Home Renovation: Design Details

Well, we’re finally at the part of our home renovation that involves the aesthetics + eye-pleasing designs, not construction zone photos. It’s been decision after decision lately with Claire to get our home renovated in a fast-paced timespan. Due to the nature of a large remodel, we’ve had to select everything from hardwoods to countertops to kitchen hardware, along with every detail in-between that’s often over-looked or forgotten about, such as door hardware and deadbolts. We sourced out about 10 light fixtures in a single week for the entire house – no regrets on any of them though, they’re all beautiful in-person!

When I tell people the progress we’ve made in a few short months without a contractor, they’re typically shocked. Honestly, so are we. Considering that we knew little to nothing about building a home, we’ve learned so much in the process and feel confident in the decisions we’ve all made together. Ramsdell Rustic starts with sheetrock installation this week, the plumbers have set our new guest bathtub, and we’ll begin the master bathroom stucco very soon. It will probably be my favorite portion of our home!

a bright living room

a bright bedroom


a white hammock on a terrace


With the pool nearing completion in the next few weeks, we’ll soon have an “oceanfront” view from the master bedroom. My friend, Gretchen with Petals, Ink. Florals, is going to swing by and make recommendations for our landscaping as soon as they’re done dragging dirt and mud throughout the yard. All I’ve decided upon is bougainvillea, a true SoCal staple so that I can still feel at-home while thousands of miles away; it will go along our fence behind the pool. I’m excited for Gretchen’s input on the remainder of the yard, because she knows my style very well from having worked events together many times. I prefer drought-resistant plants so that I can keep them all alive, but I won’t be headed in the zero-scape direction.

We have to hold off on painting the exterior of the home for a bit due to budgetary constraints – who knew insulation would be so expensive? – but we will add that beachy vibe through the greenery in the meantime. I anticipate there will be lush greens with a jungle vibe, accented by a few pops of color. Can’t wait to see the final recommendations!

a green wall in the yard


Overall, I want our house to feel like a quaint California beach cottage, but neither too modern nor too traditional – I prefer somewhere in the middle. The interior of the home will be my own personal version of “traditional” which infuses a bunch of bohemian accents, vintage rugs, a neutral color palette, and a loosely-adapted “modern” Scandinavian minimalist feel. I don’t particularly like having any clutter on my shelves, as I prefer plants and a select few meaningful mementos or books, as opposed to random tchotchkes. You can certainly expect plenty of greenery in the house to break up all of the neutrals and breathe life into the home, as I always use plants to break up dead space.

My overall goal with the home is to make it feel as if the indoors and outdoors are one in the same. The majority of the windows won’t have shutters or blinds, because our yards (we have a side yard, backyard, and a front yard) are something I want to view daily, not block out. Even our master shower has a huge, open window to allow natural light in, but there’s an 8-foot fence to block out any peeping neighbors. The walls, trim, wood ceilings, and baseboards will be painted Simple White by Benjamin Moore. This will create an open, airy feeling throughout the space. None of the bedrooms are particularly large, but the bright vaulted ceilings will help create the feel of a larger space, while still creating that cozy feeling we’re going for.

Although the Birch & Brass inventory ranges from muted neutrals to playful and bright tones, I like my home to be: whites, creams, and grays with plenty of wood. Basically, my entire closet mimics the color-way for my home. I’ll add pops of neutral colors (pale pinks and indigo) with textiles and art that can be swapped out by the season. I only go colorful with items that can be removed, but I like to stay neutral on larger pieces such as sofas and bedding, because I realized that I tire of color quickly if I’m surrounded by it daily. I’m a huge fan of texture and love to bring in as many pillows, rugs, and blankets as I possibly can. My motto is that you can never have too many pillows, and I’m fortunate that Ashton (our product manager) is willing to sew all of my pillow and pouf designs out of vintage fabrics I’ve collected for the past year.

a minimalist dining area


a white and bright work area


I can’t wait to finish all of the construction and finally begin the furniture purchasing and styling in the first weeks of 2017… hopefully. I’ve only purchased a few furniture pieces for the house so far, because I want to have the walls, flooring, and paint all finished to best determine which items would be complementary. Below are some of the items that Claire and I have sourced thus far, and although these items are all going in different areas within the home, you’ll see that there’s a very cohesive and intentional look overall.

a list of different items for different rooms in the house

1 | Roost Abaca Woven Pendant 2 | Purist Wall Mount Sink Faucet 3 | Arrington Acrylic Freestanding Tub 4 | Grandview Double Sconce 5 | Jamie Young Co. Camilla Mini Chandelier 6 | Jute Macrame Wall Hanging 7 | Classic Stove 1900 Series 8 | Zellige Weathered White Tile 9 | Matte Mid-Century Planter 10 | Arne Norell Settee 11 | Vivid White Countertops

My absolute favorite purchase is our new stove, but can you really blame me?! Her brass details pull at my heartstrings. I had to talk Federico into purchasing it for many months before he finally agreed so that I would stop harassing him on a daily basis. In his defense, I don’t cook more than a few times per year, so it was certainly a purchase made based upon appearance rather than practicality, but I’m so grateful that he gave in (and he did admit it’s beautiful once he saw it). I just may become the next Betty Crocker over here because I can’t get enough of her good looks.

I’ll be back next time with a bit more progress on the construction and (hopefully) a completed pool to share with you. We’ll definitely be taking the “polar bear plunge” challenge and jumping in the freezing cold water the day it’s ready. Feel free to join us!



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