When you're a globe-trotting model, actress, and vlogger, it really doesn't leave much room for hanging out at home, but Shay Mitchell makes the time. In fact, her travels have become the focal point and driving inspiration behind her home décor. "I'd say my design style is Moroccan meets Mediterranean with a touch of glam," she told Wayfair (who worked with Consort Design on the makeover). "Each place I travel I pick up something (physically and style-wise) to bring home with me."
In Bali, it was the beautiful carved doors and gates. Then in Morocco, she brought back some stunning rugs, tiles, and lighting. "Each place I have traveled has a place in my home as travel is such a huge passion of mine," she said. "It also reminds me of all of the places I have been." Ahead, Mitchell shows us inside her stunning Spanish-style Los Angeles guest house that fuses the laid-back California spirit with a distinct, international flavor.
When designing the new space, there were a few must-haves Mitchell requested. One: a comfortable sitting area to entertain friends (that also doubled as a place to film YouTube videos) was really important. Two: a small space for her office that included her ultimate must-have, a vision board. "Everyone knows how I love a great vision board and the one that I have now is huge," she said. "I can't wait to fill it up."
While there are many rooms in the house that she loves, her favorite is the sitting area with the couch and chairs. "It just feels so welcoming, which is the complete opposite of what this space was before (think storage unit)," she said. "It's also the first thing your eye hits when you walk in the door, and you just want to cozy up and stay."
While her Pretty Little Liars character, Emily Fields is known as the jock, the actress's personal taste from fashion to interior design is very different. "Emily and I are pretty much opposite in every design or fashion sense of the word," she said. "As much as we share a kind, loyal heart, and a sense of humor, I never really fell in love with converse and jeans the way Emily has. But I really don't mind this, because I think I have taken a piece of Emily with me which comes out in my sporty side. Being able to go to set and dress like Emily (which is so different than how I prefer to dress when I'm just me) helps me get in Emily headspace and become that role."
Between starring in Pretty Little Liars, co-authoring the novel Bliss, and acting as spokesperson for Pantene, Biore, and Nike (among others), Mitchell has a jam-packed schedule. But this means home time is even more of a priority.
"I thrive off a busy schedule, but it's also exhausting," she said. "A comforting home base is crucial for me. There is nothing I love more after a 17-hour day on set or a long flight than walking through my front door, making a cup of tea, and snuggling up with some Netflix and bed. My house keeps me grounded in a way that allows me to be 'go, go, go' all the time because I know what I have to look forward to at home."
While she loves to relax on her off days, having a home office is crucial for keeping her busy schedule on track. Here Mitchell marries fashion with function to design a space that fuels creativity but has all the productive elements a workspace needs. "What excites me the most is this space is so functional," she said. "There are so many different areas and it really embodies who I am."
Having quiet corners for reflection and contemplation was also important for Mitchell. We can see this space being used for YouTube filming, too, which was also the underlying design focus. "I wanted a room that I could really use every little pocket of, and this is exactly what I had in mind." she said.
Remember those Moroccan tiles Mitchell mentioned earlier? Well, here's how she used them in the house. This fantastic day room is bold and fashion-forward with a feminine touch. "To actually see it come to fruition is something really cool, so I'm just going to keep adding to my new pin board and see what happens," she said.
Natural light is key to giving this workspace slash home library a fresh and airy vibe. Need inspiration? Just a glance outside should do the trick.
This entry looks like a street scene straight out of the Greek Islands. White and bright with a graphic design twist and a hint of glam, just the way Mitchell likes it.
Head to Wayfair to watch the video interview where Mitchell shares more insight into the guest house design.