The renovation of this Marina del Rey, California home was a few decades in the making…well, sort of. Interior designer Zack Davenport first met his client, Troy in the 5th grade. They grew up together in Newport Beach before heading for the East Coast—Troy to NYU and Zack to The American University in D.C.—and had a shared love of art and architecture. “That connection was cultivated through exploring museums, restaurants, and neighborhoods together as adults,” Zack recalls.

Years later, Troy and his wife Dorna were ready to put down roots back in Southern California and needed a home that would accommodate their growing family. They found the perfect property in the Silver Strand neighborhood of Marina del Rey, but it required a down-to-the-studs renovation. They called on Zack, knowing he’d be able to create a beautiful space that also wholly represented them as a family. 

“Troy and Dorna have traveled extensively and lived abroad (Shanghai, Buenos Aires), have lived in New York and San Francisco, and spent a lot of time in Paris,” Zack tells us. “Dorna is ballet dancer in her free time and her family is originally from Iran. Troy loves to sail and appreciates design.” Zack wanted the inspiration for the home to be a mix of their travels, hobbies, love of the arts, and family heritage. “They are drawn to Old World meets warm contemporary elements with a strong use of natural materials found in many Parisian apartments and London homes (think Rose Uniacke), along with classically California houses by the likes of William Heffner, Atelier AM, etc.” 

The brief was to include all of these elements and inspirations, all through the lens of its coastal location. (Without it being too “beachy,” obviously.) “There are diverse styles of homes throughout the neighborhood, but ultimately, we let some of the original architecture lead us and pursued a classic Southern California design with a goal of the house feeling like it had always been there while being tastefully updated,” the designer explains. “Restraint was key.”

Zack’s work was cut out for him: the scope of work included all interior architectural and decorative design…from plans and elevations to the tiniest details like cabinet hardware. It took some patience on both sides, as construction kicked off just a few months before the pandemic started. “That of course led to some uncertainty and many delays and price increases on the construction side,” he recalls. “We value engineered where we could, and thankfully had clients that were willing and able to maintain speed and course on the project. Everyone was a team player and kept their eye on the ball.”

It took roughly two and a half years from start to move-in. “They were smiling ear to ear when we revealed the house to them,” the designer shares. “Their first response was that they couldn’t believe it was their house and how nice everything was. After a long project timeline and countless decisions (and many dollars spent), as you can imagine they were filled with joy and also very happy to be finally moving in.”