“We wanted to embrace the beach location without leaning into anything too kitschy,” Chelsea Dowling Herrin of The Kingsway Co. tells us. “We used a lot of bright whites, natural materials like rattan, and commissioned multiple large, white oak built in pieces to maintain a connection to the outdoors. Coincidentally, we finished this project right as the ‘Coastal Grandmother’ movement blew up in the design and fashion world, and it’s a perfect fit. I like to think this is a beach home Nancy Meyers herself would be happy to relax in with a glass of white wine.”

Needless to say, this Southern California condo sounds like our dream weekend escape. Chelsea tells us more:

Tell us about this home. Where is it located? How did the neighborhood influence the design?
This was a super exciting property! It’s a small condo building located along PCH in Santa Monica. It is directly next door to the historic Jonathan Club, and the front end of the building opens up onto the sand. This is exceptionally rare as there are very few residences along this stretch of PCH. There are only two condo buildings for miles. Most residences are set up on Ocean Avenue, placing them high above the water and sand. This unit faces South, and has a direct view of the Santa Monica Pier, which is absolutely stunning at night. There are only a handful of units in the building and there’s very little turnover in terms of ownership. Most owners stay here for a very long time, making any new availability highly coveted. There are people who live here year-round, and lots who use their condo as a secondary or vacation home. It’s a great building in terms of community and you really get the feel that all the owners take pride in their home.  

We’d love to know more about your clients. Are they full-time residents?
The brief for this project was to be suitable as a high-end rental. The clients were looking to have a space that could be rented out for the summer months or loaned to family and friends in need of a getaway. Their ideal tenants would stay at least a few months, so they were looking for elevated quality, more so than you’d find in a regular short-term property. That said, durability was also a key element in our choices. We went for a high end LVP flooring that looks stunning but will also stand up to all future tenants and the sand and ocean water that comes in with them. We were also able to source a gorgeous quartzite slab that feels like a Calacatta Gold, while offering less maintenance and care than marble would. We also really wanted an off-white upholstered couch, but it was definitely a risky choice in terms of practicality. In the end we managed to snag one that’s entirely slip covered and machine washable. Best of both worlds! 

Did this project have any challenges? If so, could you tell us how you overcame a few of the hurdles?
There was a closure on PCH the day we were scheduled to start demo. It was an absolute nightmare to get to the building but eventually the entire crew made it. We even had dumpsters waiting off the side of the balcony, ready to go, but the lock in the front door jammed. There were about 12 of us sitting on the floor in the hallway waiting for 3 hours while an emergency locksmith made his way through the same traffic to save the day. He ended up having to cut through the steel door and remove the old lock entirely, but we did make it in for a fun half day!

Like everyone, we faced major delays with sourcing furniture. This was a relatively last minute project and we couldn’t accommodate 8 month leads, so we definitely had to get creative with in-stock items. 

Take a tour in the slideshow.