimate and personal space.

An inexpensive IKEA basket provides the pop of color.

-- Compiled by Lisa Boone

Pro Portfolio appears on this blog every Monday. We invite architects, interior designers, contractors and other pros to submit California projects finished in the last 12 months to Readers also can submit their DIY work -- a redecorated room, a carpentry project, a garden -- for a new forthcoming feature.

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