A note from our editors: 

It’s time for one of our favorite traditions! Each year, we spend the holidays reflecting on the stories and articles you loved most. It’s the “Best of Rue” and this is one of 2019’s top stories. Enjoy!

Previously published on August 28, 2019:

Going for all-white is a ubiquitous piece of real estate advice that every homeowner should know. Buyers love the clean slate that it provides. For the homeowners of this home in southern California, this concept rang true for them even though they weren’t purchasing a home but building one from scratch. “The home was literally brand new, and the bones of the house were spectacular – large windows with transoms, an open floor plan, and tons of natural light,” Kate Lester, the interior designer brought onto the project, said. “At first our clients were a little leery of these changes to the bones of the house they had just built, but I assured them that to get dramatic results, they had to step slightly outside of their comfort zone.”

The cosmetic changes to the house gave it more character and were meant to bring in the homeowners’ personality into the space. One of the first things that were changed was the backsplash in the kitchen. “We replaced it with a textured, glazed brick tile,” she shared. “we also set about changing the color of the island to a darker hue to add contrast and offset all of the white.” Kate selected reclaimed wood for the shelves in the bar and butler’s pantry to add texture and dimension.

The next step was to add unexpected decor elements to bring contrast to the coastal, farmhouse backdrop. “For furnishings, we relied on vintage Turkish rugs, indoor/outdoor fabrics, furniture pieces that play double duty, and art and accessories that don’t take themselves too seriously to round out the look.” She added a Scandinavian style hoop pendant light by Ay Illuminate in the butler’s room. “Overall, this was a pretty quick project because these were just minor cosmetic changes,” she said. “The whole process from start to finish was about six months. It’s a labor of love, but the day of the big reveal, during those moments when you realize your design has captured exactly what they were hoping for- it’s pure bliss.”