The 2021 REAL SIMPLE HOME is finally out! When they asked me to do it again I knew I couldn’t do it alone, what with moving this summer and designing the farm and not having an in-house design team anymore. So I spoke to Keyanna and asked her if she would be interested in doing it with me, our first co-project and she was down for it (also not realizing at the time how busy she would be this spring and summer). But I LOVE Real Simple, it’s one of my favorite magazines ever and the editors are some of my favorite people to work with. This year was different because they were working with a house that a builder was going to be selling after the feature was shot. I loved that it was an older home, versus a new condo in the city, but it also meant that we had to think about resale a bit more (and that gave some limitations and some decisions were made by the builder). I wasn’t able to go style and shoot it, so seeing all the space together made me so happy. IT’S SO FUN.
So today we are giving you a full tour of the house. Here’s generally how it works – they reach out to designers and assign them spaces. We do this mostly for the press opportunity and portfolio work, with a stipend to cover travel, etc. We work closely with the Real Simple editors to borrow pieces from companies to showcase in the magazine, which everyone finds valuable. I’m always hesitant to do a showhouse because while they don’t pay like client work does, it’s even more important to make sure that it looks great because so many more people will see it. So once Key said she could help me I felt so much better and said “yes”. I took the lead on the overall art direction and major pieces and she took over on styling, accessorizing and was actually there installing the furniture. So without further ado here is the tour of the full house and we’ll do a detailed tour of our room later this week (Key shot more photos than the magazine so we have lots to show you).
Outdoor Spaces By Eduardo Rodriguez
I love this porch design by Eduardo. Aside from the fact that everyone loves a hanging chair, he added in and styled a long console table to really make you feel like you are welcomed into the home before you are even inside. What’s additionally great about a console like that is that you can also style it with a bunch of plants or just have it as a place to set things down so you can open your front door without the struggle to get your key in the door while having a million heavy bags in your hands. Also YES to a large round rug if you have the space.
Pom Pillow | Natural Wicker Chair | Dining Table | Porcelain Hurricanes | Fluted Tall Planter | Black Planter | Cream Planter | Black Geometric Pillow | White Scallop Stool | Ceramic Side Table | Modular Sofa | Rug | Tic Tac Toe Set | Ceiling Fan
Whoever buys this house is unbelievably lucky because I’m sure that the majority of people wanting to buy a home would kill for a wraparound porch… and this one is so pretty. The monochrome color palette goes perfectly with the exterior (not drawing too much attention) but still pops with the bold patterns and mix of great textures.
This is outdoor “zoning” at its finest. I love all three areas (bar, lounge, and dining). I would happily attend an outdoor party here.
Now let’s go inside…
Living Room by Natalie Papier
If I walked into the house and saw this living room I would immediately want to be friends with the people that lived there. The bold (but not overwhelming) colors, the eclectic accent, and the overall vibe all make me happy.
I really like this layout too. The team and I were just talking about the importance of creating a solid “conversation” layout in a living room and this did just that. The green sofa is SO pretty, the rug is graphic, colorful, but not too overwhelming and those swivel chairs are awesome. Brian and I are actually on the hunt for a set. I mean who doesn’t like a swivel chair.
Ah, the long narrow living room. I am all too familiar. But Natalie did a great job by adding in another sofa that wasn’t too heavy visually and could be added to the “conversation”. Also BIG fan of hanging art in front of shelves. Unexpected and looks great! Here’s actually a post I did on all of the weird but fun places to hang our art if you are needing some inspo.
Kitchen and Dining Room by Delia Kenza
What a pretty and modern kitchen that’s still warm and inviting. I love the statement backsplash, the two-toned cabinets, lighting, and those stools! I am a FIRM believer in stools with backs for maximum long sitting comfort.
So elegant and simple! Those clean lines are so pretty and those pops of color add the perfect amount of playfulness. Also, those pendants are incredible.
Primary Suite by Keyanna Bowen and Me (Sneak Peek)
AH! I really love how it turned out and Key did SUCH an incredible job. THAT WALLPAPER. Like I said in the intro, we (like all the designers) had some limitations and needed to work with the decisions the builder’s made but all in all, this is such a happy and cozy space to relax in.
Yep, we did the primary bathroom too! Can’t wait to share all the ins and outs later this week. O and we’ll give you ALL the product resources then:)
Office/Zoom Room by Ryia Jose
Y’all this office is good. The wall color is bold but still calming and the choice to paint all of the moldings and ceiling makes it feel really fresh. Plus all of the patterns and textures help to contrast and “lighten” the darker walls. I also love that this desk looks more like a table (always a go-to for me). It’s beautiful from every angle and those spindles add even more visual texture to the space. Almost too many things in this space to point out and admire.
In a “WFH” world, having an office with more than one desk might be a must. So this shelf desk is such a great way to achieve that. So much function. I think that “pinboard” is a DIY (and if not could be). It’s a fun and easy way to add in another pattern but with some cute function. I’m thinking of putting in a massive “pinboard” in the rental office too! Maybe real inspo boards are making a big comeback??
Basement by Raili Clasen
Definitely not jealous of this basement setup at all… I mean I love our makeshift two-nightstand “hack” holding up our TV…
But seriously this is such a great, multi-functional space. I love the nod to a classic 70s wood-paneled basement but with that awesome two-toned paint job. It really makes the space feel lighter the light green on the top. Oh, and keeping the ceilings white was the right call too. The ceilings look low and continuing the light green paint up would have made the room feel SO MUCH smaller and darker. I also love that there is plaid and warm, medium-toned wood pieces that are also 70s nods but totally fresh feeling.
This space is another masterclass in zones: living, ping pong (so fun), and workout.
This is an extremely cute workout area. I love the privacy screen and that it’s a different tone of green that also matches the exercise ball. While a color-coordinated workout area is not necessary it does make things SO FUN and pretty. I just think overall this room was set up in such a smart, fun, and beautiful way.
Mudroom by Katie Holdefehr
I feel like I could write a whole book dedicated to mudrooms after design the farmhouse one. Even though we can’t see all of it (I wish I could because it looks so cute from these two shots) I love the versatility of that rack from California Closets and that HedgeHouse Cabinet is very good.
Laundry Room by Leslie Corona
A functional laundry room can make your life sooooo much better and this one looks like it will absolutely do that for the eventual owners. Counterspace for folding, a sink for hand washing, a place to hang clothes, and decanted products? Check, check, check, and CHECK. Plus the pink wallpaper makes it a fun and pretty place to be in which I also think is very important when doing a not so fun chore:)
The Organization by Nikki Boyd
After having our closets/laundry room done by California Closets in our old LA house, I completely see why it’s worth the investment. Having a solid organizational system is simply a game-changer. California Closets also did this home one and Nikki really made them so great and useful.
And for the finale, we have a little kitchen organization. Having a place for everything is all I want in my home but the kitchen is the first place that needs to happen for me.
So if you are in the market are a BEAUTIFULLY and creatively designed home, this could be yours! If not, like me, you can enjoy all the amazing designers that made this home extremely special. xx
*Photos by Christopher Testani