A Completely Outdated Childhood Home from the 1960s Is Transformed into a Coastal Dream House
It still pays tribute to the past.
The saying “You can always come home” is especially true when it comes to this house tour. The 3,000-square-foot house—originally built in the 1960s and located in the Los Angeles area—was actually where the homeowner grew up. “When her mother passed away, she and her husband decided to take the beautiful, memory-filled residence over and renovate it into their sweet coastal dream home for their three kids and several grandkids to enjoy for years to come,” explains interior designer Christine Vroom, who was brought in to add calming neutral tones, pops of coastal colors, and soft patterns.
When the homeowner inherited the house, it was still in its original state from the ’60s, aka completely outdated. “It was very compartmentalized with small rooms and, not to mention, the outdated materials from the cabinetry, tile countertops, flooring, etc. Basically, it needed a massive makeover,” Vroom explains. It was transformed into a four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom California Cape Cod-style residence.
And while some people might get sentimental and hesitant about making big changes to their childhood home, the owner was all for updating the space as long as it kept the “essence” of her childhood and didn’t feel like a completely different house. “She actually only wanted to preserve the exterior shell and the land,” Vroom says. “She was not tied to anything in the home except for some antiques, which we kept and used. But, it was more about preserving the land and not missing an opportunity to have a fresh take on her childhood home to keep it in her family for generations to come.”
Vroom and her team kept a lot of the rooms in the same locations, but moved things around to accommodate for a more modern lifestyle. “We also stayed true to the fact that they used to keep all spaces defined—kitchen separate from dining, separate from living room, etc. And, we kept true to that timeless feel,” Vroom explains. “Each space has its own separation, yet the overall home still feels really open and fluid.”
The owner and her husband’s vision for the home was traditional, Cape Cod or East Coast-style that still called back to the home’s location in Southern California and its beautiful view—so Vroom and team created a color palette inspired by Nantucket and made room for functional spaces, adequate storage, and features that make it a comfortable space to grow old in.
“The moment you open the front doors, all you see is ocean. It’s pretty much a panoramic view of the backside of Palos Verdes with Catalina Island in your sight, which was the whole goal,” Vroom explains. “To keep your eyes drawn toward the ocean, we used a simple palette of whites and blues for the kitchen. Our materials were subtle and timeless like marbles, taupes, soft grays, blues, and whites. We opened up the kitchen (nearly doubled in size) and created a square island with tons of storage and seating, vaulted the ceiling, and added some gorgeous Hudson Valley pendants.” When you walk through the dining area, you’ll notice it’s framed beautifully with ceiling-height walls to define each space.
Vroom and team also completely refurbished the bathrooms and made them larger. They kept the palette light and breezy, but added interesting elements like penny stripes, mosaics, and accent tiles.
Ultimately, the clients are so happy with the design, telling Vroom, “We love that we feel like we are on vacation at home.”