Designer Susie Novak had a few things to keep in mind when designing this new construction home in Dublin, CA. First, she had to bring character and warmth into the home without any renovations, so furnishings and decor would be key. Next, she had to consider the different styles of her clients, Chastine and Mike. “They are both tech engineers and had just moved into a proper home from San Francisco. They are originally from the Philippines. They are cosmopolitan and well-travelled, so we wanted to bring these elements into the space. Chastine is more of a city girl and Mike loves the country, so we melded the two with a sophisticated but comfortable feel and added in the beach vibe to remind them of the Philippines a bit,” Susie explains. A fun hashtag #modernwithasplashofbeach was used to document the process.

While there is certainly an inherent beach vibe, it’s not at all cliche. In the dining area, a warm wallcovering by Eskayel features muted palms, transporting you right to a seaside scene. “It’s truly a piece of art and such a great conversation starter,” Susie shares. “I have this same mural in my living room and it was made from painting from the rooftop of El Fenn in Marrakech. It always takes me back to that place and the feeling of being there.”

In the living space, a smart storage coffee table by Four Hands keeps things feeling minimal, while a Restoration Hardware sectional adds extra comfort. Here, a pink painting by Oakland artist Tallulah Terryll hangs alongside a MQuan sculpture from Shop Super Simple. “We wanted easy and no-fuss,” homeowner Chastine says, expressing the importance of a cozy place to unwind after a busy workday. “We also wanted it to look chic but very comfortable and functional.”

In the bathroom, they changed the floor tile, added wallpaper, painted the vanity Farrow and Ball Studio Green, updated the hardware, mirror, and faucet. “And man,” the designer exclaims. “What a transformation!! Keeping the layout, toilet and existing vanity saved a lot of money but we made a major impact.”

Overall, Susie is happy that the space is so well-balanced: it’s modern but comfortable, and elevated yet inviting. “I love that we got to be a creative with color and pattern but it still feels soothing and not overly designed,” she smiles. “It feels personal to them and we really had fun working together.” As for the couple, Chastine admits they couldn’t be more pleased. “We are so happy and so grateful that we have this beautiful space, especially now during lockdown/shelter-in-place,” she says. “Who knew how much we’d need a cozy, restful, and relaxing home?”