Simple yet soulful decorating

See how designer Cisco Pinedo does more with less

Pinedo house Living room

Thomas J. Story

A well-edited room

In Cisco Pinedo’s house, knickknacks are few and far between, which results in each item gaining a sense of importance and meaning. 

This makes the house feel peaceful and―by calling attention to the few well-edited pieces on display―also intensely personal. In this setting, even garden gnomes become art.

“I wanted open space without a lot of stuff,” he says. “I didn’t want the house to look busy.”

Except for a mix of items found while traveling and trolling flea markets, the living room is uncluttered. Favorite pieces include a wooden Burmese Buddha, European garden gnomes, and a Mexican santo.

“I love merging cultures in design,” Cisco says. 

Pinedo house family members

Thomas J. Story

Fill your home with family―not stuff

A furniture designer originally from Mexico, Cisco turned his talents toward creating a sense of serenity and warmth when the family  remodeled their home in San Marino, California.

His trick: simplicity. The open floor plan (he did away with many of the interior walls) is enhanced by the bold use of blank walls, giving the house a spa-like tranquility.

Except that here it’s not about retreating, but rather about gathering.

“Our door is always open,” Cisco says. And with an inviting home like this, it’s not hard to see why friends keep streaming in.

From left: Cisco, Alba, Amanda, Maurishka, and Natalie Pinedo.

Pinedo house dining room

Thomas J. Story

Almost alfresco room

A vintage wine bottle repurposed as a Cisco Brothers lamp ( hangs above the family’s dining room table. The chairs are upholstered with cork, a sustainable material. Windows are curtain-free, allowing natural light to flood through the space.

“I wanted to blend indoors and out,” Cisco says. “You can play with boundaries and enjoy the outdoors from inside and vice versa.”

Pinedo house petrified wood sculpture

Thomas J. Story

Nature on display

A petrified tree stump from Indonesia is a functional and beautiful conversation piece.

“It’s 1,000 years old,” Cisco says. “It’s become something else―I’d rather have this as an end table than any I could make.”

Pinedo house bath room

Thomas J. Story

Artful, om-ful bath

“My wife, Alba, always wanted a bathroom that didn’t feel like a bathroom,” Cisco says.

Petrified-wood tiles that look like stone, white walls, warm-hued wood, and uncovered windows echo the same simple, nature-inspired aesthetic seen in the rest of the home.

Pinedo house kitchen

Thomas J. Story

“Unfinished” kitchen

The kitchen counters are recycled granite, and the cupboards are made from unfinished wood.

“If it’s a great material, let it be,” Cisco says.

Pinedo house Living room

Thomas J. Story

Sculpture garden

Architect John Friedman created a clean-lined structure that reflects the home’s interior combination of crisp white and natural wood, which visually anchors the back of the property to the house. “It’s a big sculpture that happens to be a living space,” Cisco says.

info  John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects, Los Angeles; or 213/253-4740

Pinedo house family meal

Thomas J. Story

Make meals a big deal

An avid cook, Cisco Pinedo loves nothing more than hosting meals for his family and the many friends and neighbors who drop in regularly.

“Family meals are a big deal,” he says. And there’s always plenty of food to go around.

Pinedo house home with a heart

Thomas J. Story

Create a home with a heart

Define your special space Maybe it’s a reading nook, a cozy bedroom, or a spa-like bathroom. For Cisco, it’s a spacious kitchen/family room where large groups can gather. “We like everything open,” he says.

Take your time Don’t rush to deck out your home just for the sake of doing so. Creating a look that shows your personality and style takes time: It took the Pinedos 10 years to assemble the few accessories they display, and they’re glad it did because everything they’ve set out has meaning.

Embrace emptiness Cisco has a prominent wall in the master bedroom that’s blank. “I’d love to have a beautiful piece of art there when I find it,” he says. In the meantime, he’s happy to leave the spot vacant.

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