When you think of the quintessential Los Angeles architectural style there is one that immediately springs to mind: the Spanish colonial. They typically feature white stucco over adobe brick or stone walls, arched doorways, wooden beams, and red, barrel tile roofs and they are truly a signature design style of L.A. real estate. So, of course, when we see one that has been restored and modernized while paying homage to its heritage, we can't resist taking a peek inside. Well, you're in for a treat, because Colette “Coco” Shelton of Cococozy design blog did just that with her latest project.
Located in the upscale neighborhood of View Park, the 1930s Spanish colonial revival is 1860 square feet of pure gold. Elevating the home’s gorgeous bones and preserving its historical character was exactly what Shelton had in mind when she approached the design. This was especially important given the project required a complete interior renovation with all new baths, outdoor landscape and hardscape, plumbing, electric, HVAC, wood flooring, paint, and a chef-ready kitchen. The design offers a fresh twist on old-world Hollywood with clean lines, midcentury-inspired pieces, luxe textures, and unexpected pops of color and pattern for a refreshingly tailored aesthetic.
"I wanted to honor the history of the home," she tells me. "In a world where everyone is tearing up the interiors of homes to create spaces that all look the same (such as an open floor plan), I wanted to honor the character." Shelton deliberately chose not to blow out all of the major walls and entirely change the personality of the home. Take a peek inside and see how she infused her eclectic, elevated, and tailored interior style into this striking Spanish colonial home.
Shelton didn't want to subscribe to one particular design style or trend so the overall styling of the entire home is a fusion. "As individuals, we are a mélange of a lot of different things, and I don’t like the idea of being put into a singular box," she says. "I design with elements that catch my eye, and this home is the perfect example of how I followed my intuition and personalized the design."
Shelton characterizes the design as accessible chic with modern charm. "I custom designed stained glass for a small landing window next to a trio of birds that leads you downstairs to the home’s bonus area," she adds. "The design is steeped in the modern and old world blending traditional with contemporary to honor the home’s original 1930s charm while offering a fresh twist for today’s living."
When designing the living room, Shelton wanted the space to feel fresh with layered textures and patterns. She used Benjamin Moore’s Super White paint for the walls, with a bold black trim (Benjamin Moore’s Blacktop) for a contrasted look. "This space gave me a chance to play with neutral colors like blacks, whites, and grays and I balanced the tonal palette by infusing the room with natural elements including the wood lamp, rattan side table, and coffee table," she says.
Shelton also wanted to incorporate her own personality and memories into the room. "For example, I loved riding horses when I was growing up, so I featured horseshoe motifs throughout the space," she continues. "The tray on the coffee table is a metal mechanics tray I found at a flea market and painted gold. I’m also an animal lover so the hippopotamus book ends on the shelf and the golden swan on the side table are both flea market finds I had hidden in my storage. I layered a black rug from my own collection on top of the large striped rug to add depth and fill the space with charm and individuality."
While the colors are more tonal and neutral throughout the home, she wanted to make a big statement with the lighting. "In a space of this size, I love using an open frame and linear lighting with delicate lines," she says. "The living room’s light fixtures add drama and tie the whole room together. I added beautiful ceiling medallions for a glamorous touch."
To bring natural elements into the dining room, Shelton brought in a teak dining table and light wood flooring.
The gallery wall in the dining area is truly a reflection of Shelton's love of history, travel, and botanicals. "I love finding beauty and meaningfulness in the simple things," she says. "I have been collecting botanical prints for the last 15 years, and I wanted to incorporate my love of botanicals throughout the home." After a visit to a friend in London, she discovered a book of colorful botanicals at a flea market in Notting Hill. Then she came across a 1800s agricultural guide at a flea market in Pasadena, Los Angeles and proceeded to tear out the drawings from both books and framed them as artwork. She also framed several pages from an old book about 1940s Paris (the city of love is another inspiration of Shelton's) and displayed them alongside the botanical prints on the gallery wall.
"With the frames, I decided to go with black and natural wood frames, and some of the art pieces have matte, and some do not," she says. "I wanted to design a gallery wall that had an eclectic and curated feel and incorporated things I love to read and look at. I also thought that taking the gallery wall from near floor to ceiling would really tell that story in a bold way."
The kitchen was a complete renovation. Shelton strategically opened up the space to create a functional and modern space. "Prior to the renovation, the kitchen consisted of three small, cramped rooms and had no sense of flow," she muses. "It was heavily dated with old appliances and tile flooring. I transformed the space into a contemporary sanctuary fit for entertaining and hosting with Monogram appliances and infused the space with brand new flooring, cabinetry, countertops, fixtures, and paint."
Shelton looks "everywhere" for décor inspiration but travel is a constant source of inspiration from a quaint little bookstore in Paris to the lush, natural elements in South America or the artwork of a local graffiti artist in Los Angeles. "Over the course of the last ten years of doing my COCOCOZY design blog, I’ve learned that I don’t subscribe to a particular design, and I incorporate elements in my design that catch my eye and speak to me," she says.
Though many people like waking up in the dark, Shelton loves the idea of waking up in the light. "I wanted a serene and fresh look for the master bedroom with clean linens and unexpected touches," she says. "I absolutely love the Pom Pom at Home linens in this room. They are fresh and crisp with elements of surprise, like the eyelet trim and luxurious textures of the big knotted dark chunky throw. I have these linens in my own personal home so it only made sense that I bring these well-designed bed linens into this project."
She added warmth to the space with Moroccan wedding blankets in the reading nook and delicate light fixtures. "The dresser is an old vintage piece from the 1930s that I painted black and white for a color block effect," she continues. "The artwork above the bed is actually a pair of letter “L” s made out of cardboard that I found at local craft store. I painted them white and turned them on its side for an artistic and geometric effect."
Since Shelton wanted to "freshen up" the space keeping the heritage intact, she kept the color palette super simple. White walls, soft black trim, with a fabulous pop of teal throughout. The furnishings bring some golds, blush, blues, and grays into the mix to create a striking element against the neutral palette.
The biggest challenge of this project was the first contractor who did not deliver on anything he said he was going to do. "Unfortunately, I had to let him go and start afresh with a new contractor, which definitely affected the project’s completion date," she recalls. "My new contractor was fantastic to work with and he was able to build out my vision for the home."
For the third bathroom, Shelton went with a striking high contrast design with a fresh, modern twist. This bathroom was a complete renovation, which she converted from an old storage closet.
"I found a window and made it into custom stain glass," she says. "I bought a claw foot tub for $400 and had it re-glazed and painted for $200. To play off the vintage tub, I included lots of contrasting elements like the large hexagonal tile on the floor, glossy tiles on the walls and a large black-framed mirror with clean minimal lines."
Shelton also used black grout to create a cool contrast against the white subway tiles. "The closet didn’t have any windows when I first saw the space, but during construction, we discovered a tiny window had been hidden behind a wall," she says. "So I designed more custom stained glass to go in that window for another whimsical moment Like the rest of the home, the bathroom blends vintage with contemporary."
This bathroom has a traditional modern mix. The graphic tiles really make this space pop while the classic iron light fixture anchor it in the Spanish colonial style.
If she had to name a favorite thing about the house, Shelton loves that it feels like you're in an old Hollywood home but it still feels refreshed and new. We'd say she nailed it.