How Anne Carr Blended Outdoor Living into a Comfy Hangout Space

Comfy hangout space that opens to exterior of home.

Design: Anne Carr; Photo: Zeke Ruelas

If there’s something we never get tired of seeing, it’s a great makeover. Whether it’s transforming a retro bathroom into a modern oasis or giving a lackluster bedroom a fresh look, pros perform these design miracles all the time.

To give designers a chance to showcase their favorite makeovers—and to bring you plenty of inspiration for your own home—we’re sharing the best before and afters we’ve seen in our series, Makeover of the Week. Take notes for your next renovation.

“This house has no entrance foyer—you literally walk into this room, with its soaring ceiling, when you first enter the home,” interior designer Anne Carr says. “It simply became a pass-through for the kitchen which is on one side, and the bedrooms on the other. So, our design goal was to figure out a way to make the space more functional and flow with the rest of the house.”

Meet the Expert

Anne Carr is the owner of Anne Carr Design in Los Angeles, known for blending East and West coast styles, focusing on top craftsmanship, natural materials, and unique lighting. 

Before:

Before shot of dated living room.

Courtesy of Anne Carr

“The room was painted a blah beige and filled with a mish-mash of furniture in different prints and styles, with none of it being super comfortable or inviting,” Carr notes. “And it had these small, out-of-scale doorways for such a large room with high ceilings.”

After:

Bright handout room with blue velvet sofa.

Design: Anne Carr; Photo: Zeke Ruelas

“We painted the walls a bright white and enlarged all the doorways in height and width, including installing a ten-foot slider made of recycled aluminum and glass that looks out to the front courtyard,” Carr notes. “The dramatic 36 inch light fixtures actually twinkle through their cutouts at night and draw your eyes up towards the driftwood-colored ceiling beams. We incorporated mostly neutral furniture to give the space a laidback California vibe, save for the pops of teal color in the sofa and chairs.” 

What Changed:

  • Color theme: A mix of white, tan, and grey neutrals create a backdrop to the teal. 
  • Blue sofa: A curved tufted velvet sofa is ultra-comfortable and encourages easy conversation.
  • Coffee table: A midcentury modern table has an ebony wood top with gold and silver leaf details and sits on a hand-forged iron base. 
  • Metal chairs: A stark metal frame supports comfy white cushions which are decorated with embroidered linen pillows. 
  • Ceiling pendants: The nubby paper covers sit on bamboo frames and allow light to filter for a glowing, magical effect. 
  • Gray stools: Egyptian-style stools are finished in a grey shagreen rawhide and provide a place to sit or rest a drink.  
  • Blue chairs: The midcentury armless blue chairs add color to the space and create a juxtaposition to the metal chairs.   
  • Sconces: The uniquely curled brass sconces have cutouts that allow light to shine through. 
  • Ceiling: The original beams were left intact and play off the newly painted white walls and ceiling. 
  • Fireplace: The fireplace wall is covered in a soft grey limestone, making it a major focal point of the room. 
  • Doors: The metal framed folding doors are on ball-bearing rollers, which open up the wall to the outdoors.
  • Wall art: The white Juju Hat, made of bird feathers stitched into a raffia base, adds a whimsical piece of art over the fireplace. 
  • Curtains: Custom linen drapes are suspended on black metal rods and create privacy while blending with the room’s décor. 
  • Floors: White oak engineered flooring plays into the neutral tones of the room.  
  • Wall paint: The walls were painted a bright white to make the space feel clean and open (Benjamin Moore Simply White).
  • Big plant: A large fiddle leaf fig tree adds greenery to the space while bringing an outdoor element inside. 
  • Container: A leather holder stores extra pillows and throws.

Shop the Look:

Modern living space with large windows.

Design: Anne Carr; Photo: Zeke Ruelas

Malibu Sofa
Homenature Malibu Sofa $3,786
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“I love that you can choose from a huge variety of fabric and stain options when customizing this uniquely shaped sofa," Carr says.

Annika Stool
Made Goods Annika Stool $Price Upon Request
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“These stools not only look great, but they can multitask as seating or tables," Carr says.

Sierra House
Croft House Sierra Chair $1,075
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“I love these metal framed chairs because they look sophisticated and are super comfortable when covered in thick cushions,” Carr says.

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