The owners of this Southern California home had lived on the property for a few years—though, the house was in its original form as a single-level cottage. However, the location was too good to give up—just two blocks from the Pacific Ocean and a short walk to great shopping and popular restaurants. A ground-up build ensued. 

“I loved this project for so many reasons,” says Mindy Laven, the interior designer on the project. “The homeowner is Alison White—a female builder whom I have partnered with on several previous projects. I was thrilled and humbled when she asked my team to collaborate on her personal home. She is also a real estate agent and an attorney…you could definitely say she is a powerhouse! The goal was to create a family home for entertaining and gatherings. Alison plans on creating history here and living here forever!”

Mindy says the style is best described as relaxed and refined. “Beach, with a Serena & Lily twist,” she shares. Throughout, she brought in thoughtful seating options for guests to gather alongside places where the homeowner can focus on work or unwind—a bright office space is closed off with glass doors, while the primary en suite features an elegant soaking tub. 

The six-month project had a few hiccups, thanks to an inordinate amount of rain for SoCal that slowed things down. But thoughtful floor plans meant the home really packs a punch for its modest size. “The real ‘aha moment’ came when Alison saw it installed with furniture and styled with florals,” Mindy concludes.

Take a tour in the slideshow.