The sociable couple with three young children, who live in this 1980s home in Laguna Hills, California, home to many of the finest homes in the world, made it their priority to create an inviting home perfect for laid-back entertaining suitable.
They hired interior designer Mindy Gayer of Mindy Gayer Design Co for a major makeover in 2019.
“The original design of the home was much more cohesive, and our clients wanted a more open concept feel for easy entertaining and an overall more functional layout,” says Mindy.
“We stripped the property down to the studs and opened up several walls and rooms to create the ground floor floor plans,” she continues. “The hardest part, especially in the entrance area, was working with an existing roofline with a lot of unconventional transitions. The playroom is a full extension of the house that continues upstairs, so we also worked hard to make these rooms feel intended and like they belonged to the rest of the house.
“The magic of this house really is in every detail,” says Mindy. “We love all the different types of millwork throughout the house which gives each space so much character. There are also a few unexpected color choices that really show off our client’s personality, like the dark charcoal in the living room and light lavender in the laundry room.
“Perhaps we love it most when projects reflect the family that lives in them, and this home is especially personal. Many of the pieces you see are family heirlooms that have been (and still are) passed down through the generations. The gallery wall in the family room is filled with artwork from places our clients have traveled together, along with classic family portraits displayed in vintage frames from a local New Hampshire antique shop.’
To accentuate the high ceilings, hallway ideas included encasing the ceiling in a natural pine material, which was then whitewashed for a warmer feel. A 15 foot stain quality white oak door and transom window add drama.
A statement console with sconces and mirror by Palecek combines style with practicality and serves as a landing zone when entering the home.
The family room was designed as a retreat for parents when the children are in bed.
“We decided to play with prettier elements, including a custom checked linen element, statement accent chairs, a gilded end table, and cane detailing on the built-in white oak cabinets,” says Mindy.
Living room ideas include a gallery wall co-curated by Mindy and the clients. “The goal was for each piece to feel collected. The horseshoe on the wall is actually something we found in the backyard one day while touring the backyard with our clients and we decided to have it framed as an ode to the stables that used to stand on the property” says Mindy.
Kitchen ideas include two islands – one for working and one for sitting, a must for customers.
“Although the color palette is fairly simple, we added a lot of rich and decorative touches to transform it from a plain white kitchen into one of our favorite rooms in the whole house,” says Mindy. “The custom decorative hood serves as the focal point of the kitchen design with a hand-painted terracotta tile backsplash by Tabarka.” Other features include thatched detailing on the island’s end panels, a walnut butcher block on the island, and a built-in stall for displaying antiques Glassware from family heirlooms.
“The dining area is an extension between the kitchen and the family room, and we wanted to make sure it had its own space since it’s not marked by anything as a separate space,” says Mindy.
Clients wanted a large table for entertaining and holiday hospitality and a pine table with turned detailing on the legs proved to be the perfect choice. Dining room ideas include mixing and matching chairs. “We added these beautiful upholstered end chairs with shell detailing along with black metal Windsor chairs to add to the English cottage vibe. As a bonus, the metal chairs are kid-friendly, which is a must with three little ones in the home,” says Mindy.
The playroom is a zone for the kids and their friends and is separate from the main living areas of the house. Mindy added a large TV and built-in storage, as well as a back wall kitchenette for popcorn and treats. “Because it’s a more playful space, we wanted to play with fun colors, patterns, and a darker color palette,” she says.
The mudroom serves as both a drop zone and a downstairs laundry room. “We added a wall of custom lockers for storage for the kids, which makes for the perfect landing zone when they come home from gym or school,” says Mindy. A two-tone diamond patterned floor and shaker pegs add extra charm.
“This feminine and traditional powder bath was an opportunity for us to play with color,” says Mindy. White and green patterned wallpaper tones with the custom green tinted vanity whose patterned door fronts add extra detail. A gilded shell mirror makes a statement on the wall, while the marble mosaic floor keeps the look classic and timeless.
The upstairs laundry room serves many purposes. “Our client wanted her laundry upstairs where all the kids are, so we consolidated her office/craft room/laundry room into one room,” says Mindy. “Her favorite color is purple so we went with this fun lavender colour, Eagle’s View by Dunn Edwards, for all the furniture and fittings. The custom gingham bulletin board ties into the purple color palette and the desk area below serves as a place for the kids to work and play while our client crafts or folds their laundry.”
The goal for the master bedroom was to create a design that feels like a hotel retreat, so the bedroom ideas include the use of a calm and soft neutral color palette with a sofa at the end of the bed that is upholstered in a delicate floral print is. An unexpectedly modern wallpaper is used as an accent wall behind the bed, and its subtle mauve hues draw those hues from the sofa and throw pillows.
The neutral color palette has been continued in the en suite bathroom, and bathroom ideas include adding interest with subtle patterns such as on the marble mosaic floor, patterned custom window coverings, and vintage rugs.
Customers requested a pretty, feminine, pink ‘blast’ for the only girl in the family. “We chose this pink wallpaper with a floral stripe pattern and painted all the trim, cabinet doors, cabinets and beams a pink accent color,” says Mindy. “The bed frame is a family heirloom and we love the upscale feel it adds to a more playful space.”
Interior Design / Mindy Gayer Design Co
Builder/Todd Custom Homes