Home Tour: A Santa Monica Traditional With a Modern Design
Designer Carla Lane’s clients—a young family that was moving into a traditional three-bedroom house in Santa Monica, California—knew they needed help to create the home they wanted. The design-inclined couple was looking to create a comfortable home for themselves and their two sons, but they also wanted to incorporate valuable vintage pieces that they had collected over the years. By starting with a bright, white background and using a subtle mix of materials and styles, Lane was able to craft a home that is sophisticated and modern, while still casual and kid-friendly.
To begin the decorating process, Lane opted to paint the majority of the home a stark white. “We went with Benjamin Moore ‘Super White’ throughout the entire house,” Lane tells us. “It creates the perfect canvas to showcase all of the client’s great pieces.”
The home features an eclectic mix of vintage and new pieces ranging from Arne Norell to West Elm. The resulting combination allows the space to feel accessible and homey, rather than pretentious and museum-like.
The family was just moving in when they sought Lane’s help and luckily the existing space didn’t require much work. “We really liked the home the way it was,” the designer says. “We just needed to freshen it up and make it more youthful for their vibrant family.”
Lane custom-designed many of the large upholstery pieces including the living room’s sofa.
Inset bookshelves add dimension and interest to the living room. Painting the backs a dark blue-gray color creates a dramatic backdrop for the couple’s collection of vintage accessories and books.
When it comes to accessorizing, the designer recommends practicing patience, and collecting rather than buying just to fill a space. “Bookshelves can be intimidating,” says Lane. “My best advice for styling is to try not to do them all at once. I like homes that feel collected over time. Buy what you love.”
“We knew we were going to cover the master bedroom’s walls in grass-cloth before we chose anything else!” the designer exclaims. “It was something my client really likes and I wholeheartedly agreed. It creates a nice warm texture for the space and feels very soothing and elegant.”
In a corner of the master bedroom, the vintage leather Arne Norell chair and ottoman were a major score hunted down by the client. A Joseph Scheer photograph hung over a floating credenza provides a soft, feminine contrast to the masculine pieces.
Overall, the most important goal of the design, other than creating a stunning environment, was working with the diverse collection of items the couple had already amassed. “We definitely sought to create a mix that resulted in a fresh, clean, eclectic style,” the designer tells us. We’d say: Mission accomplished.