Traditional Meets Coastal Cool in This Designer's Home

Updated 05/11/17

Dating back to 1948, this classic Los Angeles home is the definition of California dreaming. Alana Sussan of Alana Alegra Interiors, whose grandmother owned the property beforehand, joined forces with interior designer Michelle Dokey Kirk of Michelle Dokey Interiors to give her classic family residence a modern upgrade. In an effort to combine Sussan's existing pieces passed down from her family with her own youthful style and personality, Kirk decided to approach this project with an open mind.

As a result, there's a bit of everything, from bohemian accents to traditional furniture and even some midcentury details.

Instead of confining themselves to one specific style, Sussan and Kirk decided to create cohesion by sticking to a tight color palette of neutrals and paying extra-close attention to fabrics and finishes. Unsurprisingly, considering that Sussan is a professional upholsterer, the rich, unique fabrics are one of the home's highlights.

So if you're looking for some style guidance on how to mix new pieces with olds ones, or if you love traditional styles but want to add a touch of contemporary cool, then consider this L.A. abode your blueprint for design inspiration. Take a tour through each room below to find out how to strike the balance between a well-curated space that will impress guests and a functional, approachable, and homey place fit for work and play.

The Bright Bedroom Oasis

Amy Bartlam ; DESIGN: Michelle Dokey Interiors

Each piece in this room is simple and understated, yet as a whole, the room has a well-balanced and personalized feel to it. And that's precisely what we imagine when designing our dream bedroom. While the all-white bed creates a cozy refuge to ensure a well-rested sleep, the wide windows let the light flood in for a refreshing wake-up call in the morning. This master suite also has direct access to an outdoor deck, which wouldn't be a bad place to enjoy an evening sunset with a glass of wine.

We particularly love how the vanilla-hued bed frame softens up the more traditional features in this room, like the nightstand and hardwood floors. The natural, delicate pleating is one of our favorite aspects of the entire home. It was upholstered by Sussan's company, which makes it even more special and personal.

Calypso St. Barth Metallic Woven Doormat $145

Pro Styling Tip: In minimalist or traditional spaces with neutral color palettes, metallic accents are a great way to bring in some subtle spunk without throwing the aesthetic off. Something like an area rug will do just the trick.

The Charming Little Nook

Amy Bartlam ; DESIGN : Michelle Dokey Interiors

You can definitely get a sense of the hybridity of boho chic and traditional styles in this detail shot of the guest bedroom. Kirk incorporates organic yet collected pieces and muted schemes to create a connected, well-curated vibe without appearing too matchy-matchy. We particularly love the playful stools styled with the traditional carpet and chest of drawers.

Serena & Lily Dip-Dyed Stools $58

Pro Styling Tip: We love how a casual wooden stool can look instantly more unique with paint-dipped legs. They're the perfect way to introduce some plants for a finished look without feeling overly styled. 

The Spa-Like Bathtub

Amy Bartlam ; DESIGN: Michelle Dokey Interiors

Okay, now this is the kind of bathroom we could get used to it in our own homes. This was one of the few rooms in the house that went through a major renovation. Kirk tells us that they completely gutted out the master bathroom to install these unique tiles in a black-and–aged bronze color scheme. Plus, the white walls really enlarge the room, and along with the free standing tub and glass shower, they create an open, airy atmosphere and minimize clutter.

Vintage German Brass and Glass Side Table $444

Pro Styling Tip: How do you make an already perfect bathroom even more luxe and relaxing than it already is? If you have a freestanding bathtub like this one, place a brass-and-glass side table next to it. Then stack it with a colorful orchid, a soothing fragrance diffuser, and your favorite book to enjoy next time you need a little pampering pick-me-up.

The Dreamy Double Sink

Amy Bartlam ; DESIGN: Michelle Dokey Interiors

The first thing Kirk bought for this house was the Mosaic House tile in the master bathroom. In fact, Kirk says, "It was our starting point and set the direction for everything else." It really anchors the entire bathroom, with each surrounding piece highlighting different elements, from the organic oval mirrors to the fresh white cabinets, gray countertop, and even the mauve flowers. "Every time I see that tile and the way it contrasts boldly against the whiteness of the rest of the bathroom, I smile," Kirk gushes.

We would, too, for the record.

Cost Plus World Market Brass Metal Loop Mirror $100

Pro Styling Tip: Hanging two mirrors side by side above a double sink situation is a great way to create symmetry and cohesion, rather than placing one large rectangular mirror in the center. 

The Family-Friendly Kitchen

Amy Bartlam ; DESIGN: Michelle Dokey Interiors

The sleek concrete-hued countertops and stove along with the gold hardware and crisp white walls work together to elevate the appliances and refrigerator. This kitchen proves that sometimes the key to revamping an entire room only takes a minor update with things like a new fabric, finish, or hardware to freshen up outdated pieces. It's also a great way to bring in personal style.

Rejuvenation Classic Flush Ceiling Fixture $170

Pro Styling Tip: A simple flush light mount is a great way to make your kitchen feel approachable and casual if you're worried that an ornate light fixture like a chandelier or pendant will make your environment too dressy. We love this striped option for a fun, retro, and farmhouse feel.

The Country-Style Dining Room

Amy Bartlam ; DESIGN: Michelle Dokey Interiors

"One of the things Sussan wanted to make sure to have in her home was a place where guests could stay comfortably if they were visiting," says Kirk, and this dining room does a great job meeting those needs. With a rustic table base surrounded by timeless slipcovered chairs and a traditional pendant lamp, this dining room is the perfect canvas to grow with the home as Sussan's needs or style evolves over time. The dining chairs and table were actually some of the preexisting pieces that she and Kirk decided to recover and mix in with the newer items.

Restoration Hardware Hudson Roll-Back Slipcovered Side Chair $375

Pro Styling Tip: These laid-back linen dining chairs are a timeless style that will last you throughout the years. Opting for a darker tone will also be a great way to hide any spills or stains. 

The Cozy and Collected Sitting Area

Amy Bartlam ; DESIGN: Michelle Dokey Interiors

It's not surprising that this sofa is the focal point of the living room considering that Sussan is a master upholsterer. Covered in a divine velvet gray fabric, this sofa is at once understated, elegant, transitional, and unique. The softness of all the fabrics makes this room all the more enticing to cozy up and enjoy an evening in. Though it stays true to the muted, neutral pallet of the rest of the home, this living room brings in splashes of color with the throw pillows and art. The gallery wall above does a great job highlighting the secondary colors in the home, from the aged bronze frames, blush tones and navy hues to the light browns, which introduce in an element of warmth.

Amber Interiors Charlotte $295

Pro Styling Tip: Since throw pillows are an easy way to change things up at home, we suggest investing in one that can pack a lot of punch while also being transitional enough to work in a variety of rooms and environments. We particularly love this flax-colored linen textile. 

An Approachable Living Room

Amy Bartlam ; DESIGN: Michelle Dokey Interiors

We love how Sussan's living room is simultaneously ready for a close-up when the guests arrive but also remains comfortable enough for a day of lounging and snuggling up with a pile of pillows as you indulge in a movie marathon. The understated area rug is also a great addition because it brings balances out the warm and cool colors while also making the room feel a touch cozier.

Anthropologie Pari Rattan Chair $98

A rattan chair will immediately add character to any space, thanks to its whimsical shape and cheerful disposition.

How do you update your favorite family heirlooms and furniture? Share your tips in the comment section below.

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