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California ... Beachy ... Casual

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Article by Jennifer Riley

Photography by Carley Page

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California... Beachy... Casual was originally published in Hohm

Back in 2015, I worked with my lovely friend Jennifer Zoudentyk, on her dreamy Carlsbad, Calif. home. I met Jennifer through the antique store where I took a booth in January of 2015.

As I’ve mentioned before, in the summer of 2015 I started having shoulder pain again. I ended up leaving the antique store when I learned I needed a third and final shoulder surgery to revise and hopefully keep my shoulder in health for the rest of my life. I took it very seriously and knew my life needed a different trajectory. Jen’s home and working on it was the first part of my trajectory to now re-launching the website. Thank you, Jen!

When Jen asked me to come assess her home and do a bit of interior design work, I was thrilled. Jen and I went through the whole home, room by room and took notes on hopes, dreams and aspirations for her lovely home.

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I remember when I walked in, I was just in love with all the elements of her home. From those high ceilings and lots of light flooding in, to all the various antiques she had collected over the years, and seamlessly worked in together. Jen and I have a lot of similar loves when it comes to the antique realm. We both have a penchant for original antique oil paintings, in their original, Gesso frames, to lots of natural elements: coral, shells, clam shells, etc.

Based upon my short timeline: I was literally having take-you-out-of the-races shoulder surgery in two weeks, and Jen’s budgetary concerns, we unanimously decided to work on her front living room. I suppose, technically it’s Jen’s more formal living room, as she has another one (a family room) where they watch TV, cook and eat. The living room was truly lovely to begin with and I did several things to bring out the full gorgeousness that was waiting to be revealed.

I definitely believe in having a full visual palette in each and every room. A minimalist, I am not. But also there is a fine line between visual splendor and clutter. Jen’s living room needed a tiny bit of paring down. I took out all unnecessary items from window panes, and also Jen had two large vases flanking the mantle that I suggested replacing.

The vases were not matching and of varying heights and that personally threw off the look of the mantle for me. I am more team symmetry, always have been, always will be. Symmetry makes my eyes happy. I happened to have two matching crystal cut vases that were perfect for the mantle (acquired at an estate sale…of course). I like that the vases stand-alone style-wise as they match nothing else Jen has. The vases are chic, simple and just let your eyes rest a bit after looking at the big pieces of coral and at the gorgeous oil painting above the mantle.

Design can be opposing styles, but they cannot compete. I like the juxtaposition of all the differing styles, but they also mesh in a beautiful way.

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We also played around with the furniture layout a bit, but ended up with what she originally had. Sometimes trying new furniture plan scenarios is good to try out, but in the end she had a solid footing. There was also a bed frame behind her sofa so we moved that to the garage, once again cutting down on visual clutter; there was also a CD rack that was relocated.

Jen’s living room was a simple and easy design. Stripping away all that detracted from the space was the main solution achieved, and bringing in a couple of new elements. Sometimes, design is quite simple and another discerning eye is brought in to assess and reposition many wonderful items that were already in place.

We also spoke about long term goals of repainting this whole area, adding more art where the adjoining stairwell was. We also briefly spoke about her dining room and assessing all the furniture and tchotchkes in place, many family heirlooms, but sadly we haven’t done more. Jen’s home was a joy to work in.

My design work can be as simple as an hour to tighten up your living room, master bedroom, or it can be full service design including paint and furniture selection. There are many things we can do to elevate your home.

Follow Jennifer Riley @__hohm__ 

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