Peek Inside a Design Project That’s 3 Years in the Making
Featuring a colorful bookshelf that will inspire you to curate your own ASAP.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 7:55 AM
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If design projects are a labor of love, this home deserves a gold medal. Designer Jessica McClendon of Glamour Nest started working on this 7,200-square-foot house in Encino, California about three years ago—gradually updating the space and hoping to complete it by 2019.
Yet, despite the slow-moving timeline, McClendon maintains that the property is one her favorite projects.
“The house itself was already in great shape when the clients moved in; it had just undergone a renovation before they purchased it, so all we needed to do was add their stamp,” says McClendon. “These clients are taking it slow with renovating and decorating as their budget permits. I am dying to get my hands on the living room and master bedroom!”
Starting with the entryway and working her way through the playroom, bathroom, and kids’ rooms, McClendon began infusing the clients’ eclectic style into the space—which, incidentally, seems pretty on par with the designer’s own signature bright, playful designs. Remember this bright blue kitchen remodel and girly glam LA home?
Built in 1940, and sitting on just over an acre of land, there was plenty of space and modern architectural elements to work with—though some pieces, like the funky collection of pendant lighting in the living room, were already there to add to the unique feel of the home.
“The clients are a super groovy couple with three kiddos and two dogs,” says McClendon. “We wanted to make sure to mix in some glam and global elements.”
Another challenge besides the unconventional timeline was the dining room. Not large enough for the family’s entertaining needs, they had to switch it with the living room, using what is now the former dining room as a lounge for the husband’s tequila tastings.
We spoke to McClendon about the importance of reconfiguring layouts when necessary and how to create a colorful, eclectic space that still feels contemporary and collected.
How closely were the clients involved in the design?
They were the very first clients of mine nine years ago, so needless to say, I know them. They have trusted me to do my thing over the years!
What did the space look like before you came in?
The house had great bones when the clients purchased it, but we have just taken everything up a notch with fun wallpaper, art, and furniture. The bedrooms did have a sad tan carpet, which we swapped out for hardwood floors that match the main living areas.
What was your design inspiration for the space?
This is going to sound majorly clichė, but the clients were my inspiration for the space—which isn’t always the case for every project. I wanted the space to reflect their personalities. They are laid-back, hilarious, intelligent, quirky, and fun-loving. They love traveling, spending time with friends and family, and reading.
Speaking of reading, what’s the story behind that curated bookshelf?
My clients love books and are avid readers. The house did not have any built-in book storage when the clients purchased it, and we wanted their books to be on display. We decided to add a large floating-shelf bookcase in the living room to create some much-needed book storage, while also supporting the architecture of the home.
Tell us about moving the dining room into the living room—were there any challenges with switching up the layout?
The living room is large and open concept, so in this situation, switching the areas was very easy. Plus, it just made the most sense to achieve a layout that supported my clients’ functional and emotional needs. I always encourage my clients and my Thoughtful Nesting design students to use their home how it best supports them. They don’t have to follow the architect’s plan.
Can you speak to how you implemented bright colors in the home?
I used color very strategically. Each space is a mix of mostly neutrals; white, griege, and cream, with only a few intentional pops of color. In the entry, the pop of color comes from the rug. In the lounge area, the pop comes from the vintage raspberry chairs and aqua in the art. For the bookcase area, the pop comes from the globe collection and books.
Do you have any tips for people who would like to add some more color to their space, but who are hesitant to fully commit to a bold look?
My biggest tip when looking to add more color is to create a color palette that’s 90% neutrals and choose one or two striking pieces to utilize color. This allows the colorful pieces to stand out and take up more visual space.
What is your favorite part of the project (so far)?
I love the bookcase area! I, too, am a huge reader, so creating a space for books to be displayed with love, even the raggedy ones, is always a good idea to me. I don’t think there is anything (besides family photos) that are more personal in a home.
Photography by Mary Costa Photography.
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