Even though we look at interior design day in and day out, there's nothing quite like the buzz you feel when peering behind the closed doors of someone's home. That's a privilege we never take for granted. I can't imagine a day where any of the MyDomaine team would get home tour fatigue. In fact, when a pitch we're especially giddy about pops into our inbox, editors will often crowd around a colleague's computer to get a closer look.
This tour was one of those moments. When Joyce Downing Pickens of JDP Interiors sent me this striking 3600-square-foot home in the Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles, I got serious chills. The five-bedroom, four-bath home is the epitome of California cool with a contemporary mix of the new and the old, high in texture and high in contrast. Just the way Pickens likes it.
Built in 1947, the house had already been remodeled in the early '80s, but it was in need of some modern love. "When we got our hands on it, it was a mix of traditional and farmhouse with a revival Spanish courtyard all mixed into one," she tells me. "So while it had great bones, it was a challenge to create a cohesive story and look." But Pickens nailed it. Take the tour for yourself and get your Pinterest finger ready.
The first thing that hits you in the kitchen is the texture. The mix of the neutral textured bar stools with the white paint gives it much-needed warmth. And as Pickens points out, the bar stools are "shockingly well priced." She adds: "We wanted bar stools that had rushing on the back, not just the seat so when we added a cushion, you could still see the rushing. These were the only ones we could find and are a great deal."
Pickens' overall goal for the home was to create a cohesive space and meld the existing styles together while infusing the beachy color scheme her client longed for. Mission accomplished.
In terms of renovations, Pickens's team ripped out nearly the entire kitchen. They also redid the fireplace in the family room, painted almost everything, added an exposed beam in the primary suite and "a lot of other odds and ends."
The term "Primary Suite" is now widely used to describe the largest bedroom in the home with an en suite bath, as it better reflects the space’s purpose. Many realtors, architects, interior designers, and the Real Estate Standards Association have recognized the potentially discriminatory connotations in the term "Master." Read more about our Diversity and Inclusion Pledge.
The beauty of this project for Pickens was getting to start from scratch. "This is rare but really makes a difference," she says. "Otherwise, your whole design scheme can be determined by one existing piece, and it may not be the look you're going for."
Because the house is located near the beach, Pickens's clients wanted a serene, beachy feel. However, the courtyard had a lot of terra-cotta and a Millsap stone pathway, so Pickens knew she had to try and meld the two. "Our color scheme inspiration came from the Tabarka tile in the kitchen," she says. "Terra-cotta edging with a serene blue handpainted pattern. A perfect meld of both worlds." Agreed.
While there are a ton of beautiful accent pieces and home décor, her greatest find was the vintage accessories. "We really wanted a collected feel on this project, so boy oh boy did we hit the flea markets," she says.
Starting from scratch meant there was a lot of furniture to order. The first thing on their list was the Tabarka tile for the backsplash in the kitchen and the huge sectional in the living room. "They both had the longest lead times, so we had to get those guys in quick," she says. Then she could spend time on layering each room with unique pieces that brought the space to life such as the Paul Edmondson photographs that really tie in the neutral color scheme of this living room.
Pickens says her clients, Anne and Dave, were lovely to work with and gave her their full trust. "That always makes the job more pleasant," she says. "It’s so important to trust your designer and trust the process."
Pickens was focused on the melding of textures in every room for both visual interest and warmth. The dining room is the epitome of both of these. It feels incredibly cozy yet elevated and cool all at once.
The vintage artwork and credenza add depth and interest to this room among the more modern and new pieces.
The bedroom is as zen as it gets. The exposed beam really sets the tone, and the large window floods the room with natural light. This is calling us for a lazy afternoon nap.
Everything was streamlined in the bedroom to ensure the space was dedicated to one objective: sleep. Even the side table is minimal and clean.
Pickens's favorite thing about this home is the primary bathroom. "I love the simple styling," she says. "I also love the formal living room with all the terra-cotta hues. It feels like Tuscany to me."
The bathroom really has a traditional modern fusion. The color palette feels contemporary, but the fixtures and the lighting hark back to a classic era.
The most challenging thing about this project was the timeline and melding all the precious architectural styles into one. "We didn't have a whole lot of time to complete this project, so we were working double time," she says. But it was worth it to achieve this gorgeous result. Right?