How can you combine the relaxation of a vacation with the bustle of daily life? This was exactly the challenge presented to Blackband Design when the homeowners of a San Juan Capistrano, California, home were ready to renovate into their Cape Cod inspired California cottage.
Cape Cod Creativity
“Inspired by a vacation home they’d visited, they wanted to give this new home that vacation-home vibe,” explains project designer Ashley Porter of her Southern California clients. “The key for our clients in hiring us is our capability to take this very heavy, kind of drab interior Tuscan space and create more of a fun, light, bright, Cape Cod inspired feel,” explains Wendy Blackband, owner/designer of Blackband Design.
“Some people might start with an artwork; some with an accent piece of furniture. We really feel like a lot of our design is driven by fabrics.”
A mix of pieces, trinkets and materials fills out each space, but the refined Cape Cod-inspired seaside look of this home all started very simply. “Some people might start with an artwork; some with an accent piece of furniture. We really feel like a lot of our design is driven by fabrics,” Wendy says. From the buffalo-checked ottomans in the entry to the navy shibori pattern on curtains throughout the main living spaces, patterns introduce both color and texture into the space.
From the buffalo-checked ottomans in the entry to the navy shibori curtains throughout the main living spaces, patterns introduce both color and texture into the space.
The coastal feel of this home is a subtle one. While many of the furnishings and spaces present as very traditional, Ashley and Wendy use an elegant balance of mixed materials to craft an aesthetic that is refined yet thematic with Cape Cod inspired colors. “We use a lot of navies, grays and light, neutral whites and linens. We also mix in some darker leather tones with different colors of wood and burlap, then splash in some fresh teals and other kinds of accents and accessories,” Ashley explains. “It feels pretty simple, but well put together.”
Ebb & Flow
In each room of this West Coast Cape Cod home, balance can be felt in every choice, creating a home that is well designed and incredibly livable. The living room, a space both formal yet inviting, is the epitome of this balance. “We really wanted to create a space where you could sit and chat and entertain but that also had a polished feel,” Ashley explains. Chocolate leathers and burlap-backed chairs lend their natural textures to the crisp lines of the furnishings and the brightness of the space, while unique patterns break up the broad strokes.
“We wanted to create a space where you could sit and chat and entertain, but which also had a polished feel.”
Bright walls and a dark, imposing dining table make for a dramatic contrast— yet the look is softened by a gentle mid-tone found in the host chairs. “The dark wood table is unexpected in that space,” Wendy muses. “Going with a reclaimed-wood table would have created an entirely different space, lacking the pop and contrast we wanted.”
The heart of a home requires not just beautiful features but elements of practicality. To create a space that delights is fairly simple. To have that space delight even after daily life’s wear and tear is an entirely different matter. In the San Juan Capistrano home, those delightful spaces are the family room and kitchen, two rooms conjoined not just in location but in function.
“The fabric for the sectional is a slipcover, but it’s a nubby blended linen, so that piece alone sets the tone,” Ashley says. “It’s inviting and family-friendly … something you can use and sit on.” Neutral colors thrive in this space, adding both depth and texture, but also forgiveness. “Neutrals allow you to do that … you can create these real beautiful spaces that are also very practical,” Wendy explains.
Luxurious & Livable
Want more simply beautiful ideas? Check out this post on Cape Cod Curb Appeal.