As the home of a family of five (hard to believe!) this space designed by Jen Samson Design (our newest member on The List!) had to beautifully serve both form and function—and oh, does it deliver. Starting with an entryway that purposefully combines style and storage, every room is thoughtfully collected, curated and crafted. Jen is walking us through each of the rooms, paired with gorgeous visuals thanks to Chad Mellon.
From Jen Samson Design… This home, which was once a tiny beach cottage, is located on Oak Street, one of Laguna Beach’s most iconic streets. Its sits just a couple of blocks from the ocean and is the home to an incredible local family of 5 + dog. When JSD took on this design project, our main objective was to create a space that was filled with interesting and unique pieces that spoke to the families eclectic aesthetic and playful vibe while at the same time, paying much attention to the overall function and livability of every area the home. The family has three boys all under the age of 12 and they are bustling with activity, so we had to really take all of that into consideration in our overall design.
Starting with the entry, that space needed to serve two purposes. First, it had to look beautiful—after all, it’s the entry to their home! But also, it had to be highly functional and serve as a mudroom of sorts. Between the three boys, the dog… there’s a ton of shoes, sports gear, and bags that go in and out every day, all of which needed to be kept tidy in its own area.
We designed a wood built in corner bench that has storage underneath (including a hidden shelf under the bench for the families shoes, gear and other items to tuck away!) and topped it with a beautiful and functional luxe yet faux leather cushion. The paint in this entry is one of my favorites – it is Farrow and Ball’s “Railings” and the scones are from Worley’s lighting. The iron table, art and accessories make this entry feel anything but untidy. It truly is a space that is both beautiful and functional.
The main living room definitely had is challenges but it was an absolute joy to design! One of my specialties is to find and incorporate antique, vintage and custom pieces into all of our designs. From the hand made (virtually indestructible) rug to the incredible antique table that we found, engraved with designs of a deity with a head dress, clenched teeth, and serpentine body (which the boys loved!), to the artisan made chair by furniture designer Stephen Kenn, this room hits all the marks! Not to mention, the sofa is the kind that once you sit down in it, it’s nearly impossible to get up because it is so incredibly comfortable.
The challenge was in the overall room layout. Because the room has two distinct areas in one, we had to really work the space plan to come up with something felt cohesive. This family loves to have friends over and entertain, so we really wanted to give them two rooms in one and that is how we came to the built-in sofa under the staircase. It basically turned what otherwise would have been an unusable area into something artful and cozy. We added a towering, mid-century-inspired light fixture to further help define it draw attention to the high ceilings, and then we sourced a wide variety of new and vintage art to complete the corner.
Across from the custom built in sofa, a pair of cane chairs from Bali and a carved African drum stool add additional seating in a perfectly sun drenched spot of the room. Green was pretty much the only color we intentionally introduced throughout the room, and the cushions on those two chairs (Zak & Fox windowpane) are definitely a favorite of mine! They help to inspire the colors seen in the art collection and in other areas around the room.
The upstairs den is where family game nights ensue and movie nights commence. We wanted that room to feel as cozy as possible. We painted the walls Farrow and Ball’s “Hague Blue” and added a deep, soft leather sofa, hints of grey, black and white. I hear that the mid century inspired Flag Halyard chair is a highly coveted spot and often fought over on movie night. Hopefully mom wins! The room is complete with a fun loft space that is used by the boys for hideouts, reading books and playing games.
Working on this project was a joy from beginning to end. At JSD, we love working closely with our clients to inspire their unique aesthetic while speaking directly to their lifestyle needs. I firmly believe that every home has its own unique story to be told and that no two should look the same. This wonderful family is truly one-of-a kind, and now the place that they call home is one of a kind as well. For that, I am truly humbled and grateful to have been a part of it.