How do you combine traditional features with modern flair and bold color? This was the challenge presented to designer Jennifer Wallenstein of September Workshop. The homeowners of a Tarzana, California cottage were ready to freshen things up without starting from scratch.
“The homeowner wanted the house to feel more approachable and of-the-moment, but she didn’t want to tear it all down,” Jennifer explains. “It was a question of being strategic, while honoring the bones and preserving the character of the house.”
The remodel was a balancing act that required an eye for detail and a willingness to embrace the unexpected. Every room demonstrates a thoughtful compromise, whether it is a traditional profile with updated fixtures, or modern furniture with classic materials and fabrics.
Creativity abounds in the home’s carefully recrafted kitchen. The design of the original cabinetry was preserved and refinished in a soft, warm shade of white. The cabinet outlines were painted in a taupe hue to pick up on the darker tones in the hardwood floor.
The remodel was a balancing act that required an eye for detail and a willingness to embrace the unexpected.
Color was a huge consideration with the homeowner. Ultimately “we opted for a creamy white backsplash, as opposed to an icy white backsplash that you see a lot these days,” Jennifer says. “It created a seamless transition between the old and new elements.”
BUILDING A BRIDGE
Every boundary was pushed in doing this modern rendition of the California cottage—that included the use of dramatic colors and wild patterns, especially in the living room. “The living room felt too neutral, and we wanted to balance the brightness of the kitchen with something a little moodier,” Jennifer says.
Every room demonstrates a thoughtful compromise, whether it is a traditional profile with updated fixtures, or modern furniture with classic materials and fabrics.
The desk— painted a dark aqua—is the perfect example of a risk that makes its mark. Meanwhile, the rest of the California cottage living room pairs softer hues with pops of color in décor pillows and furnishings.
Color played a pivotal role in the renovation, breathing new life into beloved spaces, such as the daughter’s bathroom and the new en suite bathroom, created especially for the homeowner’s mother-in-law, who visits often.
“We started with yellow and beige undertones and transitioned to a cooler palette of blues and greens. It was almost like a revolt in the other direction,” Jennifer laughs. “The homeowner took bold risks, and they paid off.”
“The homeowner was big on details and always looking for ways to infuse personality and life into the different spaces.”
Special Touches in a California Cottage
The homeowner surprised her daughter with the bathroom makeover. The glamorous touches, such as the velvet chair and rug—which resembles the facets of a diamond—were received well. “The California cottage homeowner was big on details and always looking for ways to infuse personality into the different spaces,” Jennifer adds.
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