When Melanie Burstin, one of Homepolish’s newest designers, was hired for a project in Beachwood Canyon for a family of three, her client was really looking for help pulling everything together. According to the client, “After a day of shopping for new furniture together my husband and I realized we needed a referee…. and that’s where Melanie came in. She completely understood our ideas and wove them into a singular style, while at the same time creating storage for our two-year-old son’s ever growing fire truck collection. We now have a space that we all equally love.”

We talked with Melanie to learn more. Take a tour of the now-cohesive, modern organic home in the slideshow!

Other than your role as a peacemaker, what was the design direction that the client gave you?
The client wanted something that felt organic and modern while still functional. The number one item on their wish list was a media wall unit they could hide their son’s toys in. They were hoping that installing this unit would warm the place up a bit, and help keep things tidier.

What was the space like when you started the project?
When I first started the project the space felt really bright and clean because it had been renovated by the previous owners. My clients also already owned a few pieces of furniture so my task was to pull it all together and add some layers to make their house feel more like a home. When I first visited it felt kind of hollow and cold but I suggested we orient the sofa a different way and we were suddenly off to the races!

The living and dining areas are divided by an amazing original fireplace that had already been painted black. It was so bold I thought it would make the perfect backdrop to all my ideas for the space. If only I could take credit for the great paint job!

Well, it’s definitely a striking design feature! Was there any aspect of this design that was a bit of a design risk for you?
The biggest design risk was designing the custom built in. I convinced my clients that a corner cabinet instead of a wall unit would be better. I thought this mostly because the space really needed more grounding and not necessarily more height because of the fireplace. Making custom furniture can always be a risk for clients because there’s no guarantee it will look right or even fit the space. But it’s a risk I always love taking because custom usually means more special.