My friend Blythe is a total California hippie and she wanted it all bohemian and casual. Jim is a modern dude who leans towards strong clean lines and unique conversation pieces. Mixing the two wasn’t hard for me in this LA bungalow makeover, but it was hard for them. Like most couples, they thought their styles couldn’t work together and every time they tried to come up with a plan someone felt like they were losing. I started with a color palette that they love: blues and grays, which is the easiest, most gender neutral color palette you can get. The rug is great because it’s a flat woven kilim that fell into the “boho” category but in colors that are more masculine and dark, grounding the whole space. We had to bring color into this space because we couldn’t change the walls, but they didn’t want to get a big colorful sofa because that was too much of a commitment. Choosing the sofa was very tricky. There was only one place for the TV so sometimes that just dictates the orientation of the room. Normally you would go for the sofa facing the fireplace/mantle, but the TV couldn’t fit above the high mantel, so we put the TV on the most obvious wall, opposite the fireplace, and oriented to sofa toward that.
Jim found this local artist, Francesca Quintano, online and commissioned this underwater painting from her that started the collection and worked with our color palette perfectly. I used all of their own pieces except the Mexican wrestler drawing, which I bought and framed for them. But you’ll notice that we chose pieces that are different shapes (vertical, horizontal, and square), different sizes (big and small) and different frames and colors, but we just kept the colors dispersed equally, in a balanced way.
Overall, it’s just a super happy bright space that was once totally neutral and is now completely full of color. It was boring and style-less and now it has a strong point of view that represents both of their styles.
Photo Credit: Zeke Ruelas