For this year’s Real Simple and This Old House Dream Home, designer Courtney Lake of Monogram Decor was enlisted to create an inviting interior for an eco-friendly prefab house from Blu Homes. Inspired by both the architecture of the modern home design and its mountain location, Lake fused contemporary elements with a sense of warmth to craft the soothing interiors.
“It has soaring ceilings and is light-filled; it's a perfect palette for a designer and lent itself to go in many different directions,” Lake tells us about the house. “I also factored in the Malibu location of the home. It's a community that lives for the outdoors: hiking, beaches, al fresco dining.” Combining these inspirations, Lake created a design that highlights the light and airy qualities of the house while paying homage to its coastal Southern California location.
As the house is a model home intended to inspire visitors, Lake was able to craft a backstory for the family he envisioned living there. “I knew that this family would have travelled, visited flea markets, and amassed a series of treasures that were cool but not necessarily expensive,” the designer shares. “I wanted to create a space that was a mix of modern and vintage with a slightly beachy vibe.”
“The colour palette was taken from the views,” Lake tells us. “The house is situated on a small bluff with beautiful views of the rolling hills. When I came for the initial walk-through, I was struck by the greens, blues, and dusty tans that were part of the landscape and decided that would be the perfect mix for the home's master bedroom and main living areas.”
“I joked that I was creating a ‘beach in the hills’ during the design process,” Lake shares.
“We wanted to keep a laid-back vibe that was calm but not staid,” Lake says when asked about the home’s overall mood. “To make sure we didn't lull ourselves into a design coma, we punched things up with the accessories and artwork.”
“We tried really hard to create a space that felt like it was a mix of things collected over time,” Lake shares. “I believe the fastest way to do that is to pull in vintage furniture and accessories.”
“Once we had a good base of vintage pieces, we layered in new purchases from a variety of national stores like HD Buttercup, Rejuvenation, and West Elm,” the savvy designer shares. “And to be honest, we also pulled from Target for things like the master bedroom bedding and the great Nate Berkus brass lamps in the living room.”
When it comes to creating a cohesive design, the trick is the mix. “By mixing the high and low, we create a space that feels approachable and livable because we’ve all seen these pieces before, but not in the way we pulled them together,” Lake says.
“The Monogram Decor aesthetic is about approachable living. All of our spaces are designed to be lived in, not simply seen,” the designer says. “If you aren't smiling when you walk into your home, then something needs to change!”
What’s your take on this “beach in the hills” design? Share with us in the comments!