About 15 years into our design career together, Steve and I laid each of our favorite design elements on a table.
On my side: gold gilt, light linens, and florals.
On Steve’s side: plaster, leather, and wooden pieces.
The purpose of this experiment was to see if we could figure out a signature style that worked for each of us, and the style that emerged from that meeting of minds became Patina Style.
The first home we ever designed with that style in mind was our beach house in Oxnard, CA.
We purchased the home as a beach getaway in 2006. We had begun to crave a slower life, further from the city, but were not ready to make the large leap to country living.
While we loved the location of the home, the design of the home was not exactly what we had dreamed of.
When we first walked in, I remember Steve and I joking that it felt like it was straight out of the Brady Bunch. It had a lava rock fireplace, diagonal siding, and dark wood accents.
While it had its design faults, it had incredible natural light and a stunning view of the water out of the floor to ceiling windows in the living room.
The main space was very open, which would allow our family to feel connected.
We knew with a little TLC it could be the oceanside home of our dreams.
We began by considering the feeling we wanted the home to convey (the first thing we do at the start of all our design projects). Since it was going to be an oasis outside of the city, we landed on relaxation, and allowed it to inform our palette.
While the lava rock fireplace was definitely a strong look, it wasn’t our look. Inspired by old stone fireplaces in the Cotwolds, we decided to apply a white grout all over the rock to tone it down and create a brighter, cleaner look.
We replaced the diagonal siding with our favorite Diamond Plaster Veneer, and painted over the dark wood with Farrow & Ball Pavillion Grey to accentuate the beautiful natural light coming from the floor to ceiling windows in the main space.
We decorated the walls with Steve’s ocean-scapes to tie the home in with the natural beauty beyond it, and to further that sense of tranquility.
Our minimal use of color throughout the main space really made the paintings pop.
Throughout the home we worked to balance masculine & feminine design elements. We paired light linen furniture & Swedish antiques...
with antique wooden forms, leather books & furniture.
In the master bedroom, we leaned into the feminine, opting for light fabrics, muted colors, florals, & gold gilt.
We removed the existing closet and replaced it with an exquisite antique wardrobe that we filled with our clothes and decorated with some of our favorite finds.
With the closet gone, we were able to expand the master bathroom.
In the bathroom, to the horror of our antique dealer, we cut holes into an antique cabinet and turned it into a sink. We also added an all glass shower to maintain the new larger look of the bathroom.
Outside the home, we continued our unorthodox experiments by graveling the back deck and planting a Melaleuca trees in the middle to create a serene Mediterranean vibe.
We transformed the front entrance into our version of a potted English garden. Hidden from the street by a laurel hedge, this courtyard immediately made us feel more tranquil every time we entered.
We opted for low maintenance plants like boxwoods and succulents as we would only be visiting the home on the weekends.
In the end, it was the perfect representation of our new Patina Style, and the ideal weekend getaway for our family of 5.
If you want to learn more about the ideas behind our design philosophy, you can check out the book this house inspired us to write, Patina Style. We hope you find it helpful in your journey to design a life you love.