Interiorssneak peeks

A San Diego home full of handmade touches

by anne

1KelliKelli and Sam Larson have been living in their northern San Diego home for four years. They both are well-traveled, but this home is the place they always want to come back to. These days they share it with their one year old daughter Rylee and their cat, Bam. Many of you may know Kelli better as Kelli Murray, the name she goes by for her blog, business (illustration and graphic design), and Etsy shop. Kelli has always been drawn to a lot of different interior styles, but particularly loves “vintage meets modern” and their home is filled with DIY projects the couple has done together. Personally, I love looking at Kelli’s work, and seeing how her style has translated into the spaces around her.  Thanks so much Kelli, and Jackie Wonders for the beautiful photos! –Anne

Image above: My office was the last room to tackle in my home (talk about a two year procrastination), but I think it has turned into my favorite.  I work out of my house as a graphic designer and illustrator, so it was important for me to feel inspired in my space.  And to have it be somewhat set apart as a place I could focus and be creative.  I painted the walls using a fresh bright white.  I had a terrible time finding a desk and a drawing table that went together and hit my price point, so I decided to just mix a bunch of different wood finishes together to make it look a little more “unplanned.”  My desk legs and tabletop are both from Ikea.  My one office splurge was my fiberglass shell chair by Modernica, and I can’t say I regret it.  My floor lamp is from Pottery Barn and the shelf above is from West Elm.  It holds two of my favorite prints by Julianna Swaney and Anna Emilia and a small gold succulent sculpture by Waterstone Succulents.

2KelliImage above: One of my favorite pieces in our living room is this industrial light by Long Made Co. If there’s one thing you’ll learn from this sneak peak, it’s that I’m a sucker for Etsy, or more importantly, vintage and handmade goods.


Click for more after the jump!

Image above: When we moved into our house, there was no good solution for where to put a television in our living room.  It was really small and ran right into our dining room. We ended up placing the tv right above the fireplace and backing our couch up as close to the stairs as we could, to give the room a bit more breathing room. We worked with a local carpenter to build a custom bookcase that fit perfectly under our stairs.  And I think it really finishes the room.  Sam’s dad is also a wood worker by hobby and he hand made our side table and coffee table out of old barn wood and metal scraps he found in Minnesota.  We couldn’t be more in love with them and think they add just the right industrial touch to the space.  Our rug and shelving are from West Elm and our pillows are a mix of Etsy, Anthropologie, and Restoration Hardware.



7KelliImage above: In the long hunt for the perfect drafting table, I finally stumbled upon this one at World Market and couldn’t pass up the price. I love it’s vintage design and functionality.  I bought the wood table top, now mounted on the wall as my inspiration board, from Ikea to use first for my computer desk.  But after arriving, I realized it was much too small and ordered another larger size for my desk.  Needless to say, it came in handy and I like how the wood visually ties the two work stations together.

8KelliImage above: Details : Vintage Wooden Spool from BonnBonn  /  Wooden Twine Holder from Oh, Hello Friend  /  Gold Leaf Ampersand by Edie’s Lab.

Image above: I love collecting prints from other artists and illustrators.  This is a favorite by Liekeland.

Image above: I love these cotton rope plant hangers from Indie & Arrow.  I have them scattered all around my house.  I think plants really help make a room come to life.


Image above: For a solo art show I did several years ago, Sam built me a ton of these reclaimed whitewashed wooden back drops to display my art on.  I loved them so much, I didn’t want to just throw them away after the show was over. So we saved them in our garage for over a year before we decided to move them inside.  This is my favorite use of the wood in our house: a backdrop for our television in our bedroom.  The trunks below the console are thrifted finds.




Image above: Kitten Bandit Print from The Black Apple.

Image above: My office is a mix of modern, vintage and industrial style.  It was originally a guest bedroom, but we ripped out the closet and built in our own shelving and cabinets to make it more useful.  I like the contrast of old wood and metal against the clean, stark white walls.  I found the metal storage baskets from Wisteria, the wooden desk cubby and braided cotton baskets from World Market, and the vintage wood block letters from Monki Vintage.


Image above: Busy wallpaper usually really scares me.  But I fell in love with this charcoal lace print by Louis Body and had to have it for our bedroom.  It’s definitely the focal point of our room.  Our bedding is from Anthropologie, the hand crocheted throw is from Namolio, and our pillows are from Bookhou and Z Gallerie.

Image above: This French style buffet cabinet was a lucky Craigslist find.  I bought it from a sweet old man who wouldn’t let me give him more than $30 for it! Talk about a steal. I love the open shelving that exposes my favorite dinner and glassware.

Image above: My upcycled childhood dresser! This guy has been with me since I was 10. We painted and distressed it in white and switched out the knobs with prettier one’s we found at Anthropologie.  It’s amazing what a little paint and hardware can do.


Image above: My daughter Rylee’s room is probably the most calming in the house.  I wanted to create a space for her that was soft and inviting, but that wasn’t too girly.  We first painted the walls in a soft grey (Smooth Stone by Glidden).  I scoured Etsy for months for just the right handmade details.  The poms hanging above her crib are a mix of some that I hand made and some from PomLove.  The old quilt bunting is from Pieces of Olde and the custom crochet “Rylee” garland is from ReRae.  The doily rug is from Anthropologie and the foot stool I found at a local antique store. My favorite piece in the room is probably the rocker by Nurseryworks.  It’s pretty giant for such a small space, but I can say now that it’s been well worth the investment.  The large wooden “R” on the wall is form Grace Graffiti.

