When a family of four bought their new house in Costa Mesa, CA, they wanted a space that was relaxing and practical. Embracing the Southern California location as well as their Southern roots (they are Texas transplants), designer Mindy Gayer wanted to give them a space that reflected that mix.

Before Mindy transformed the home, it was a dated green mess — chartreuse cabinets in the kitchen, pea green glass tile for the backsplash, and a heavy, oversized granite mantel in the living room. It certainly wasn’t the clean and airy space that the family wanted. Mindy’s first step was to evaluate and take inventory of which items were getting in the way of completing their design goal. Instead of eliminating everything and starting from scratch, Mindy decided to keep a few things and simply gave them a slight transformation, extending the project’s budget. The quartz countertops in the kitchen were kept and the cabinets were painted. With a small adjustment such as changing the backsplash, the two original elements were given a completely new feel.

The rest of the home’s design was built upon a foundation of white. “Many homeowners are fairly reluctant to use white when they have a young family, but I’m a big believer in integrating it whenever possible because it’s forever a classic and the perfect backdrop to build upon with all of the other materials and furnishings,” explained Mindy. One of the riskier choices for the couple was going white on white in some cases, instead of opting for a bolder color. It meant that the backdrop was kept clean and simple, highlighting the other accents and textures in the home. “In the end, everyone loved what it did to brighten up the previously dark home, so we hit a home run,” Mindy concluded.