When designer Julia Long moved into this home in San Clemente, California, she was downsizing from 1,000 square feet to 400 square feet. Julia spends her days designing décor pieces, sourcing products overseas and scouring flea markets near and far so for her own home she lives quite minimally, with pieces that have been passed down through family, special pieces coveted and saved for or things picked up during her travels. (Julia designs collections for HomArt and she tries to create products with that same ruthless editing vigor that she gives her own collections.) The architecture of the home is of a classic style in San Clemente referred to as Ole Hanson named for the founder of the beach town. Terra cotta pavers, 8” thick plaster walls, handmade bricks, cantera stone fountain, and an outdoor shower for the post-surf rinse off. Julia’s design taste for furniture and decor leans towards mid-century which pares perfectly with this cool, Spanish style. The minimal décor is the perfect foil for Julia’s collections and favorite objects. She wanted her home to be cozy without feeling crowded. (Julia’s lesson: When collections are massed together they create the most visual impact without looking chaotic.) Everything from white stoneware dishes, vintage oil paintings, glass bottles and green books – Julia was able to keep all her precious collections even in her much smaller house. Thanks, Julia! And a big thank you to Shawn Parkin for the lovely photographs. –Amy
Image above: I created a pair of pendant lights (one over the couch and the other over the credenza) using a vintage cloth wrapped cord, brass fixture set and found industrial glass globes. With 8” thick adobe walls the best electricity option was from above, the clean white of the room (Pure White 7005 by Sherwin Williams) really sets off the light and provides amazing illumination at night. Couch from Crate & Barrel.
Image above: The juxtaposition of a large collection of dishes and a teeny, tiny kitchen inspired me to move the everyday dishes and stemware from the kitchen cabinets into the hallway and this space turned into the hub where everyone ends up congregating at parties. Open shelving is my favorite solution to utilizing space in a visually pleasing way. It makes my guest feel welcome to grab a glass for wine or even help set the table. Reclaimed Wood Harpoon Stool by HomArt.
See more of this Southern California home after the jump!
Image above: These gorgeous cane back chairs are something I truly treasure, I adopted them from friends of mine – an interior designer husband and lifestyle blogger wife – when their family was growing and they needed their dining seating to be more kid friendly and wanted their treasured chairs to find a good home. I think they have! The best meals have happened around this table, round tables tend to generate the best conversation. The duo of clipper ship paintings – one classical oil and the other paint-by-number –have the same composition executed in two very different methods but I feel they are destined to be hung together. Both are flea market finds.
Image above: My grandfather’s bar cart fits perfectly under my favorite window in the Casita. I love its proportions, its height and the late afternoon light that it brings into the living room. My decorating style leans very much toward tight and sparsely placed vignettes (you can even find me there on Instagram @vignette ) these tight little stories can flaunt a collection without feeling messy.
Image above: White English Ironstone is my kryptonite.
Image above: I had this teak display case shipped back from an antiques buying trip in India. The scale of it is quite grandiose for my little space but I wouldn’t choose anything else and everything that fills it is 100% in my day-to-day use. From books to high heels to knitting!
Image above: A view from the front door, home sweet home.
Image above: A stack of my small-scale watercolors, some are used in HomArt product designs others become homemade cards for friends.
Image above: The true-to-style Cobalt tiles in my kitchen have coxed the color lover out of me and became the perfect compliment to my ever-growing collection of kitchen larder inspired still life paintings.
Image above: The tiniest of bathrooms felt like it doubled in size when the small medicine cabinet was removed and a large, round burlwood mirror was added. Essentials are stored on an Ikea shelf while other sundries are stored in the vintage tin first aid box. Glass Utility Jars by HomArt.
In a room where precious artwork cannot survive, my bathroom is decked with framed book pages. Indexes, copy pages and chapter prefaces take on a whole new glamor when matted and framed.
HomArt sea grass baskets provide discreet storage and make a happy grouping with an antique oil painting from Hong Kong, a coveted wood millinery mold and giant bird of paradise leaves clipped from the courtyard.
Image above: Another family piece, my father’s dresser has been refinished many times since it lived in my first college apartment. Topped with a jewelry flaunting flamingo and some precious baubles.
Image above: I’ve had this brass ladder for many years; it was a found object from my friend Robert Ogden of Lostine who acquired it from an old textile mill. It’s lived in many of my homes and always serves a different purpose; here is doubles as a place to hang an extra blanket or to access the vintage suitcases above.
Image above: The open floor plan creates the best energy – the kitchen the view goes right past the bedroom, over the dining table and out to the private courtyard and fountain.
Image above: Small space living to the max! My summer and winter wardrobes are interchangeably stored in vintage suitcases above the closet.
Image above: What home doesn’t need a little Hugo Guinness moment?
Image above: Tyson, on the rare occasion that he is not sunbathing in a sun warmed spot on the terra cotta pavers.
Image above: A San Clemente staple: an outdoor shower for the post beach day rinse off.
Image above: True to the original Spanish architecture the fountain is made of cantera stone. The cast cement woman bust is not part of the fountain but she was there when I moved in and looked so pleasant it felt just right to keep her.
Image above: Rope chairs and loveseat by Lostine.
Image above: With multiple sets of French doors my home tends to become one indoor/outdoor living space – one of my many favorite things about it.