This cheerful bungalow in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, is full of bright and whimsical details that reflect the owners’ personality. As a young, energetic family that loves art and design, and had lived all over the US, they wanted their space to reflect that. Their classic Spanish Colonial bungalow, built in 1924 hadn’t been remodeled since 1935 and as you can imagine needed an overhaul to bring it into the 21st century – the family hired interior designer Alexis Manfer to breathe new life into it.
At the top of the list was to combine the living and kitchen areas. “Our clients were insistent on keeping the original exterior, to stay true to the character of the 1920’s Architecture,” the designer said. “This is why we focused on interior updates. The common areas of the home were originally divided into three separate rooms: a family room at the entry, formal dining room in the center, and a small closed-off Kitchen in the back of the house.”
Since the family enjoys entertaining it was important to focus especially on the kitchen, which then became the largest room in the house. “We wanted it to be unique so we spent a lot of time selecting the custom details such as the kitchen Cabinets, Lacanche range, various wood finishes, and striking marble countertops,” she shared. “For the cabinets, we were inspired by the original Front Entry door to the home which featured a beautiful diagonal glass window. which served as an inspiration to the custom design we implemented for the built-ins throughout the kitchen. These one-of-a-kind custom cabinets were then painted in a bold blue and are a complete showstopper when entering the residence. “
The color selection for the whole home was also very intentional. Inspired by the original blue tiles on the bungalow’s stuccoed exterior they brought moments of deep blues into the interior. “The fireplace tiles in the family room and on the hallway floor are a strong component with distinct aesthetic,” Alexis said. “These tiles were hand-painted by a local artist and add a special charm to the house. We selected tile designs with unique patterns in shades of blue to tie in the kitchen cabinet color.” In another instance, the green vanity in the master bathroom was picked up from the jungle wallpaper in the nursery.
Color wasn’t the only important component of the home’s redesign, wood also played a role. “We wanted to keep some of the darker wood finishes that the house originally featured,” she said. “However, we needed to mix in lighter-hued wood to balance the interior so it wouldn’t feel too heavy. We incorporated spectacular light oak herringbone floors as well as light oak open shelving.” In the case of furniture, two of the first pieces that they found were the bedside tables and bed frame in the master bedroom: “We fell in love with the natural finish, interesting shape, and design of these items so they set the tone for the rest of the room. Our goal was to create an oasis of peacefulness for the homeowners.”
After eight months, their home was finally finished including Spanish style arched cased openings, quirky wallpaper, and an expansive custom kitchen. “We successfully merged the two worlds of authentic Spanish Colonial flair and contemporary comfort to create this beautiful Venice Beach home,” she shared. “The original design plan focused on an updated layout with pops of color against neutral hues. We achieved exactly that and they were thrilled with the outcome.”