Cobalt Stairs, a Magenta Play Nook—There’s No Standard Paint Application in This L.A. Family Home
Color-blocking for the win.
Published Jun 30, 2022 1:00 AM
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Like the adorable cardboard gingerbread houses, Ferris wheels, and camper vans that pop up on her Instagram feed, paper artist and stylist Chloe Fleury’s Los Angeles home is as bright as a sunny SoCal day. When she and her husband, Mehdi, who are both French, bought the Mar Vista mid-century house, which had been renovated and added onto by previous owners, the interiors were, in her words, “a blank canvas.” But Chloe went to work transforming the white-walled space into a happy place for her daughters Lula (8) and Anouk (6) (plus a baby boy on the way). In a little over a year, she has created a playful world with merely paint and props—no major renovations required.
“I started designing every room in my head,” admits Chloe, who used the many months it took to finalize the purchase to make mock-ups and mood boards to show her husband. Vibrant blues and pinks remind her of the six months the family spent in Mexico prior to moving to Los Angeles, as well as Morocco’s landscape. “My husband is half Moroccan, so we’ve also traveled there, and the Jardin Majorelle is a big inspiration,” she adds. Once the deal was done, she hit the ground running. “On the day we got the keys, I lined up painters to get quotes, and the next day they were painting,” she says. Of course, she didn’t just settle for the usual solid wall application.
The stairs and railing were originally black, but the first time they visited the house, Chloe instantly pictured them bright blue (specifically, Blue Is the Coolest Color by Backdrop). “We were a few months into COVID, and all I wanted was to escape,” she says.
In her daughters’ shared bedroom upstairs, Chloe envisioned color blocks against white walls, a trick she used in their previous home. But this time, she extended the hues to the high angled ceiling. The Creamsicle backdrop for the Pottery Barn Kids beds and pieces from the Domino x Crate & Kids collection are a response to the girls’ request for a sunset. “Kids love color,” she says. In the couple’s bedroom, Chloe chose a more subdued scheme: a wall of painted pale yellow and taupe stripes, drawn from the bed’s upholstery and Parachute linens (Mehdi works for the bedding brand).
Chloe also used color to carve out unexpected destinations on the first level. Dipped in Barragán-Cito Pink from Backdrop, a nook beneath the stairwell has become the girls’ secret spot. “It’s where they hide their toys,” she says. Another alcove, coated in a sky blue shade from Behr and furnished with a vintage Bertoia bird chair, is now a reading corner within the larger living room.
Once the paint was dry, Chloe set out to update all the light fixtures with pieces by designers whose work she had been following for years: There’s a Wink chandelier from Houtique in the dining room, Schneid Studio x Stillfried Wein pendant lamps in the girls’ space, and two fixtures from Muller Van Severen’s Arcs collection for Hay in the kitchen. “Lights are like sculptures and instantly make a space feel more special,” she says.
A lifelong secondhand shopper, Chloe says she’s still on the hunt for vintage treasures that fit just right among their mix of already-owned furnishings, new items, and her own paper artwork. “It is a long process, and I am learning to be patient to find the perfect pieces for our home,” she admits. Luckily it’s all hands on deck: Her parents, who took her to the flea market in Lyon when she was a child, were the ones to spot the Bertoia chair in Long Beach while visiting.
Chloe’s unique brand of color therapy continues outside, where she recast the yard’s dark, grayish-blue fences and back wall in bright white and brought the sunshine with lemon yellow lounge chairs. “It looks like an extension of our living room when the large window is fully open,” she notes. She also swapped the patchy lawn for artificial turf and checkerboard built-in benches—the more room to play, the better.
However, there’s one spot that Chloe is planning to leave unstyled: the pathway from the front entrance to the pool: “The girls like doing cartwheels and jumping rope there.” Chalk it up to the family still getting used to having additional square footage after a year of homeschooling in a small space. “Moving here felt like a dream, like going on vacation,” says Chloe. “And it still feels like that after a year.”