When we hear about two interior designers collaborating on a project, we typically think of a massive-scale project like a boutique hotel or some not-to-be-named celebrity’s home. Not so for this project, a sunny poolside cabana in Walnut Creek, California. Former colleagues and friends, Heather Lund of Heather Lund Interior Design and Ania Omski-Talwar of Ania Omski-Talwar Interior Design, teamed up to transform this small space into a majority entertaining spot.
What were the homeowner’s goals for both the function and aesthetic of the cabana?
Ania: The homeowners had practical needs, but the inspiration came from the client’s recent visit to Napa Valley, which we associate with gray toned, weathered woods and ultimate relaxation.
Heather: The homeowners do quite a bit of entertaining. The husband is an avid Golden State Warriors fan and loves to host parties on game days! There is even a small sign outside the cabana calling it the “Dub Shack”. Regarding functional requirements, the cabana needed to have seating for large gatherings and be flexible in arrangement. It also needed to be functional for use by their teenage kids and friends. The goals for the aesthetics were to create a space that was fun to be in and as Ania mentioned, re-created the feel of a weekend get-away to the wine country.
What was the building block of your design?
Ania & Heather: Finding a modular sectional sofa and determining various layouts were the first order of design for us. We then worked on designing and selecting a few custom pieces such as the large circular cocktail table and entertainment sideboard. We brought in a little bit of industrial by choosing to put large industrial casters on the sideboard and to design the cocktail table with a base made from piping.
How did the two of you end up collaborating on this project?
Ania: Oh, this is a good one! Longtime friends and colleagues, we worked at the same architecture firm in San Francisco 20 plus years ago.
Heather: Yes, Ania and I met when we were both interior designers working at the same San Francisco firm. We’ve remained friends ever since. I was living and working in the Seattle area for about eight years and moved back to the Bay Area about three years ago. Ania and I thought it would be fun to do some collaborative work together. This project was perfect for that, as we are both good friends with our client. Our design relationship and friendship has been a great source of fun and support!
Were there any points of disagreement between the two of you about the design?
Ania: We’ve known each other for so long, we find it easy to work together. After a little brainstorming we decided to give the cabana slightly different feel than the house.
Heather: No disagreements really, we tend to bounce ideas back and forth easily. We did have discussions about whether to keep the design aesthetic more traditional (like the architectural style of the house) or to lighten up and have a more transitional playful space. In the end, we went with the more casual and relaxed feel.
What is each of your favorite aspect of the design?
Ania: I love that the cabana exudes the bohemian free-spirit of Northern California and the casual elegance of the wine country. Not pictured, as it hadn’t arrived before the photo shoot is a hanging nest chair, which has become a favorite morning coffee and reading spot for the lady of the house. I hope and feel that we’ve met the homeowners’ wishes and have created a space for them where happy memories will be made.
Heather: Our clients have a beautiful and much-loved family home. I am thrilled that the cabana is the perfect addition to that already amazing property! When you’re inside of it, it feels like the best hang out space ever! The cabana feels like a weekend get-away no matter what day of the week it actually is!