Exotic Laguna Beach Family Home

Joe and Lisa Preston couldn’t wait to move to this traditional Spanish Mediterranean home in California, in which a gorgeous perspective of Laguna Beach meshes beautifully with all the old-world architecture and the owner’s art collection. The plaster walls, vaulted beam ceilings, planked walnut doors and clay roof tiles are a fantastic match for your incomparable sea view from among the city’s best vantage points.

The couple worked with Ohara Davies-Gaetano of Bliss Design to incorporate a vibrant and private design that would grow with their children’ needs and display their collected global art and paintings. “The Prestons are very colorful folks,” says Davies-Gaetano. “They’re also understated, down-to-earth and casual. They just wanted their home to be fabulous, which has been the underlying theme for the job.”

in a Glance
Who lives here: Joe and Lisa Preston and their 3 young children
Location: The mountains of Laguna Beach, California
Size: 3,400 square feet on 3 levels; 4 bedrooms, 3 baths
That’s interesting: An 18th-century turtle shell from France hangs above the mantel.

Bliss Design

The living room is bordered on both sides by glass doors, together with all the sweeping Pacific on one side and a hillside and courtyard on the other. As there’s no anchor wall, the designer pulled everything to the center of the space.

A oversized ottoman with tray in the living room serves as a coffee table. The mother-of-pearl inlay fits the seat in the hallway between the living and dining room.

Leather armchairs: Holly Hunt

Bliss Design

“We don’t see a reason to reduce our layout standard for life with children,” says Joe. The couple believes that should they love the things in their house, their little ones can learn to respect that.

The velvet saffron-yellow couch, chaise and ottoman were custom made and upholstered locally. The colorful throw pillows are covered with textiles collected during the couple’s journeys. The Tibetan hand-woven area rug is coloured with vegetable dye to get a natural gradation, and the antique lamps were purchased from the initial owners of the house.

Bliss Design

A cut and mounted slice of petrified wood is placed before a spectacular abstract art piece by Paul Ecke. “It needed something textural that would not take from the vignette,” says Davies-Gaetano.

When requested his advice into other art collectors, Joe shares,”Our guidance in artwork collection is not to buy a piece for decorative motives. Buy what you love, and it’s going to be a part of your daily life forever.”

Bliss Design

For extra seats with flexibility, Davies-Gaetano placed a matching duvet from the fireplace. This comfortable setup is part of what makes the living room Joe and Lisa’s favourite room in the home. They wanted it to be formal and sophisticated, but also practical and lively. “Ohara attracted that together with all the vibrant colors and the spirit of our artwork, which represents a time and place in our own lives,” says Joe.

One of the last items added to the decoration — and among the greatest splurges — was that the 18th-century turtle shell from France above the mantel. “The extra tortoise shell and butterflies provide the space an exotic feel. We love to travel, and it reminds us of French island living,” says Joe.

Bliss Design

Real butterflies are mounted within a classic wedding veil globe, set on a classic sculptor’s base from France.

The painting of a woman reflected in a pool is by California artist Eric Zener. It holds special significance for Joe, who’s an avid swimmer.

Bliss Design

Like the living room, the sophisticated dining room occupies inside the home’s open floor plan without an anchor wall. The table and chandelier were also inherited by the previous homeowners. Upholstered chairs modeled after Italian antiques perform up the home’s old-world Mediterranean personality. A grass-green ceramic horse sits on a French antique oak chest that’s used for storage.

Floor-to-ceiling windows flow from the dining room to the kitchen. Guests enter the house on the top floor, where the living room, den, dining room, kitchen and master bedroom are located.

Bliss Design

The master bedroom has been flanked by windows and doors on both sides of the bed. Pressed aluminum bedside tables from India and lamps made from gypsum and acrylic assist the space to feel light and airy.

Bliss Design

Davies-Gaetano chose sea-foam linen window treatments and also a graphic headboard to create an effect in the master bedroom limited distance. The headboard fabric — designed from the Uzbekistani suzani design — is manufactured by Donghia.

Bliss Design

The upstairs den is bathed in afternoon light. The preexisting 1950s curtains and also the owners’ vibrant artwork determined the orange and orange color palette. An African mask collection hangs alongside the fireplace, and a blue Tibetan rug warms the floor.

The locally custom-made couch is covered in wool, followed by a Baker reading seat and a Holly Hunt coffee table. The TV sits opposite the couch.

