See How This Designer Turned a SoCal Craftsman Into a Sun-Drenched Haven

Lauren Henno

Design: Lauren Henno Design, Photo: Studio Arna

Sometimes inspiration hits at just the right time. Santa Barbara-based interior designer, Lauren Henno, had a vision for this one bedroom, two bathroom home and guesthouse after her very first walk-through.

"The home would be casual, yet elegant, and most definitely eclectic, blending soft linens that reflect the comfort of Santa Barbara living with uniquely modern pieces to bring interest to the eye and aesthetic to the home," Henno, who started her own interior design firm at age 24, says. "Throughout the entirety of the project, I would reflect on my initial vision, and it was a blast bringing it to life."

With a total spend of around $150,000, Henno transformed the dark and dated 2,287 square foot home into a relaxed retreat.

"I wanted the space to resemble a jewel box, something that was petite and small, yet when you walked inside it would have a wow factor," Henno says.

I wanted the space to resemble a jewel box, something that was petite and small, yet when you walked inside it would have a wow factor.

Keep scrolling to see how Henno nailed this aesthetic in an original craftsman home built in 1900.

Lauren Henno Home Tour
Design: Lauren Henno Design, Photo: Studio Arna 

With plenty of art and places to display personal mementos and tchotchkes, Henno made understated eclecticism front and center of this sunny home.

"My client had moved cross country with no furniture, and we began with a blank canvas," Henno says. "My objective was for the casual, elegant, and eclectic feel to flow throughout the home."

Lauren Henno Home Tour
Design: Lauren Henno Design, Photo: Studio Arna

Nailing an unfussy vibe from multiple eras was top of mind for Henno as she bought furniture and planned out the space.

"If a bohemian antique piece was chosen for a room, I would add a more modern piece such as a Danish modern chair to create interest and a juxtaposition," Henno says. "It was important to me to maintain this balance throughout the home." 

Lauren Henno Home Tour
Design: Lauren Henno Design, Photo: Studio Arna

Though the home seems warm and sunny now, the floors needed a major overhaul to brighten up the space.

"Original hardwood floors existed throughout the home, though they were masked with a dark and dingy brown waxed finish," Henno says. "My goal was to revive them, and bring life to their hidden beauty. After removing the dull coating, I knew I had to bleach out the yellow and red tones in the natural wood. Once bleaching was completed, I added a layer of white finish, to yield a light wheat hue. They turned out better than I could have ever imagined, and brightened the beauty of the home’s original charm! "

Lauren Henno Home Tour
Design: Lauren Henno Design, Photo: Studio Arna

The home had plenty of special features that Henno and her client saved, painting the walls and fireplace white to open up the space and make it feel larger.

"The original wainscoting, picture railings, beadboard paneling, hardwood floors, leaded windows, and brick fireplace have all been preserved," Henno says. "We brightened and updated their features by painting the original brick fireplace white and bleaching and lightening the floors."

Lauren Henno Home Tour
Design: Lauren Henno Design, Photo: Studio Arna

The bedroom is simple with white walls and bedding, with little bursts of color that mimic the same shades used throughout the home. Henno saw two velvet fabrics, one a dusty rose pink and the other a faded turquoise, and used those shades as inspiration for the home.

"I love working with neutrals and white, though I knew this home needed a pop of color," Henno says. "When I saw these two colors I fell in love with them... they were exactly what I had subconsciously envisioned and had been looking for!" 

Lauren Henno Home Tour
Design: Lauren Henno Design, Photo: Studio Arna

This area of the guesthouse, though small, makes a big impression thanks to the eye-catching four poster bed, but the neutral walls and trim keep the space from feeling overwhelmed.

"It was important to make the petite home appear larger by keeping things light and open," Henno says.​ "​Therefore we created a neutral base and palette by painting the walls and brick fireplace white, as well as bleaching and lightening the floors." 

Lauren Henno Home Tour
Design: Lauren Henno Design, Photo: Christy Guitzart

A sunny Santa Barbara home wouldn't be complete with some outdoor space. This craftsman boasts a covered al fresco dining area and fenced-in backyard.

This home falls under Henno's California design aethestic ("simple, graceful, yet comfortable"), but her best decorating advice has a certain Golden State wisdom and optimism too.

"Wear positive lenses and always seek out the opportunity," she says.

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