Originally swathed in brown tones for an unconvincingly Tuscan ambience, this 2008 San Clemente, CA tract house was recently refreshed by designer Becki Owens in collaboration with Nicole Davis for an active family with six kids. Despite a drab “before” scheme, the home’s open floorplan can accommodate all eight residents together in its various expansive spaces. Owens’ goal was to transform the living, dining, and playroom areas from dark and dreary to bright and modern. She challenged herself to make each zone maximally functional for a large family while imbuing them with her own sophisticated sensibility, making the typical California tract home seem custom and unique. By mixing mid-century modern elements with global inspiration, the residence is now tightly tailored, but still practical and livable.
One of Owens’ signature design moves includes choosing beautiful lighting as eye candy to make strong statements in her spaces. She also recommends reimagining pieces in different finishes or with pretty hardware for a new look at a major cost savings. In Owens’ process, she often begins projects with a crisp coat of white paint. Layering on pops of color with rugs, textiles, furniture, and art, as she has done here, highlights positive architectural features such as wooden ceiling beams and arched windows — while downplaying overpowering elements like the small-scale, earthy tile floors. —Annie
Photography by Becki Owens