By Annie Thornton | Houzz
Alison and Eric Feinberg bought their home in 2010 as a foreclosure property. Built in 1927, the Spanish-style residence sits in a mini development that has been designated a historic zone. After tackling essential projects such as painting and furnishing themselves, they were looking for a designer to add another layer of design, cohesion and personality.
At the same time, Faith Blakeney, a family friend, had recently moved from New York and was transitioning from fashion design to interior design. Alison and Eric hired her to bring their home to life. They have redesigned rooms over the years, adding more layers, more color and more interest. “I started working on their house seven years ago and haven’t stopped,” Blakeney says.
House at a Glance
- Who lives here: Alison and Eric Feinberg (she’s a social worker, he’s a vice president of marketing) and their son and daughter
- Location: Los Angeles
- Size: 1,885 square feet; three bedrooms, three bathrooms; there’s also a 400-square-foot (37-square-meter) garage that’s been converted into an office with a bathroom
- Designer: Faith Blakeney
The majority of the design work Blakeney has done has involved painting, furniture selection and other styling — and restyling. When the couple moved into the house, it was about unifying the space with consistent floors and wall colors; they’ve been adding more color, textures and layers over the years. They have plans for a more extensive remodel down the line when their budget allows.
Colors and style: The home’s Mediterranean style influenced some of the decor and styling, but Blakeney and the homeowners didn’t feel tied to a particular style. Their love for vintage and Blakeney’s love for color propelled the vision forward. “They knew that they wanted something fun and different,” Blakeney says.
Light hues and pastels form the home’s backdrop, with art and textiles bringing bolder colors forward. “It makes spaces very versatile,” Blakeney says. The walls set the tone — they’re subtle, but each room is painted a different pastel shade. “I don’t use a lot of white,” Blakeney says. Color, she says, creates warmth and an inviting feeling. “I really want the people to almost feel like they’re getting a big hug when they walk in.”
Living room: Inside the front door, layers of blues, pinks, yellows and greens await. “I really wanted to create a space that expressed their playful nature,” with varying intensities of colors driving the design, Blakeney says. “When we redid their living room, I proposed a hot pink rug,” which kickstarted the rest of the living room’s color palette. “She helped us depart a bit from our comfort zone,” Alison says.
Vintage swivel club chairs got new life with bright blue velvet upholstery, and add a playful element for the two young kids. “As a child I always loved swivel chairs,” Blakeney says. And the velvet upholstery wears well.
Area rug: RugsUSA; club chairs: Hernandez Furniture (reupholstered); coffee table: West Coast Modern LA
When Alison works from home, she sits at this petite desk (which is actually a child’s furniture piece) that nestles into a corner of the living room. The adjacent bookshelves add supplemental storage and work space for her. Shop Stylish Desk Accessories for a Mini Home Workspace.
Campaign desk: Land of Nod; desk chair: vintage
A custom curved sofa, also upholstered in velvet, frames the living area, layering more color and texture into the space. A gallery wall features a mix of artwork collected by the homeowners over the years, as well as contributions by Blakeney. Over time, new pieces were hung and other pieces were taken down. “It’s all about adding another layer and another layer. It’s not like a renovation or a change,” Eric says.
Sofa: custom, The Joneses LA
Dining room: The living room’s color scheme — soft pastels punctuated with vivid accents — continues in the dining room. Velvet upholstered chairs surround an iconic midcentury modern Saarinen tulip table. “I often have an inclination for round tables in smaller rooms,” Blakeney says, both for their scale and mobility.
The dining chairs were a thrift store find that Blakeney re-covered with the same velvet used in the living room. She also incorporated pink to pull in the bright hue of the living room rug. “We couldn’t choose one color, since the colors were all so great,” Blakeney says.
Velvet might sound like an odd choice for a dining room, but Blakeney is confident in it. “I have found that perennial velvet is a lot easier to clean than other fabrics,” she says. The material lasts and the sheen is subtle but luxurious.
Chandelier: The Future Perfect; dining table: Saarinen; dining chairs: vintage; credenza: Denmark 50
Kitchen: Eric and Alison added a built-in banquette and fresh coat of pastel yellow paint to the mostly original kitchen. While they appreciate the old character of the room, it “isn’t the most user-friendly,” Alison says. They’d like to renovate it one day.
They decided to give the Saltillo floor tiles a facelift by staining them. They used Minwax wood finish and buffed it.
Master bedroom: The master bedroom features a sleeping area and a sitting area, with a partial wall with fireplace dividing the two. French doors in the sleeping area lead out to the backyard.
Inspiration for the room’s color scheme came from pieces the couple already had, including the wall art and the rug in the sitting area. The walls had been white for a long time, and the couple decided — with some urging from Blakeney — to enliven them with a dusty pink that brightens the room and ties in with the above-mentioned pieces.
Bed: Haute Look; bedding: Anthropologie; bench: West Elm; art on shelf: Laura Berger, Athen B. Gallery
The other half of the master bedroom is a lounge area where the family likes to hang out and watch TV together. It’s also the entrance to the bedroom, providing some division between the door and the bed.
Master bathroom: The homeowners would like to remodel the bathrooms someday, but for now, new paint on the walls and cabinets and new fixtures and accessories provide affordable and dramatic upgrades. “For me, the biggest way to transform a space is with paint color,” Blakeney says. Savvy Storage Cabinets to Fit in Every Nook and Cranny.
Wall lighting: Empiric; mirrors: CB2; wall color: Sashay Sand, Sherwin-Williams
Daughter’s bedroom: Soft pinks, greens and whites envelop the girl’s bedroom. Practical considerations, such as underbed storage and a plush rug, complement whimsical and playful design items, such as the watercolor-inspired accent wall and vintage light fixture.
Bed: Land of Nod; bean bag chair: RH Baby & Child; rug: Anthropologie; ceiling light: vintage, Rose Bowl Flea Market; wall color: Organza, Sherwin-Williams; accent wall: Anewall
Son’s bedroom: The boy’s room also mixes playful and practical, with plenty of toy storage and soft surfaces in stylish colors and patterns.
In the backyard, layers of colorful and drought-tolerant shrubs and perennials surround a central lawn. Plant These Beautiful Perennials for Gorgeous Fall Color.
Detached garage: Finishing the detached garage was one of the most recently completed projects. Eric works from home pretty much full time, so it serves as his office. Roll-up doors connect the garage to a patio and outdoor dining area. With the mild Southern California weather, the doors stay open most of the time, even when Eric’s working.
Picnic table: Kit from RusticLiving on etsy
Inside, the now-finished garage provides Eric with a detached, private workspace just steps from home.
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