Let the team behind the Shine Home design company show you how to turn your pad into a modern beach-bohemian bungalow
There's no ocean view from the Ortiz home. It’s rare to get a breeze off the Pacific, 5 miles away. And yet there’s something
distinctly beachy ― airy, bright, and natural ― about the Southern California home Russell and Susan Ortiz share with their
The Ortizes are the team behind Shine Home, their design company known for its modern beach-bohemian style. But while their home embodies this sensibility, it’s no showroom. It’s a livable, functional place with room to romp.
“The house looks modern, but it’s definitely not formal,” Susan says. “We want the kids to feel comfortable in every room, so they want to be where we are. We think this is the goal of a family home.”
Style secret: The large-format prints are detail shots of fabric and tile that Susan Ortiz took and had enlarged
"Deciding to do all white was really hard for me," says Susan, who loves color but explains that going with a seamless neutral keeps the house from feeling segmented.
Except for a blue wall in two of the bedrooms, and palm-motif wallpaper in the master suite, the home's all-white walls and floors serve as a backdrop for a repeated palette of tropical colors: citron, tangerine, lime, and cobalt. "If we also had color on the walls, it would be a little frightening."
Style secret: In high-traffic areas, vinyl upholstery trumps leather. It’s easily wiped off with a spritz of all-purpose cleaner.
Ingredients: Extra White wall paint (7006) by Sherwin-Williams; Glace Glass Sticks in Ice by Ann Sacks; Ardex SD-T concrete flooring in beach sand (custom color) by Ardex.
Susan, a fine artist as well as a designer, is drawn to ocean blues and bold combinations (check out that blue and chartreuse,
at left). The aesthetic is beachy, but the lesson is about carrying a palette throughout a home, so that daring choices and
unusual combinations look intentional, not misguided.
“I don’t stick to hard-and-fast rules about what colors can be combined,” she says. “And I often let a piece of artwork dictate a palette.”
Ingredients: Fusion (6919) and Pool Blue (6944) wall paint by Sherwin-Williams.
Like having too many colors, having too many textures and finishes on the floors and other surfaces can segment a space rather
than tie it together. Limiting the number of materials also helps the house feel spacious.
“It’s about having core materials and consistency,” says Susan, who designed the home with continuous white concrete floors, and used the same Ann Sacks abalone-like tile in the kitchen and on the fireplace. All bedroom windows have the same bamboo shades.
Ingredients: Florence love seat in orange vinyl by Shine Home.
For the Ortizes, natural materials bring high design down to earth. In the master suite, for example, the silk bed frame,
bamboo shades, and palm-leaf wallpaper lend warmth.
“I built the room around this paper,” Susan says. “I wanted a tropical and fresh master retreat that looked clean and simple ― and this paper just makes me happy.”
Ingredients: Palm Leaves wallpaper by Cole and Son; natural silk twill of Ibiza bed frame (at left) by Shine Home; bamboo window shade by Lalique Designs (949/642-1435).
The Ortizes apply the same principles outside, keeping their landscape simple (in color palette and design), with low-water
plants bordering the white stucco wall around their property.
Style secret: Ikea is the Ortizes’ go-to shop for outdoor furniture. “You can’t beat the price point,” Russell says. Karlskrona chaise ($169)
Info Shine Home (furniture, accessories, and interior design; 888/574-4634)