Bliss Design

The guest bedrooms on the lower level kept a lot of the original flair. The orange room’s walls and window treatments are a lively take on the preceding homeowner’s affinity for its citrus colour. “When the family moved in, their 5-year-old daughter said this is her castle in the sky,” Davies-Gaetano says.

Bliss Design

The key garden patio downstairs is tucked right into hedges with tiny pebbles that crunch underfoot. A guest could easily imagine themselves in a timeless European garden. “What makes this house special is that you’ve got different experiences as you go through. To begin with, you don’t see the sea view till you enter the home. Then you go downstairs and have this entirely fresh adventure,” Davies-Gaetano says.

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We've Got a Golden Ticket

Can you remember how you felt watching Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory when Charlie opened the Wonka Bar and you saw the glimmering gold ticket? I feel that way in chambers when gold is used at a manner. I feel fancy sitting in an area with delicate touches of golden even when I am not elaborate, which is the majority of the time.

The late American fashion designer Bill Blass, famous for utilizing pattern and texture within a neutral palette, used gold in this manner. In his designs he would utilize an unexpected golden button. In his home he would put a brass fire screen on his hearth that would shimmer with the flames from a neutral palette.

I am not going to say that gold is back, since I don’t think it ever endured. Have a peek at these designers are pulling the gold prize in their own spaces.

J. Hirsch Interior Design

My treasured gold ticket is this powder room with its tasteful gold sink and tap. Now that’s fancy and enjoyable.

For People design

One of my favorite accessories in a while, this gold pachyderm retains its own in this whimsical arrangement.

Charmean Neithart Interiors

I think that the glimmer of this faucet indicates the versatility of gold. Here it is perfectly paired with all the trendy colors of the background and the antiqued mirror. Yes, gold and silver do play nicely together.

Shirley Meisels

Even though this is technically not a metallic gold, the lush gold vibe with this settee is brilliantly positioned one of a variety of shades and textures. If I clarified this room until you could see it, you’d probably say”no method” into its gray walls and hot pink, chartreuse, acrylic and striped rug details — no way would they work together. Way, they can!

Cravotta Interiors

I included this picture simply because it is so over the top. Gold doors embossed with dinosaurs that result in your own personal movie theatre? Why not?

The splash of gold from this pendant is simply enough to set a dramatic tone for this entry, with its own geometric background.


I really like the imperial elegance of the gold-toned frame on this oil painting. This is just plain stunning.

J. Hirsch Interior Design, LLC

This elegant area of neutrals is perfectly paired with a splash of gold leaf on the legs of the rocking seat. Along with the amber tones of the lamp put off the hanging cloth in the background.

For People design

I adore this vintage-inspired brass division, particularly when paired with the gold tassel lamps and blush shade of the walls.

What will Veruca Salt, the spoiled girl in Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, say? “Gold splashes! Do not care how; I want it today.”

Old Gold Is New Neutral
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Resolutions for the New Year

According to AARP, formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons, 90 percent of Americans wish to age in their own houses. Unfortunately, about 90 percent of homes aren’t intended to facilitate aging that was comfy, secure. (Maybe you discovered that during a recent sports accident recuperation.)

Below are some resolutions you can make to help your home facilitate aging, whether for your long-term needs, to get a live-in comparative or to the security of your visitors.

More New Year’s Design Resolutions: Healthier Kitchen | Kitchen Planning

The Garden Route Company

AIP Resolution No. 1: I will make my home visitable.

Stairs create a grand entrance for your home, but are not so grand for people or residents using wheelchairs or walkers. Consider a zero-barrier entrance to your home and at least one available ground floor bath.

Not just will this make your home more visitable, it is also going to aid you if an older relative with freedom problems move in, or if you sustain a sports injury which precludes stair climbing during your recuperation.

On a related note, zero-threshold showers are also recommended for aging in place.

Michael Fullen Design Group

AIP Resolution No. 2: I will make entering my home more convenient.

You want your entrance to speak eloquently to the style of your home, as this one does.

In spite of a couple stairs, an entrance can be more user-friendly for vistors or citizens posture markets, gifts, luggage and the like. Think about a seat, ledge or outdoor-friendly table where somebody can rest their bundles to achieve keys and door knob.

Within this handsome area, there’s space for a resting place on the hinge side of the door.

Michael Robert Construction

AIP Resolution No. 3: I will make my stairs safer.

The well-secured runner on this elegant staircase is a good measure in the aging-in-place standing of the home. It will most likely keep people from slipping on the glistening wood treads.

Also, think about adding stairway lighting with a two-way switch on top and bottom and a matching handrail across the wall.


