This Seasoned Designer Made a Major Renovating Mistake in Her Own Home
Here’s how she set it right in under two weeks.
Published Nov 8, 2019 12:00 AM
Even designers don’t always get it right the first time around. Today, Natalie Myers‘s West Los Angeles home captures the Scandifornian look to a T—a term she coined for blending the earthy California aesthetic with minimalist Scandinavian sensibilities. But when she and her husband moved into their home two years ago, they were on a tight timeline and Myers fell into the trap of making “safe” choices: boring white surfaces, rushed installation, and no personality.
“It was nice; it wasn’t terrible at all,” she says. “But for my clients, I always present very design-forward concepts, and when I came home, I just felt like a coward.” After two years of living in the house, Myers was ready for another round of renovations. But this time, the bulk of the work was cosmetic. Without having to open walls or make structural changes, the whole process took under two weeks.
Myers was originally looking for a house with interesting architectural features and quickly fell in love with the 1962 mid-century home. “As soon as I walked in, I looked past the repair issues and just saw the large glass windows, exposed beams, and stone hearth,” she says. “I wanted it at all costs.” Once the couple placed an offer, the process went quickly and they moved into the fixer-upper, living “camping-style” with a mini fridge and microwave on the floor.
They didn’t want to remain amid dust and construction crews forever, so she quickly picked a basic kitchen tile she didn’t love to avoid waiting the eight- to 10-weeks lead time for the ones she truly wanted. The second time around, she was ready for a big change and chose a dusty pink alternative from Zia.
In the master bathroom, she faced a similar dilemma. “The grout lines were crooked and every time I got in the shower, I just stared at the crookedness,” she says. The installers had rushed the job and she was reminded of it every day. “The moment they did it, I regretted it, but I just wanted my house back,” she recalls. She decided to retile the crooked wall (after carefully vetting her installers this time) and picked a bolder black and white graphic option from Clé.
The rest of the house called for lighter cosmetic changes. Myers added a pair of sconces in the kitchen for ambience. She did the same in the master bedroom, where two rattan lights now flank the minimalist Nordic bed. “Accessories are never a static thing in my house,” she says. “I call it the catch-and-release program.”
Even though her goal was to infuse more color, she kept the walls white intentionally so accessories like rugs and art could be swapped easily. “To refine your overall look and get the tone and voice you want, you have to let things be organic,” she says. “Keep collecting items that you are drawn to and see where that takes you.” Having learned her lesson the hard way, Myers now takes her time with each new addition. Her newfound golden design rule: Become a collector and don’t rush anything.