The Only Design Rule for This L.A. Home: Stick to Pink and Green
Not one of these rooms feels repetitive.
Published Dec 13, 2023 1:20 AM
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When Chris and Sachiko Northman approached Lizzie Green, founder of Popix Designs, they didn’t have a laundry list of design parameters for their renovation. In fact, they really just wanted one thing: for their 3,000-square-foot Los Angeles home to feel like it’s in Palm Springs. And to them, that meant sticking to a pink and green palette.
Originally from Australia, the couple professed a fierce love of color from the start. Their requests included incorporating a brightly hued concrete sink (they ended up with two!) and a modernized version of their kitchen’s circa 1980s rosy tiled countertops. “They didn’t want me to shy away from presenting the boldest ideas I had,” recalls Green, who, in previous projects, has worked with clients who favor neutrals and whites for the sake of resale value. The Northmans were different—this was a place they planned to grow up in with their two kids.
That kind of creative freedom enabled Green to draw up a game plan in just two months and complete everything in just under a year. The two-tone approach carries across the entire house, starting with the fuchsia front door and culminating in six completely unique bathrooms and one whimsical kitchen. Here’s how Green made sure the color combo always felt fresh and never monotonous.
Different Formats Are Your Friend
At first glance, it’s easy to think Green used different tiles in every room—but she only used six. Her trick to making each space feel distinct yet connected is switching up the sizing. In the kitchen, for instance, she picked out pink zellige in 4-by-4-inch squares from Zia Tile for the backsplash, but tapped a smaller, 2-by-2-inch format to cover the built-in peninsula that rounds into a bench. And for the neighboring laundry room, the designer lent a sense of cohesion by using the same backsplash pieces but painted the cabinets in Farrow & Ball’s Breakfast Room Green.
She employed the same trick in the half-bath by the pool, which she tacked onto the home’s exterior (“So the kids didn’t have to track water through the house”). The glossy pink squares line the floor and swiftly switch to soothing sage along the baseboards, wall, and countertop. “To make it a little different from the kitchen, we did an exaggerated grout line and staggered the layout,” adds the designer.
Play With Pattern
“When I think of pink and green and mid-century, I think of the Beverly Hills Hotel,” says Green. Coincidentally, in one of her conversations with Sachiko, she had mentioned throwing a baby shower there—relying on it as a key source of inspiration was a no-brainer. So much so, she re-created the iconic stripe of the lodging’s entrance on the floor of one of the guest bathrooms with green and alabaster white 2-by-8-inch subway tile.
Naturally, the hotel also influenced the main powder room’s banana leaf wallpaper. “This was where they wanted me not to be scared to do anything,” Green stresses. This flashier rendition of the classic Dorothy Draper print is from Chelsea Lane.
When It Comes to Curves, Stick to Mesh
To soften up all the straight edges and lines, Green emphasized curves (nearly all the sconces are bulbous and mirrors circular). But covering the built-in island-slash-breakfast nook in the kitchen, the mossy arch in the kids’ bath, and the rounded shower in the primary suite with square and rectangular pieces didn’t cause a huge headache on install day. That’s because when ordering samples, Green made sure to prioritize mesh-backed mosaics that more easily adhere to uneven surfaces.
All the Way Up Isn’t Always the Answer
While more than half of the bathrooms are dressed head to toe in tile, Green didn’t want some of them to feel too over the top. In one of the powder rooms, she took a tiny, 1-by-1-inch product only partially up the wall, allowing the mint bucket sink to be the star. (Green had her contractor build the drywall out farther than normal so it appeared flush.)
The designer gave the kids’ bathroom, which sits in between the clients’ 1-year-old son’s and 3-year-old daughter’s bedrooms, a similar treatment. She painted half the wall (and the door trim) pink and gave the pop of green a smaller moment around the tub and in the youngest’s quarters.
Natural Neutrals Balance Punchy Combos
To keep everything from feeling “too in your face,” Green relied on natural elements. The kitchen’s oak cabinetry and fluted range hood, along with white counters, break up all the glossy pinks. Plus instead of adding a backsplash to both walls in the kitchen, Green selected stained-glass drawers for the open shelving section, nodding to the Northmans’ set of glass tumblers from Crate & Barrel. Oak and quartzite vanities can be spotted in the main powder room, primary bathroom, and as a statement wall in the dressing room.
Green also brought in white KitKat tile in the primary bathroom, but the gray terrazzo floors from Riad Tile were all Chris’s idea. “I originally had pink and green checkerboard flooring [picked out]. Sachiko liked it, but Chris worried it was a little bit trendy and too of the moment,” Green says. He argued the composite material was more authentic to the home’s architectural roots. Green couldn’t agree more.
“My biggest piece of advice is, if it’s your house and you’re going to live there, you should do what you love. Don’t worry about the next homeowner; there’s always going to be a buyer for unique designs,” she stresses. And if what you dream of is a Palm Springs–esque, pink and green paradise, go for it.