Interiorssneak peeks

A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home

by Garrett Fleming

Meghan and David were hunting down the ideal fixer-upper when they stumbled upon this 1970s tri-level in California. Both having artistic backgrounds meant that the two were eager to design every detail of their space. “We were looking for a house with low ceilings that we could vault. Add some drama!” Meghan says with gusto.

It took about five months to complete the core of the renovations. Throughout all the rewiring, wall-moving and basically total rebuilding, the couple remembers there being some unique renovation laughs. “There was a period for about three weeks where, because of the classic construction-domino effect, we didn’t have a bathroom,” Meghan says. “So I would stop drinking any kind of liquid at 5 pm so as not to have to go… not joking.” For every challenge that came with the renovations, however, there were strokes of luck that kept surprising the couple. The home’s 30-year-old carpet had seen better days, but thankfully underneath all that shag was the perfect slab of concrete. “Having all boys (I am including my husband in that grouping) means that nothing can be too precious,” Meghan says. The concrete surprise, as well as a black leather sofa and black wood floors, were chosen as they’d only get better with age.

When it came to decorating their new place, the family curated items that reflected their rock ‘n roll, unfussy attitudes. Meghan and David love the adventurous stories — real or imagined — that their accessories seem to tell. As you glide through today’s Sneak Peek, it’s easy to imagine the homeowners having gone on all of life’s monumental adventures, but it’s clear after getting to know them that their biggest adventure is still in the making. “I am thankful that it is our very own little base for life’s little adventures. And it’s the backdrop for all our fun, chaotic, important and most special memories,” David and Meghan share. “When the boys are 35 and looking back, this space will be in the background for all that nostalgia. What will future ‘us’ remember about this? That’s why it’s important to me to be considerate of what [we] put in [our] space. It’s, in a funny way, a family legacy.” Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Meghan DeRoma

A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
"We couldn’t decide which turquoise to paint the front doors… so we used both! With two art directors making decisions, sometimes you come to an impasse and have to compromise. These doors are original to the house."
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
An array of thrift-shop finds fill the couple's entryway. The rug is from Anthropologie and the bench is from Urban Outfitters.
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
"This American flag has 48 stars. I found it at a surplus store in SoHo. It makes for some drama when you walk in, and Oscar loves hanging out here. He is very patriotic."
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
"The [dresser] is full of travel paraphernalia including a pewter teapot from Vietnam, a sea fan we found at the beach, and the skull of a coyote we found in Colorado." The couple added wooden beams throughout the home and vaulted the ceilings themselves.
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
"When we tore down walls in the kitchen we were able to open up a large space for the dining room, so we wanted a huge, long table to fill the space." Benjamin Moore "Simply White" covers every wall throughout Meghan and David's home. The table is by Timothy Outlon.
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
David's Great Aunt Nance gave the couple the Italian, vintage, inlaid chest. The couple brought the masks back with them from Mexico and Vietnam. The exposed beams throughout the home are sandblasted Douglas Fir.
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
"This is a collection that has happened over many years. The rocking chair was in David’s room when he was a baby. His mom had it lovingly refinished and gave it to us. We used it with Bodhi and now the new guy! The green chair is one of my favorites. I bought it for $5 at a garage sale in Boulder and had it refinished in vintage army laundry bags."
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
"This couch is awesome for kids and dogs. You can wipe it off, and the black leather gets better with use. The rug is placeholder. We are looking for a blue tribal rug with a fish motif."
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
Being an art director means Meghan occasionally gets to keep some on-set goodies for herself, like this feather headdress. David carved the fish sculpture himself.
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
"The fish is holding branches from a bunch of different places. I am a collector by nature so I am always picking up driftwood and shells or feathers. The driftwood on the wall was a cool find, and I added butterflies to it from a photoshoot."
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
"I fished that hunk of wood out of a pile at a nearby construction site and refinished it and turned it into a table. It’s perfect for the requisite vintage globe and books, etc. The suzani I found on eBay and had made into a floor pillow." This credenza is from Marco Polo in Santa Monica.
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
Another gift from David's Great Aunt Nance, this portrait is easily the most popular piece of art in the couple's home. "We love the juxtaposition between the... classic subway tile and this antiquated oil painting of an old woman."
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
Meghan covered the stool with a vintage grain sack. The floor's lines show where the kitchen extended to before the renovation. "There used to be walls here... so we expanded the kitchen/cooking area, added the peninsula and opened the entire space up."
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
The simple IKEA clock was one of the couple's first purchases. David often cooks the family meals, and, "everyone has to stay behind the peninsula while he makes his magic." The countertops are Casesarstone "Organic White" and the lighting is from Restoration Hardware. The range and hood are from Bertazzoni.
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
Meghan and David love adding drama to small spaces. "In every house that we have lived in we have painted the guest bathroom black, including the ceiling." Here the couple chose to douse the room in Benjamin Moore "Trout Gray."
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
"The black also makes for a nice background for my creature collection."
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
"We often wake up with everyone piled in bed, so the cozy factor is extremely important!"
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
Nautical-themed elements, including a tiny captain figurine carved by David's grandfather, were all inspired by this painting of a ship. Meghan made the table lamp from old science equipment and the octopus came from Anthropologie.
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
"The Explorers Club in New York is a huge inspiration for me. The adventure and romance! We try to instill that vibe throughout the house... that there were adventures and faraway places visited and interesting people met along the way. This may be my favorite room in the house." Meghan made the shower curtains out of marine flags she found on eBay. The dresser came from the Long Beach Flea Market, and David made the black vase.
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
The vintage flag came all the way from SoHo. "This room is a work in progress, and we are constantly adding fun things we find to the walls." The unique, striped, overhead lighting is by Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
The family dog actually sleeps in this Land of Nod teepee from Bodhi's room. "The lion on the wall is from this awesome guy on Venice beach who carved it from a palm frond." The couple tries to support the local art scene as much as possible.
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
"I found this bed at a local vintage furniture store. It was the worst color and in terrible shape. Some elbow grease, sandpaper and several layers of white paint later and it’s perfect for our little personal hotel - aka, fam and friends that come visit!"
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
"This shelf is perfect for displaying the treasures brought back from travel. I am constantly changing out little items."
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
Meghan found this giant lamp on Craigslist. It was green, but a simple coat of white paint gave it a new life. "The black and white photo is a really great memory from many years ago when we lived in Chicago."
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
"This is a studio space I recently made room for. It keeps all of our half-completed projects off the kitchen table. Well, most of them. Someday I will finish that bear! The curtain is actually a parachute."
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
What we love most about our home is...
A Venice Family Brings Adventure Home, Design*Sponge
David and Meghan made this table from the beams that used to hold up the house's ceiling. David handles the garden and started it from trimmings of friends' plants.

