A cohesive color palette makes a big difference.

Dining Living Kitchen Areas in San Diego House by Blythe Interiors
Natalia Robert

There was nothing really wrong with this four-bedroom, three-bathroom family home in San Diego. Structurally, it was in great shape, considering it was built in 2019. It was roomy enough for a young family and located in a peaceful cul-de-sac. But for the owners, it need a little something extra.

Originally, they had brought in Sarah Kaplan of Blythe Interiors to create a pantry and update their dining room, but ended up asking her to give it some oomph after she showed them her vision for tying the kitchen, dining room, and family room together.

Living Area in San Diego House by Blythe Interiors
“We selected a coffee table that is as durable and study as it is fabulous. Its bold black and white marble design makes it a gorgeous statement piece in the room and doubles as a stage for their 4-year-old daughter to dance and sing!” says Sarah.

Natalia Robert

“Pre-renovation, the interior was very neutral with a lot of whites, beiges, and grays,” she says. “The dining room consisted of just a single table with two makeshift pantry cabinets and featured no art or color. The biggest issues were ultimately that the spaces needed a massive infusion of style and character that matched our client’s fun-loving personality and appreciation for modern design, rich color, and texture. They also desperately needed extra storage and a dining room that not only looked gorgeous, but that could seat more people while not taking up too much real estate.” In addition to more personality and storage space, the family also wanted to create a space that was durable for their young daughter and pets.

Living Room Couch in San Diego House by Blythe Interiors
“One of our favorite pieces in the space is this black-and-white linen, custom-upholstered bench [in front of the window in this photo] that introduces a playful pattern that echoes the ones found in the dining room,” says Sarah.

Natalia Robert

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Sarah and her team’s plan for the kitchen, dining, and family areas was to create an open, airy, and cohesive space—a seamless open-floor plan. When it came time to choose the color palette, it started with a sweater. Yes, a piece of clothing! 

“At the consultation, the client was wearing a saffron-colored sweater, and had a few pops of that color in their home already, like the curtains in the living room,” she says. “After learning that it was one of her favorite colors, this guided the color palette as the main focal color. She showed us pictures of minimal, modern homes with neutral color palettes that included small pops of rich color and architectural lighting. After seeing her inspiration photos, we knew exactly the style direction to go.”

Living Area and Dining Area in San Diego House by Blythe Interiors
The sectional can fit a whole party!

Natalia Robert

In the family room, a large sectional is the focus—it’s large enough for family movie nights or bigger gatherings. It’s paired with a marble coffee table and side table, plus a modern pendant for visual interest. “Small pops of rich saffron and calming sage balance beautifully with the organic materials and neutral accessories,” Sarah says. “All of these elements together helped us achieve a space that feels energized yet also calming and serene.”

Dining Area Before and After in San Diego House by Blythe Interiors
“One of our favorite pieces from the design are these playful, custom upholstered dining chairs,” Sarah explains. “We found a style we loved but none of the fabric felt right. We decided to order the chairs anyway then hunted high and low for the perfect fabric to coordinate with our saffron banquette. After selecting, we had our amazing local upholsterer bring our vision to life.”

Natalia Robert

The built-in pantry the clients wanted was added in the dining room, along with a custom corner banquette for even more storage (it has under-seat drawers). The color palette and pattern themes are continued in the space with custom-upholstered chairs and deep sage cabinetry.

Kitchen Before and After in San Diego House by Blythe Interiors
The kitchen didn’t need that much work, just a few changes here and there.

Natalia Robert

“The kitchen didn’t need much, just a little injection of freshness and some elements to tie it into the other spaces,” Sarah explains. “A trio of updated, sleek aged brass pendants introduce a warm, modern feel. We carried the brass accents onto the cabinetry with this beautiful, brushed brass semi-circle hardware—the same hardware featured on the adjacent pantry cabinetry, establishing a sense of harmony.” Green leather and brass pulls on the lower cabinets and drawers add even more charm.

Dining Area Storage in San Diego House by Blythe Interiors
There’s plenty of storage now with the built-in pantry and banquettes with drawers underneath.

Natalia Robert

Now the three rooms are a cohesive open space with just the right amount of color, pattern, and accents. And the clients really appreciate how the space represents their personalities. “They’re thrilled! On the aesthetic side, they’re such fun-loving, creative people with great style and they love having a home that finally reflects their personalities,” Sarah says. “From a functional standpoint, it has added so much storage space, as well as a great entertaining area to host everything from casual weekday dinners with their young daughter to weekend get-togethers and larger family gatherings.”