Image above: Teepee by Tnee’s Tpees.

Image above: A collection of hoops from various shops on Etsy, fawn clock from Decoylab, toy camera from Twig Creative, padded linen hanger from Out of the Closet Hangers.



Image above: Cloud mobile from The Butter Flying.

Image above: Oak Diamond Hooks from Ferm Living.






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  • What a beautiful home! I see similarities in mine, between the color palette and objects, but there are many nice additional treasures here.

  • What a gorgeous home! I crave a workspace just like Kelli’s. Looks like I can at least afford the desk!

    Love all the links to so many of her treasures. I often wonder where individual items are from, and Kelli is on it!

  • I love your couch (among everything else in your home); can I ask where you purchased it?

  • I’m in love with that reclaimed wood backdrop for the TV! What a genius way to make typically boring/ugly flat screen TVs look hip, and jive with the rest of the house. I also how she reclaimed her childhood dresser. Sweet!

    So fun to see a fellow San Diego home! (Kelli, where did you get that cute San Diego tote??)

  • Practically P E R F E C T in every way! And, really – where is the San Diego tote from?!!

  • Like noted on your instagram, Kelli, I’ve been waiting for this home tour FOR LIKE, EVER!!! And (as expected) my brain is about to explode from inspiration. Also, THANK YOU for introducing LongMadeCo into my life! His fixtures are simply incredible- Gosh, I’m obsessed now. :)

  • I’m pretty sure this is my favorite-est home you’ve shown. Such wonderful unique styling! Thank you for sharing!!

  • This is a great Sneak Peek! The home has so many lovely touches–Kelli has quite the design style.

    Sorry to complain, but you need better proofreading, D*S. It’s really aggravating to see things like “it’s” (it is) when the person means “its” (referring to an object) or a plural such as “ones” spelled with an apostrophe (new knobs on the childhood dresser described as “prettier one’s”). Design Sponge is so amazing, but the typos bring it down.

  • You can feel the beautiful energy in these pics. What a lovely home, in the truest sense of the word. Beautiful little touches too.

  • Kelli, your father-in-law’s reclaimed items are fantastic! And the whitewashed backdrop… oh, LOVE. I really would change nothing about this space at all, any of it… your curation of Etsy items is the best and the touch of industrial objects and raw wood is just perfect. Can I come live with you? Also: 619 represent! (Unless you live in the 858…)

    Ditto Cathy on the typos, D*S. (I’ve kvetched about this before.) There were a bunch last week. You put up a lot of content in a hurry, it’s true. But seriously, I know a guy. Call me.

  • what’s even MORE inspiring? that’s she’s in San Diego…hate to say it, but much of what’s she’s achieved here is a HUGE departure from the average neighborhood dwelling…and so much deserving of extra kudos for the incredible individuality and beauty…thank you so much for sharing this marvel!!!

  • Love this house – the wood behind the TV is brilliant.

    I agree on proofreading, can I please offer my services? I’m a proofreader and have wanted to say something for ages, but felt that it was too rude. I would do it for free if necessary. I think the thing that sets DesignSponge apart is the descriptions/explanations alongside the pictures – you get lots of blogs with just pics – so they need to be correct.

    • leila-

      we had a copy editor for a long time, but had to cut back because of budget restrictions. we’re doing our best to continue to offer free content everyday and copy edit on our own as much as possible. sometimes mistakes slip through and we welcome any corrections or notes that help us clean things up as quickly as possible.


  • so lovely!! i was wondering if you would mind sharing the source of what looks like your office curtains? white with the black floral print?

  • This house is absolutely gorgeous! I feel so inspired by all the textures, colours (white!), vintage details, and most importantly, the serene feeling the whole environment invokes. I actually also LOVE that leather fringe purse hanging on the hook. Where is that from, if you don’t mind me asking? It’s absolutely perfect :). Thanks for sharing!

  • I love the style of living!!!! I’m going to have the same desk to be creative as well! I was looking after a new desk so long. Thank you for telling the details to your pictures!
    I reached your blog via Pinterest! lovely greetings from Germany

  • Lovely home! Thanks for the tip re: Long Made Co…Going to have to place an order. @Miranda: I have almost the exact same sectional, but mine is the “Mercer” by Younger Furniture. Love it! Younger still hand-makes them here in North Carolina.

  • And the source for the kitchen rug? I’m dying to know… perfect colors.

    Beautiful home, by the way :-)

    Kudos from a fellow North County-ite!

  • Beautiful! Where did you find the floral/crystal flush mount lighting in your bedroom? It’s lovely!

  • Can you explain how you mounted the tv onto the distressed wood? I absolutely love that idea! Also how you even made the wood panel. I’m just afraid it won’t hold the weight. Thank you!!

  • I love the wood as a back drop for the tv. What was used to mount it on the wall? I read through all the comments, but didn’t see an answer.

  • I noticed so many people asked about the weathered wood backdrop behind the tv but I didn’t see a response…may have just scrolled to quickly but I’m going to ask again. How did you make the backdrop? How did you mount the tv? I am very interested in doing something similar!