Anyone with children knows how tricky it can be to negotiate the space of a home to accommodate both family needs and an adult aesthetic. Ashley Ausland, the principal designer of Redondo Beach's Ausland Interiors, accomplished exactly that when transforming her own house—a cozy Manhattan Beach abode built in 1956—into a bright, modern home brimming with plenty of vintage flare that the whole family can enjoy.
Past the lush green foliage and the summery porch awaits a traditional Dutch door serving as an entrance to the quaint house. The light-filled home welcomes guests with open spaces carefully curated with artful touches. Flea market finds bring color and warmth into the clean white space, and children's knickknacks and retro treasures add the right touch of nostalgia. "It was a quaint old home but needed major love," recalls Ausland. "We had a shoestring budget but needed to touch every surface of the home."
"In order to do everything we wanted," she continued. "We did a lot of work ourselves and called in favors from friends." The final result proves how simple details can simultaneously elevate and bring personality into the home. Ausland created heartwarming nooks that are friendly for every age, including a sweet nursery, and maintained an elevated sense of streamlined design to suit a grownup's needs.
Head below to tour the Manhattan Beach home and read more about what went into the design.
"It is a single-family residence with beautiful tree-lind streets and houses with character," says Ausland of her renovated home. "The architecture is pretty basic on the home, but we have made changes to enhance its curb appeal. New custom shutters on the windows, a navy Dutch door, soft blue-gray exterior paint, and green landscaping. The bones are simple but charming, and they allow the other elements of the house to shine!"
"I love bright, open, clean spaces," says Ausland. "I also love when items feel like they have a history and a space has a soulful feeling."
"The kitchen and the bathroom were full gut jobs," notes Ausland. "The original kitchen was literally a five-foot walkway. We removed the wall, and now it's one big hangout room."
"I tiled the entire kitchen wall while seven months pregnant," Ausland confesses.
"We finished the parquet floors to a darker brown and actually had the kitchen floors custom-made to match the original floors to make the space flow and feel larger," explains Ausland. "No one understood why I kept the floors, but once they saw them finished, they realized parquet floors aren't as bad as everyone thinks!"
"I wanted a place to be calming and interesting at the same time," explains Ausland. "I wanted gallery-like walls so I could change out my art collection when I felt like change."
Ausland says that at a mere $40, the leather pouf was "one of my most favorite estate sale finds ever." The library card catalog cabinet (doubling as a changing table) was also an estate sale score.
"My style is a mix of styles—it's a bit of classic foundational elements paired with traditional and eclectic furniture pieces," says Ausland. "I love the beach and I love the sun, so most of the space is bright and light and clean," she notes. "It also needs to be comfortable, beautiful, and durable!"
Ausland admits that having children was the biggest challenge of the project. "Watching them climb on my oatmeal sofa, or spill on my Madeline Weinrib rug, or jump on my clean white sheets has been the biggest challenge," she says. "I have learned to not sweat the small stuff. After all, it is just stuff!" From the experience, Ausland says she's become a master of finding kid-friendly solutions.
"The small size of the house has also been challenging for me," says Ausland. "I am constantly finding new pieces that I want to keep, but I don't have any space. So if a new piece comes in, an old piece has to go!"
Ausland's pair of vintage Drezel Heritage campaign dressers were the first thing she bought for the house. "I paid $150 for them and they serve double duty as my nightstand and dresser—closet space is limited. They are beautiful and feel so rich in my bedroom."
"Light, bright, and airy is how I wanted it to feel," says Ausland, describing her vision for the house. "I love white, but I have the softest blue-gray color on the walls. It mainly feels white but adds a hint of contrast and warmth. I also love certain pops of bold colors. Navy is the all-time favorite and it's in every room in the house. It will never get old for me. I am constantly changing the pillows out, the artwork, the dishes on the open shelves. So having the neutral background is perfect for my ever-evolving home designs!"
"I sourced the bathroom tiles from Lowe's and Home Depot, and the marble counter was a free remnant piece," says Ausland. "We really saved in every way we could without sacrificing the visual aesthetic.
"I love how it has evolved into a little family home that functions just as it needs to—it's not grandiose, and it's not fancy, but it's perfect for our family and it always feels so good in each room," she says. "We have lived here for four years, and we have three little kids (4, 3, and 1) and the space is tight, but we absolutely love our home and spending time on house projects! Life and the house are constantly crazy, but underneath the layers of toys, it is a beautiful space that makes my heart happy and grateful. We love to travel and have new experiences, but it's always great to come home!"