By Becky Harris | Houzz
Interior designer Alison Kandler is fearless when it comes to color and pattern. So, for the most part, were her clients: two young parents who wanted her to help them make their new house cheerful, comfortable and family-friendly. Though the wife tended toward bolder and brighter, the husband went for more subdued hues, so Kandler helped them set up a few rules. “He got the final nix on any color choices, and we balanced it out with lots of white walls,” she says.
The Los Angeles home, designed by architect Joan Swartz, is new. But the couple wanted what Kandler calls “polished farmhouse” appeal. (Note the feet on the cabinets, for instance.) With that in mind, she helped them punch up the house with color in high-impact places — on the kitchen island, the range, in accent pillows and on doors, as well as via wallpaper-backed bookcases and cabinets. She also added a sense of age and history with select flea market finds.
The showstopping Lacanche range was the couple’s must-have. The cabinet hardware matches the knobs on the range, and the color of it set the tone for the kitchen. In fact, Kandler had the Tolix chairs in the breakfast nook custom-painted to the exact hue of the range.
“I wanted the breakfast nook to feel like a garden,” Kandler says. The wallpaper is a subtle trellis pattern and the casual Kelly green table is vintage. Colorful pillows liven up the banquette. Creative Ways to Use Kelly Green Indoors.
The lighting throughout the house is new but has vintage style, such as this French ceramic light fixture over the table.
Wallpaper: Stroheim; vintage table: One Kings Lane; pillow fabrics: Raoul Textiles
The mustard yellow on the island makes a colorful statement. Of the navy blue wicker stools, Kandler says: “Wicker lends that old-house feel.”
Though the husband had banned pink from the palette, his wife and Kandler were able to slip a bit of it past him via this geometric wallpaper in the back of the glass-front cabinets. The wife loves the thrill of the hunt when it comes to collecting; this is her collection of green and blue Bauer pottery. Line Your Kitchen With Fun Geometric Wallpaper.
Kandler ordered an eclectic screen door for the pantry and had the paint matched to the breakfast nook table.
These shelves are located along a staircase, but the wallpaper’s color palette was an inspiration for the living and dining rooms. “I pulled a lot of the colors out of this pattern,” the designer says. The shelves also hold one of the wife’s favorite flea market collections: Bauer pottery in white.
Wallpaper: Chiang Mai Dragon, Schumacher
The living room is formal but warm, with upholstered armchairs and window seats making it cozy. Kandler used a mix of corals and blues in the color palette.
She backed the living room bookshelves in a classic Sister Parish wallpaper and helped her client arrange some of her favorite collectibles and heirlooms.
This office is in the center of the home off the main hall. It has two desk areas, one of which overlooks the family room. The glass pocket door can be closed for quiet time. It also provides a warm jolt of orange. Colorful Ideas for Home Offices.
This photo also gives us a good look at the home’s flooring. It’s a new French oak, but it was painted black and then sanded to give it a reclaimed look. The width of the planks also lend a sense of age.
The family room is open to the kitchen and backyard. Here you can see two of Kandler’s favorite design moves. The first is the use of transoms over the openings between rooms to emphasize delineation in an open space. The second is finding one really great flea market piece.
“The coffee table was originally a dining room table — it was already cut down when we bought it and it was this color,” Kandler says. “Adding these kinds of pieces adds so much history to a room.” Her local recommendations for flea markets: easiest: Santa Monica Airport Antique Market; best: Rose Bowl Flea Market
The family-friendly room was designed to take a beating; Kandler chose outdoor fabrics for the sofas and an inexpensive jute rug for practical durability. She also snuck in just a little more pink on the sofa pillows.
Armchair fabric: Quadrille; sofa fabric: Perennials; pillow fabric: Raoul Textiles; drapes: John Robshaw for Duralee
In the powder room, Kandler repurposed an antique flour bin into a vanity, adding a new counter and sink. She had Galbraith & Paul print one of its wallpaper patterns in a custom color. “With digital printing these days, it’s easy for some companies to customize like this,” she says.
The homeowner also found she likes to collect portraits, and with the help of Kandler she filled the staircase with them. “I would help get her started with a collection and she’d keep going with it — she loves hitting the flea markets and late-night eBay searches,” she says. “Individually none of these are particularly special but together they are really fun.”
Son Theo enjoys a favorite reading spot near the top of the stairs. Gooseneck lamps and shiplap paneling add farmhouse touches.
In the children’s suite, the designer used another favorite trick: a colorful checkerboard paint job on the floors. “It’s cheerful and happy and glossy and refreshing,” she says. Her secret weapon is a garage floor paint called Break-Through. “I love it — there is no odor and it dries in under an hour,” she says.
This is the couple’s daughter’s room. A bay gives it interesting angles, and beadboard adds a farmhouse touch. The antique sign, traditional bed and wicker chair enhance the old-house feeling.
Bed: Ethan Allen; lamp and lantern: Stray Dog Designs
The children’s suite includes an extra bedroom, which was fashioned into a playroom-library. The bookshelves are backed with another lively wallpaper in navy and white.
Much of the children’s suite palette was plucked from this sumptuous wallpaper. Tile wainscoting protects the walls from splashes from the bright orange claw-foot bathtub. Playful cabinet knobs are the perfect finishing touch.
Wallpaper: Galbraith & Paul
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: