This home is a shining example of when a client-designer relationship is a natural match. By combining her contemporary casual aesthetic with her client’s bold design choices, Emma Stone of Emma Nicole Interiors created a striking modern beach house. With organic touches that hint at a coastal setting and modern eye-catching features around every corner, we think you’ll agree that this home is the product of a match made in heaven.
You spent many sleepless nights dedicating yourself to earning your B.F.A. in Interior Design. How did you know it was time to make a change and turn your hobby into a career?
I was introduced to the design industry 9 years ago when I started working for a local SoCal design and staging company with absolutely no experience in design. It was a fast-paced job and I learned the ins and outs incredibly quick. At the time, I was honestly working this job just to save money and get through my final years of high school. As I entered college at SDSU with my major as undecided, I thought to explore some basic design courses. That is when everything started to click – I was starting to learn the more technical side of design than I’d experienced thus far, such as how to draw architectural plans, computer and hand render and understanding different codes. At that point, I decided to make the leap and transfer colleges to CSULB to enter their BFA program to further enhance my knowledge of design and I am so glad that I did!
How would you describe your design style? Is there a certain aesthetic you strive for in your work?
I would describe my design style as clean and contemporary mixed with casual and organic, always striving to create beautifully curated spaces for my clients while keeping their needs and wants in the forefront of my mind.
We peeked at your Instagram account and noticed that you were recently honeymooning on the coast (congrats on the ‘I Dos’!). Did you bring any inspiration home with you?
Yes, thank you! We were traveling up the California coast which is incredibly beautiful, it’s hard not to be inspired! I tend to always find inspiration in my travels, especially when I’m surrounded by nature. Whenever I find myself in a rut, I’ll take a walk outside – there’s always inspiration to be found when outdoors.
The home we’re featuring today feels modern and comfortable. What inspired this design? What was your jumping-off point?
My clients for this project are the clients you dream about; they are some of the sweetest, most down-to-earth people. They initially came to me asking for a beautifully designed house that would ultimately feel like home. They wanted something modern yet casual and definitely weren’t afraid to make bold decisions throughout the process.
This kitchen is super modern but still feels welcoming, perhaps due to the soft green cabinets. How did you land on this color, and would you mind sharing it with our readers?
Yes! As I mentioned, my clients were not afraid to make bold design decisions and brought up the idea of doing a green cabinet somewhere in the home, so why not the kitchen?! We played with a lot of different swatches and looked at them against the oak floors and landed on Dunn Edwards Dill Grass.
There are so many stand-out features in this home, from the solid stone backsplash to the stunning staircase. Is there a moment or feature in this home that you’re particularly pleased with?
Can I say all of them?! From the green cabinetry and book-matched marble in the kitchen to the striking black and oak staircase that separates the kitchen from the dining and living space to the powder bath with hand-painted terracotta tile to the spa-like primary bathroom to the secondary bathrooms upstairs with their unique tile designs and closing it all out with the stunning views outside – I honestly don’t think I can pick just one space!
What are the keys to a successful designer-client relationship? What did you love most about working with this homeowner?
Communication and honesty is key! I am so lucky to have such a great relationship with these homeowners; every step of the journey while working with them was truly amazing.
Tell us a bit about what a ‘day in the office’ looks like for you.
As I wake up with my morning matcha or ginger tea, I check the calendar for any events that day and get to any emails that accumulated overnight. I then get into any tasks that need to be done for clients such as any furniture layouts, sourcing furniture, creating spec books, etc. I usually finish up my day with some work in good ol’ Quickbooks and get back to any emails that came in throughout the day.
The past year has challenged many of us to view our home in a new light. With that in mind, what does a well-lived home mean to you?
To me, a well-lived home is a place that is equally casual and comfortable yet simply curated. It’s a place that you want to limitlessly enjoy, where you want to relax, and a place where you want to invite loved ones in to gather and experience what you call home.
Finally, before we go, what is the little nook under the stairs?! A cedar-lined closet? A tiny sauna? I have to know!
It’s actually a little playroom! There was some crawl space off of my client’s son’s room so we decided to close it up and line it with cedar paneling, add in a few shelves and a light!