This charming bungalow in Santa Monica, CA was originally built in 1940 and had been renovated once in the 80s. Needless to say, it was dated and needed a total overhaul. Enter Alexis Manfer — an interior designer who immediately saw the home’s potential. “My clients are a fun, stylish couple that entrusted me to do their renovation,” Alexis explains. “My goal was to make sure the execution of design and floor plan represented [their] own authentic, unique style.”

Since the family really loves to entertain, they hoped to have a space that would welcome guests yet still be comfortable and practical. “With this in mind, we selected materials such as the ultra durable and gorgeous thassos countertops, dark leather dining chairs, and deep blue rug in the family room,” Alexis says. They also focused on transforming the main living area into a brighter, more spacious retreat. “We achieved this by knocking down a kitchen wall that had once separated the kitchen from the rest of the house. Then we added a large island making the kitchen the center of the home. When you open the front door, you can actually see from the entry to the back of the house in one glance. It’s so inviting and immediately makes you want to cozy up on a sofa or grab a snack in the kitchen. It’s now the perfect space to mingle.”

It’s important to note that the project was a total gut renovation. “You name it, we replaced it,” Alexis laughs. “Every cabinet, doorknob, door hinge, light fixture, drawer pull, appliance, sink, faucet, shower, door, etc. was changed. We demolished all surface materials throughout including the existing laminate floors, the bathrooms, and the entire kitchen. We replaced the floors with 7” wood planks, replaced many of the windows throughout, [added] all new cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms, new closet doors, new window treatments, and new furniture and accessories.”

The furniture really brings her vision for the house to life. She explains, “We knew we wanted white walls throughout the home because white is crisp and bright but we also wanted the home to feel vibrant. We introduced pops of color through the area rugs, chair fabric, accessories, throw pillows, and art. We found that the clients liked items we showed them in hues of blues so we incorporated shades of blue in every room tying the design together. The pops of color throughout contrast really well against the white walls and add depth and character.”

The home today has a charming flow, which feels effortless and inviting. Alexis concludes, “There are so many gathering places for friends and family to enjoy each other’s company.”