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  • Meghan!!! This is so inspiring & beautiful! And do I spy a Nicaraguan wall hanging from the Granada market on the wall above the lion? :)
    -Robin from Coffee Bean

    • Robin!Hi!! Thank you for the kind words…and you are spot on, the little owl is from Nicaragua. Good times, good times!

  • Great home – unique to them, as it should be…of course, I may have been swayed by their Airedale!

  • We have thought about vaulting the ceilings in our ’59 Ranch style in Austin, but have been fearful about the amount of work it might entail, and unsure of how to make it work. How did Megan and David set up the HVAC and electrical outlets, etc with the loss of overhead space?

    • Hi, Sarah,
      We hired a general contractor…it was, to your point, way more work than we had imagined. It was a bit of a domino effect, a classic construction problem. We had to run all new electrical and hvac, and the ceiling was actually structurally significant so once we removed it we had to support the roof by adding beams. But in the end it was worth the effort! I would contact a local contractor or architect to get an opinion…your structure could be totally different, ya never know.

  • Very cool space! Love the colors, cool groupings of objects and all your natural treasures. L-O-V-E!

  • This is such an awesome home with really interesting spaces. I love the juxtaposition between the old painting and the new subway tile too :)

  • Such a cool space, beautiful to hear the story. I love how personal it all is…in style and in how everything was gathered or made.

    The reference to the Explorer’s Club is my favorite part, I think…I would love to have an explorer/adventurer aesthetic in my home and it’s cool to see how that’s possible while also being fresh, bright, chic.

  • Hello:

    A beautiful home.

    However unless the picture of the flag and the dog is flopped, the flag should always be displayed with the blue field of stars to the upper left as a person looks at it.

    • Hey, thanks so much for your comment, Robert. I was not aware and have fixed the flag. I appreciate you bringing that to my attention.

  • Lovely home! I invite the owner of the home and others to examine the descriptive word, “tribal” In this case, she’d like to have a “tribal rug” for her living room. I suggest she find more history and accurately state what style she’d like: she’s looking for a Turkish rug? A persian rug? “Tribal” lumps cultures and implies the default white Western culture vs. anything ethnic. Misuse of this word perpetuates cultural insensitivity. This discussion needs to be had more frequently! It’s bothersome, and harmful to see products labeled as “tribal.”

  • What a beautiful and inviting home!! I love all of the details and the fact that so much of the decor was salvaged from flea markets and such! The personal touches and travel treasures make it just perfect. Thanks for sharing Meghan and David!

  • what a fun house! i love their bold color choices and how their unusual use of materials…like that cool parachute/curtain. great house tour!

  • I love your home, dog, and style!

    I am really curious about your concrete floors. How did you treat them? My husband and I are considering stained concrete but I really like how raw and natural yours are. Did you guys DIY them or did you hire someone to do them for you? Could you explain a little about your process? Was it agony?

    Thank you!

  • I am also wondering about your concrete floors, that is exactly the look we are going for. We are fixing up our fixer-upper, ripped out the floors and fell in love with the concrete slab underneath. Would love to know what you did to finish it, it is beautiful!