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Houzz Tour: Freshening a Modern California Box Up

Houzz Tour: Freshening a Modern California Box Up

When a single mum hired interior designer Vanessa De Vargas, her monotone, white-walled, cement-floored home in Mar Vista, California needed some zhush. While she had a group of furniture, she had help softening all of those contemporary lines, picking fabrics, adding layers, arranging furniture and accessorizing. “Everything was really streamlined and we had to add some interesting; we had to add pattern but we didn’t want it to seem busy,” De Vargas explains. With her knack for blending items, De Vargas left no stone unturned when sourcing upholstered fabrics, soft carpets, unique eBay items and even a “crazy gaudy mirror.” She means that in a good way — you will see.

Vanessa De Vargas

The photograph belonged to the operator and De Vargas decided to mount it on the glass block. “It is framed in light plexiglass, therefore we were able to attach it to the window with a bunch of sticky stuff,” De Vargas explains.

The traditional mid-century contemporary Nelson Pendant Lamp is counterbalanced by a classic pie crust table located on eBay. A black lacquer tray and crisp chevron patterned cushions in black and white keep a few of the lines clean, in balance with all of the new softer lines De Vargas added.

Vanessa De Vargas

As we zoom out, more exuberant colours are revealed, through a rich raspberry fabric on the armchairs and the cherry leather of this poufs. De Vargas found a diamond printing dhurrie plus a sheepskin throw to add soft layers into the ground. “Most of these cloth prints we found were bold and geometric, not frilly” she states. Note that most of the patterns in the area play off diamonds and zigzags at different scales.

Vanessa De Vargas

From the dining area, a pair of Eames shell chairs, a pair of Bertoia side chairs and a tufted chrome and leather bench flank the glass and chrome table. “I advised my client, ‘Trust me, you have sufficient artwork, you need a really gaudy mirror in here to mix up things,'” De Vargas admits. This ornate mirror does the trick, breaking away in the chrome and incorporating lots of curves. It also reflects the light and adds depth to the space.

“The horse in the photograph was a household racehorse of my customer’s, and the picture was shot at Del Mar while it had been winning.” De Vargas had the photograph blown up, and in case you were wondering, the horse won this day.

Vanessa De Vargas

More sharp modern edges and substances have been softened with sheepskin throws tossed over the wire chairs, and black and gray chevron drapes. “The area was so streamlined and clean, we moved for big drama on the walls throughout the window treatments,” De Vargas explains. Speaking of window treatments, her favourite source for drapery hardware is none besides J.C. Penny. “They have the best selection! This was the only place where I could find a pole that navigated the corner and it is all very inexpensive,” she gushed about the department store’s offerings.

Vanessa De Vargas

This corner of the kitchen gets a pop of color from a pair of Jonathan Adler plates the client scored on gilt.complus a couple of yellow printed toss cushions, and a metallic bamboo chandelier De Vargas found on eBay and had painted yellow. The benches were custom made; De Vargas had them covered in a faux-alligator plastic to withstand any spills. The remaining portion of the chairs is covered by a pair of Bertoia wire chairs.

Vanessa De Vargas

The owner already had the barstools; De Vargas just had them recovered in this kelly green and white exotic geometric print. The sconces were scored at a local furniture store, Surfing Cowboys.

Vanessa De Vargas

Acrylic shelves instead of top cabinets maintain the kitchen open and bright. De Vargas found the photograph of the customer’s children cooking waffles and had it blown up, adding a personal signature that seems like it came from an art gallery. Design moves like this personalized the house, and turned it into a home.

More:
More by Vanessa De Vargas
Houzz Tour: A Family-Friendly Mid-Century Home
Houzz Tour: Urban Jewel Box

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