Residential Elevators

AIP Resolution No. 4: I’ll plan for future years.

Most multi-story houses do not have, or need, elevators, but when your master bedroom is upstairs and you also build a freedom issue, an elevator can be a resource. It’s not cheap to include one, but is relocating to assisted living.

If you’re building a custom multi-level home you intend to live in indefinitely, ask your architect to organize space for an elevator so that it will be easier to add later if you need one.

Elizabeth Gordon

AIP Resolution No. 5: I will decrease trip hazards in my home.

Table lamps are elegant additions into a living space and a fantastic way to add reading light in a study. Just be absolutely sure that their cords aren’t crossing a walkway and making a trip hazard.

Scatter rugs can also present trip hazards, therefore consider eliminating those if you have eyesight, mobility or balance problems.

Vintage Tub & Bath

Town Square Faucet

AIP Resolution No. 6: I will improve my lever-age.

Levers are a lot simpler for older hands to operate than pops or cross-handles, especially for those suffering from Parkinson’s or arthritis.

Change out your door knobs, cabinet hardware and taps with lever-handled versions for increased accessibility and absolutely no lack of style.

InterDesign Studio

AIP Resolution No. 7: I’ll add accessible seating to my kitchen.

Hopping up on a barstool is simple when you’re a athletic 20-something. It’s not so simple for seniors. Having counter height (greater ) or table elevation (optimal ) seating makes older consumers more comfortable and safer. It’s also a blessing for anyone visiting or moving in your home in a wheelchair.

If you’re planning to add an island or remodel your kitchen to get long-term living, contemplate available chairs as part of your plan.

CliqStudios Cabinets

Pantry Cabinet | CliqStudios.com

AIP Resolution No. 8: I’ll begin rolling.

Roll-out trays, swing-outs, Lazy Susans and other”pull-forward” cupboard accessories are a lot simpler for aging eyes and backs to use. They also greatly enhance the storage capability of your own kitchen by creating the deep recesses of your cabinets more accessible.

More: The No-Threshold Shower

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Dive Into Palm Beach Style

I really don’t know how to define it, but I know it when I see it. Palm Beach style may go ’60s groovy, incorporates some dashes of Hollywood Regency, leans heavily on wicker, has bold preppy rolls, has never met a trellis it didn’t like, is crazy for all shades of green, appreciates tropical rolls and is a look unlike any other. Here’s a group of rooms which look like they sprang straight from this posh and playful Florida town.

RLH Studio

Although this sun porch is in Minnesota, it might easily transfer south to Palm Beach. The soft colors, green touches and scalloped window treatments are upscale Florida flourishes.

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Tara Bussema – Design and Neat Organization

Palm Beachers are not scared to go bold, and they adore their wicker. This room is diverse and soft yet unified and crisp.

Kate Jackson Design

Mixing florals, prints and animal prints is a timeless Palm Beach move. A framed classic bathing suit is the best adornment for the wall.

Anthony Baratta LLC

Palm Beachers are not scared of going over the top. Here, opulent window treatments and molding combination with informal, boldly upholstered woven furniture

CIH Design

You can not have too much preppy pink and green in Palm Beach. The palm tree artwork over the fireplace is an excellent finishing touch.


Pink and green is a favorite combination although not crucial. Corals and blues in a mix of patterns produce a different kind of Palm Beach room.

LLC & Sons, Ellen Grasso

This glowing bedroom looks like it pulled its color palette straight from one of Palm Beach denizen Lilly Pulitzer’s change dresses.


David Hicks’ La Fiorentina geometric print and upgraded round drawer knobs provide a fresh take on Palm Beach.

Casart Coverings

This bed looks like it was inherited from Granny and given a fresh look with glossy grass-green paint. The artichoke wall covering includes a large, playful touch.


This space, with its stripped-down color palette and elegant black and silver touches, is much more of a Palm Beach/Palm Springs mash-up.

Studio Marcelo Brito

While Palm Beachers adore their vivid colors, they are not reluctant to black and white schemes, particularly when those approaches include stripes and a fabulous peacock seat.

Trina Turk

Trina Turk Ping-Pong Establish – $54

Ping-Pong is almost the city game of Palm Beach, and these peppy Trina Turk paddles are an ideal accessory.


Celerie Kemble: On Your Taste: Establishing Modern Rooms with a Traditional Twist – $15.30

For a fresh take on personality with profound Palm Beach roots, check out Celerie Kemble’s For Your Taste. It is not only full of inspirational photos, but Kemble is one of my preferred design authors.

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