Who doesn't dream of the coastal life? Well, one homeowner decided to make that fantasy a reality, as she turned this 1940s California Venice bungalow into a midcentury-modern oasis with some major zen vibes, which are courtesy of that seaside influence. And talented mother/daughter duo Dorianne Passman and Thea Segal of Thea Home, Inc. made sure this vision was realized.
While minimalism was the main directive, they also wanted to maintain an earthy and warm feel throughout. "This house has an amazing crossbreeze running through it, and I wanted to keep the furniture flow through the house open, light, and breezy," Passman explains. "Luckily, my client has a shared affinity for neutrals and minimalism, so working together was a dream." Both the designers and the homeowner were recently inspired and heavily influenced by Japanese architecture and design, hence the low scale of the furniture, the absence of color, and the heavy use of wood as an ode to the design culture.
Ahead Passman shares her style notes and her thought process when designing this striking beachside abode.
As a designer, sometimes you have to alter your personal taste to reflect your client's style, but in this case, the feeling was mutual. "I would describe our style as neutral, warm, and eclectic," says Passman. "We love clean lines and mixing antiques with modern pieces to keep a space earthy and balanced."
While the home had good bones, they made a few renovations to align with their interior design vision. This included painting the interior, refinishing the floors, replacing all the window treatments, and adding or switching out some of the light fixtures.
When it comes to the overall color scheme, Passman says they're "pretty much always neutral with an emphasis on texture." They add depth and warmth via a layered balance of textures. "There is leather on the bar stools and dining chairs, wood throughout, but then some iron and stone in the living room," she explains. "This makes the space feel balanced and not too heavy or redundant."
The warmth of this room is also felt via the exposed beams that connect the living room to the dining room and into the kitchen.
As with any major project, there are bound to be challenges along the way. With this one, it was the timeline. "We really took our time here to make sure that every piece was exactly right," says Passman. "Neither the client nor I wanted to rush this project. We knew each and every piece had to be the perfect fit, so waiting for the right pieces to show up took patience."
The all-white look is evident in this modern kitchen with a hint of warmth, thanks to the timber floors, shelves, and beams. The barstools also add depth and texture to the slick counter surface.
Hands down, one of the most enjoyable parts of designing a home for someone is the shopping. For Passman, it was finding this antique dining table with a built-in lazy Susan. "It's one of a kind," she says. "I haven't seen one like it since. Also, the rugs in this house are pretty spectacular and complement each space perfectly."
While it's a hard question to ask, Passman says her favorite thing about this home is how breezy and open it feels without being cold. "It's a clean, modern space that is inviting," she explains. "Whenever I would come for an install, I didn't want to leave. It has the Venice/California glow."
Even the bedrooms have that California vibe with an abundance of natural light, vintage rugs, and white linens. A dream come true.
While there is an all-white theme in the foundations of this home, they managed to add a little drama in the bathroom. "Of course, our motto is always white walls, but my client wanted to do some accent color somewhere," she says. "So the powder/guest bathroom was the perfect space for that. We decided on a dark charcoal, as it was bold but still neutral. Nothing she would get sick of."
They even brought laid-back Cali-cool vibes into the guest bedroom. Who can resist that natural light?
Never ones to leave a stone unturned, Passman and Segal ensured that relaxed feeling could be felt on the home's patio. Can we please lounge on those daybeds too?
This outdoor nook is perfect for dining al fresco or enjoying an evening drink outside.