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Interior designer Carly Waters’ latest project comes in the form of a 2,700 sq ft contemporary bungalow situated in Venice, CA. Home to a family of four, Waters’ main goal, when it came to the design, was to exude a sense of “warm minimalism.” With the help of the two young boys—who were especially keen on being a part of the design process—she set out to create the ultimate family-friendly space. Take a look!

What was the primary source of inspiration for the aesthetic garnered for the decor scheme of this home?

The family does not like clutter or anything too fussy. They wanted the space to feel clean and modern, yet comfy and inviting. We introduced warmer metals into the mix in order to keep the house from feeling cold or stark, and layered with textiles and warm woods. This house had great bones, it just needed to be lightened, brightened, and modernized.

We’re loving the minimalist approach to the decor scheme. How were you able to keep the design looking so fresh and interesting?

My philosophy is less is always more, especially when you have a house with such interesting architectural details. My clients felt the same way so, the decor ended up being an edited selection of our favorite pieces. We also choose furniture with interesting lines and texture, which minimized the need to add in too much stuff. Of the styling items we sourced, we choose original, one-of-kind pieces from local stores.

Rug + Sofa, Clad Home | Coffee Table, DeKor (Vintage) | Chairs, West Elm

Where is your favorite spot in the home, and why?

The dining room. I’m obsessed with every detail in this space—the one-of-a-kind rug was sourced from a local rug company which complements the color of the kitchen cabinets perfectly. The table is such a yummy wood, and provides the perfect touch of that unfinished look we wanted. The chairs are a classic, and bring in both texture and drama while the light fixture is petite enough for the ceilings (which were lower in this area) and still manages to provide enough interest. Lastly, the artwork is a vintage piece that we sourced from a local shop in LA—I spotted it sitting on the floor in the store and knew it was the perfect piece for that room.

Chairs, DWR | Table, Restoration Hardware | Rug, The Rug Warehouse | Light, Park Studio | Art, DeKor


What is one thing you learned from this project?

Sometimes, renovation surprises can be a delight! In our case, we wanted to straighten out the living room ceilings (they were slanted and a lot of the faux beams were crooked). Once we opened the ceiling up, we realized that the slant was just for looks so we were able to lift the entire ceiling up without worrying about any structural issues. A similar fate occurred with the fireplace where originally, the only exposed brick was directly surrounding the fireplace box. As soon as we started opening up the wall, we realized the brick ran almost all the way up the wall. We were able to remove the drywall and expose all of the beautiful original brick.

Cabinets, Dunn Edwards Reclaimed Wood | Hardware, Baldwin | Stools, Modernica | Bowls, Clad Home, Midland Shop | Coffee Mugs, Heath Ceramics

How did you prevent the neutrality of the colors used throughout from feeling tired or lackluster?

We painted all of the walls and ceilings in the house white (my go-to), and brought out the colors in the cabinets, furniture, and textiles. While the colors we choose were muted, they are all soft and calming which, plays well against the brightness of the white walls. It’s easy to get tired of bright and loud colors, which is why you want to bring in those pops through flowers or pillows, which can be easily changed out.

Warm wooden accents and a colorful throw elevate the whitewashed scheme of the serene guest bedroom.

Bed, Serena & Lily | Throw, West Elm

What’s your favorite spot in the home? Sound off in the comments, below!

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