Sometimes, the best results are born out of less-than-ideal circumstances. For actress Becca Tobin, this came in the form of a newly renovated home—a necessary update after a plumbing disaster flooded the entire first floor.
“My best advice is to try to not kill your spouse!” jokes the Glee alum and current star of E!’s Ladygang. “Also, always expect it to take longer than anyone quotes you. It’s important to work with people you trust who aren’t too pushy. Both our designer, Cory, and our decorator, Aisling, already have amazing taste, but they still listened to us and facilitated whatever it was that [my husband] Zach and I wanted.”
The designer and decorators in question are Cory McCrummen and Aisling from virtual design tool Hutch, respectively. Tobin worked closely with them to transform her L.A. home into a space befitting her “California eclectic” style—no small feat, given that she and her husband didn’t always share the same taste.
“We [wanted to] create a really soothing space,” says Tobin of her style inspiration. “We have a ton of natural light, and the house is 80 years old, so we wanted to enhance all that original charm instead of take away from it.”
Tobin and her husband first moved into the 1200-square-foot two-bedroom two years ago. Drawn to the charm of the 1930s-era home and the surrounding Laurel Canyon area (“[It’s] a really special neighborhood with a very cool bohemian vibe because of its rich music history,” she explains), their main goal with the reno was preserving the character that made them fall in love with the house in the first place.
Luckily, the damage from the flood was contained to the first floor, so renovating that space took about four months. All the flooring was changed, the guest room and laundry room got a facelift, and new decor was added throughout to perpetuate the breezy California vibe. Pieces like a rattan chair and woven light fixtures, mixed in with a natural color palette, lend themselves to the desired aesthetic.
“I didn’t want to get sick of anything too quickly, so we stayed very neutral,” explains Tobin. “But, since we don’t spend a ton of time in the guest bedroom, we did go a little bolder with the color palette, and I absolutely love it. It just feels happy, and that’s how we want our guests to feel in there.”
Other more old-school elements, like wood parquet flooring, vintage doors, and cement Cle tiles in the entryway, work to safeguard the home’s original charm. As does the living room—Tobin’s favorite part of the home—which boasts a wood-burning fireplace and an original chandelier that dates back to 1936.
For a finishing touch, Tobin turned to creative online marketplace Society6 to deck out every room of the home with pieces that reflected the design of the house. “Before the makeover, the art throughout the house was mostly my husband’s collection, which [was] more bold and industrial in style. We wanted our home to feel inviting and retreat-like; we chose really calming pieces and mostly neutral tones because the house is small,” she says. “I love the four Society6 pieces in our master bedroom by Explicit Design; they really make that space.”
She made sure to hold onto a few old favorites too: “My favorite piece in our entire house is the artwork in the entryway. It’s an etching that my talented grandmother, Roberta Griffin, made of my mother when she was a teenager.”
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