A Santa Cruz Victorian Fit for a Queen

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As the owner of Stripe Design Group and two auxiliary decor stores in Santa Cruz, CA, British expat Suna Lock enjoys the city’s Victorian architecture, which she feels is reminiscent of her beloved London. The voluminous rooms and high ceilings of this 1877 Italianate home are situated within walking distance to downtown, as Lock often misses the hustle and bustle of her former urban life. Many of the older houses in this region are carved up into apartments, but the original layout of this one is still intact. After moving in a decade ago, Lock further opened up the space by knocking out the wall between her kitchen and dining room to further integrate the two areas, while staining the floors black, choosing a saturated paint color palette, and selecting unique Mexican tiles for each individual stair. Lock resides here with her children, Thomas and Erica, as well as her love Josh, who joined them two years back.

The designer set out to have guests and residents alike feel immediately comfortable upon entering her home, in contrast with the building’s austere exterior. One interesting fact about the place among many — little alcoves line the walls leading up the stairs. Lock learned from her chimney sweep that these recesses are called “coffin corners,” and are designed so that if somebody were to pass away upstairs, that person could be carried down without scratching the walls. Thankfully, nobody has ever departed in the house, but the family does find this unusual feature useful for moving larger pieces of furniture up and down the stairs!  —Annie

Photography by Tommy Parker

  1. I’ve never heard of coffin corners before! How cool. Also, as a short person, I definitely feel like the library ladder in the kitchen is the best idea ever.

  2. Thank you for sharing. Love the Family pictures.

  3. EWMcCall says:

    Love this eclectic style!

  4. Diana says:

    So fabulous!

  5. oltyrrell says:

    love the color throughout, homey and modern at once. great feel all around! her collections of this and that showing up here and there. really lovely. wonderful feature!

  6. Laura says:

    Love the choice of colors! You have really done a nice job of keeping the Victorian roots while not making it stuffy and antiquated. The tiled stairs are fun, too.

  7. Julian says:

    I used to live in SC and absolutely adored Stripe. Completely unsurprised to see the proprietor has such a lovely home.

  8. Helen says:

    I just fell in love with a staircase.

  9. Jill says:

    Love this house. So much character, personality and warmth. Lovely family home. Could you please share the paint colour names? Specifically the bathroom, living room and dining room.
    Thanks. One of my favourite homes you’ve featured.

  10. Sandy says:

    I’d love to know what’s in the window in the background – an inset? paper? lace?

    1. Ariela Najman says:

      Hi Sandy,

      Its actually a cast iron door in an intricate floral pattern painted white.


  11. Patsy Powley says:

    Gorgeous Ms Suna – simply gorgeous!!! Love, Patsy

  12. emily says:

    gorgeous home! I’m so taken with her bold use of color and her mix of modern design and the charm that comes with displaying all her treasures. great house tour!


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