“The clients are a really interesting couple who recently moved here and purchased their first home after years of, as they put it, ‘postponing adulting,’” Mary Beth Christopher of MBC Interior Design says. “A founder of an L.A.-based tech company and an attorney, they are a super smart and design-savvy duo.” The couple reached out to Mary Beth after seeing pictures she’d shared to Instagram of her own Tuscan-style home’s renovation. “Like us, they wanted their home to feel updated and more modern, but not erase all of its original character.”
Mary Beth kept many of the traditional, Old World-esque details intact. “We did, however, streamline and simplify many of those details, giving the home a fresher and more present-day take on the design style while also reflecting the personality and taste of the homeowners,” she says. The result is decidedly European farmhouse-meets-California casual.
The designer says the living room is her favorite room in the house. “It’s a small space, but it’s the first room you see when you enter, and the two-story ceiling makes it feel pretty grand,” she explains. “The fireplace, however, did not, previously featuring stacked stone, a raised hearth, and a firebox that was way too small for the space. We may have tripled its size during the renovation, and the hand-plastered custom mantle has the most beautiful texture, it now truly grounds the space. The furnishings, art and lighting are a mix of old, new, and vintage pieces, and I think really reflect that blend of styles we were going for in the overall design of the home.”
Moving through the rest of the house, details are key. In the dining room, Mary Beth and team cleaned up the tray ceiling and added plaster pendants that bridge the gap between old and new. The powder room offers a moody and dramatic moment, with graphic teal and gold wallpaper. As for the primary bedroom, Mary Beth states it was a complete re-do. “We kept most everything in its same place but straightened out the many angles and awkward walls that cut up the space unnecessarily. Replacing the enormous built-in tub for freestanding made the space feel twice as large, as did covering all of the surfaces in a beautiful white marble,” she says. “Coastal Cabinets did an incredible job with the reeded wood vanity that provides not only storage for days, but also the texture and warmth the space needed.”
Aside from a few supply-chain hold ups (as is the case with many design projects these days), the project took roughly a year to plan and complete. “Our design presentations are pretty detailed, so the clients knew what it was all going to look like, in theory,” the designer says with a smile. “But seeing it actually completed in person is always exciting. They were thrilled with the result, as were we.”