While the all-white kitchen trend is still crazy popular, this light-filled Venice townhouse makes a strong case for rustic wood cabinetry, dark furnishings, and bright pops of color. Boasting contemporary finishes and relaxed décor details, the stunning kitchen encapsulates the effortlessly cool vibe of the newly renovated 2100-square-foot California abode it's situated in, thanks to sought-after Los Angeles-based Homepolish designer Mandy Cheng.
Although the style of the three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom home is inherently modern, every room feels warm and inviting. "The clients really wanted it to have the look of an industrial, modern loft with rustic finishes, so that was at the forefront of my mind when designing and decorating," explains the designer. To bring this vision to light, Cheng collaborated with builder LA Design Build to add architectural elements like brick walls, wood beams, and plank hardwood floors to an otherwise standard townhome layout. Then the designer brought in relaxed, comfortable furniture and décor to add warmth and color to the home, resulting in a casual yet sophisticated haven.
Ready to step inside? Keep scrolling to take the full tour of this Venice townhouse, because the gorgeous kitchen is just the beginning—wait until you see the master bath.
To bring that coveted lived-in feel to the recently renovated living room, Cheng gravitated toward beautiful, bold vintage finds. "Because the house is modern in architecture, regardless of the wood beams and brick accents, I really needed to bring in colors and textures to keep the house from feeling stark, and this vintage rug was a splurge item that made all the difference in the room," the interior designer divulges.
That said, even the retail-sourced furnishings exude an inviting laid-back sensibility. "The cozy blue/grey sofa adds to the relaxed feel of the space and allows the homeowners to lounge and eat without feeling like they have to worry about spills as you would with a white sofa," says Cheng.
While the style of the townhouse is decidedly modern, Cheng's clients stressed their love of reclaimed wood, rustic touches, and boho pieces, so she brought all of those elements together into the guest room.
Aesthetics aside, every furnishing Cheng selected for the guest room was cleverly chosen with short-term guests in mind. "A typical overnight guest tends to avoid unpacking their entire suitcase and hanging everything up," the designer explains. "Instead, they prefer to keep things in plain sight to avoid leaving items behind, hence the leaning clothes rack, bench, luggage rack, and media console/dresser," she adds.
In the guest bathroom, equally thoughtful details like a strategically placed towel rack a vaseful of fresh blooms create an inviting space that's at once stylish and functional.
The pièce de résistance of the townhouse, the kitchen, was not the picture of perfection prior to the renovation. "The kitchen was previously oriented differently with only one way in and out," reveals Cheng. "It wasn't very inviting to cook in, and certainly wasn't a gathering space," she adds. "By turning the kitchen 90 degrees and re-structuring the flow of that entire space, the kitchen island, and surrounding seating areas are the heart of the home."
When searching for design inspiration, Cheng draws from many sources, including the city that surrounds her. "I'm fortunate to live in Los Angeles where there is a wide array of architecture, design and art," she gushes. "Even when I'm not necessarily looking or thinking about a specific project, my client's homes are really at the forefront of my mind at all times, so I notice things as I drive or walk past places and either take pictures or mental notes," she adds.
Due in part to low ceilings and narrow spaces, the townhouse was rather dark prior to the renovation, explains Cheng. "Painting the walls and ceiling a beautiful, warm white really drew in and reflected the outdoor light that was previously getting absorbed by the darker toned walls," the designer tells MyDomaine. "Once the walls and floors were decided, the rest of the color palette was based on colors you would find in nature," she adds. "This kept the house feeling warm, cozy and inviting."
Situated next to the kitchen, the dining room offers a more formal seating arrangement that's conducive to hosting dinner parties. "To keep the dining area from feeling stuffy, I brought in mis-matched seating, a live edge table, and a beautiful, worn vintage rug," Cheng notes of the space.
From the beginning, Cheng knew she wanted the design for the master bedroom to be elevated and minimalistic. "The master bedroom really feels like a sanctuary to me, especially considering what it looked like prior to the renovation," the Homepolish designer tells MyDomaine. "It's light and airy, casual yet sophisticated, and ties into the rest of the house with boho elements and beautiful, subtle colors," she adds.
Adjacent to the master bedroom, the jaw-droppingly beautiful master bathroom boasts a luxurious freestanding tub. Cheng's choice to juxtapose sleek gold hardware with rustic brick walls and wood cabinets lends the space character and depth.
"I really think it's important to design spaces that function well, aren't overly fussy, and everything is scaled appropriately," says Cheng. "When all of these things are in line, the room will feel right." The late, great Elsie de Wolfe put it best: "Suitability, simplicity, and proportion."