Steps from the Beach, This California Home Avoided Coastal Cliches with Modern Accents
Good bones, great beams, and blue kitchen cabinets make this California home stand out from the crowd.
When Hillary Stamm, founder and head designer of HMS Interiors, first saw the footprint for a new Manhattan Beach home, she knew she wanted to take advantage of its ample space—and the location just steps from the ocean.
“There wasn’t much there besides good bones—and amazing beams,” Stamm says of the five-bedroom, five-bathroom home.
With an aim to create a timeless yet modern look, Stamm began designing the four-level home from the ground up.
Stamm wanted to reflect the beachfront location with a coastal modern look in the home, while also maintaining a timeless design. For classic elements, she used shiplap on the ceilings, installed stained pickled oak doors, and brought in old textured brick in the foyer. To give the home a modern touch, Stamm added a lot of cabinetry.
“Most of the home is a mixture of warm and cool elements to get the cozy beach vibe,” Stamm explains.
In no way was the Manhattan Beach home Stamm’s first rodeo. She originally started her journey to home design in Hollywood. Inspired by set designers’ ability to bring a writer’s vision to life, she grew interested in partaking in her own design project. “I took a break from the movie business and my husband and I started building our home,” Stamm says. “I started interviewing designers, but then I thought, ‘What if I did it?'”
From that moment, Stamm delved into the world of design. Using her skills from studying design and economics at Stanford, she created HMS Interiors, which took off due to a strong social media presence.
For this Manhattan Beach home, she took inspiration from her past coastal home projects to add flair. By contrasting the large, open windows with darker walls and accents, she blended modern light with deep tones. To complement the darker shades, she stained the white oak floors a medium, warm-toned color.
“That’s a great example of staining it a new gorgeous color so it feels fresh but timeless,” Stamm says.
Stamm knew she wanted to create a reverse floor plan, which meant gathering spaces on the top floor and living spaces on the bottom floor, to take advantage of the ocean views from the kitchen.
Stamm painted cabinets in the upstairs kitchen dark blue, deviating from the pure white walls while still maintaining traditional elements like classic slab and a medium brown dining table from RH.
Throughout the home, Stamm opted for sturdy, long-lasting hardware. She sourced a volcanic limestone and resin tub from Victoria & Albert, cabinet hardware from Rejuvenation and Buster & Punch, and light fixtures from Schoolhouse Electric.
To distinguish the eating area from the living room, she added a white RH leather couch and included blue and brown accent pillows from Shoppe Amber Interiors.
With five bathrooms to work with, she was able to play with colors and textures while maintaining a modern vibe. The main bathroom (shown above) contrasts the neutral whites, tans, and grays with brass finishings on the light fixtures, tub, and door handles.
On the other hand, Stamm decorated a half-bathroom (shown below) with darker elements like blue and gold wallpaper.
“I think people should walk into your home and it should move you,” Stamm says. “It should be an experience.”