A San Diego Rental Proves How Design Can Comfort Kids

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Moving is stressful. Period. The logistics, the financial burden, and the house-hunt itself can be enough to make anyone pull their hair out. Add children into the mix, and you’ve got a whole new ballgame. My parents saw this firsthand when they uprooted me in sixth grade. While it ended up being the best decision, at the time it was terribly hard on me.

When transitioning in between homes, an inviting place to land can make all the difference. Isobel Benesch made it her mission to ease that moving stress for her own children when her husband Dustin started a new job in San Diego, CA. Their children Holden and Gray are under the age of four, so Isobel and Dustin were a bit anxious about how the move would affect the family. In order to make the transition easier, Isobel went straight to work adding colorful and familiar decorations to their new rental. Paintings came out of storage, playful bunting went up, and works created (and inspired by) the boys were scattered around the space. She wasn’t sure if her strategy would work or not, but it’s proven to be a wild success. Holden takes pride in seeing his work displayed, and the home’s seaside color palette has kept him and Gray soothed and smiling since day one.

While most of the fun touches Isobel has added are inspired by her children, the realities of renting also played a major role in her choices. Permanent changes were out of the question, so instead she’s gone about dodging and covering up some of the home’s less-than-ideal qualities in some pretty clever ways. As you peek inside, you’ll barely notice the “blah” carpeting now that she’s layered patterned rugs on top of it. You’d also never know that the space was a rental after gazing upon the eye-catching mural in the kids’ room. She and Dustin stenciled a stunning, geometric pattern on the home’s standard, white walls. Overall, they’ve crafted one of the most personalized rentals I’ve ever seen, and proven just how comforting design can be. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Chrissy Powers

  1. Nikki says:

    What a beautiful space, would never have known it was a rental! Great job!

  2. Pippa Clark says:

    I totally agree that moving is quite stressful. But, this blue kids room is lovely!

  3. Ar. Shema says:

    Lovely home with lovely ideas. Most noticeable is the love and passion in the home for each other. The boys are blessed to have lovely parents in Dustin & Isobel

  4. RK says:

    Where is the white fabric bed from?

  5. Kiki says:

    this place oozes with the love of its inhabitants – incredible and beautiful.
    i have a question and i hope it doesn’t come across in an aggressive way: i have noticed on many occasions but especially in this post that many decorations contain tassel banners and this home also has many ‘quotes’, custom made, it seems. I have ONE in my house (Do more of what makes you happy) over Hero Husband’s piano and I’m slightly jealous of their rich collection…. ;) My question is ‘Is there a special meaning to those banners which escapes me (being 1. European, 2. Swiss, 3. sadly officially no longer in the age group of banners, string lights etc…. (have plenty of light guirlandes however & 2 swiss flags on wooden sticks in the garden…)? I’m thinking ‘Indian ancestors’ or such? Or is it just fashionable as macramé potholders and wall-hangings used to be when I was younger? Tks for any info. I’m here to learn.
    A big thank you to this great and smiling family – may you be v.happy in your temporary home! As someone who lived large parts of my life abroad, moving about, I can appreciate your work & labour of love.

  6. Diana says:

    So lovely! Where is the white-bottomed basket from?

  7. Alice says:

    This design is really peaceful, full of colours and shows that if you use your imagination there is nothing impossible no matter if you own the apartment or just rent it.

  8. Anat says:

    I love how they use calm blue tones and geometric patterns but it’s still a warm “livable” space. Having so much detail and personal stuff around really gives the design life. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Toks says:

    What a thoughtful mama! Love the cool shades and more so, the children’s involvement in the design.


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