Interiorssneak peeks

A Sunny California Home with Bright and Happy Details

by Sofia Tuovinen

A Sunny California Home with Bright and Happy Details | Design*Sponge

When Vicki and Travis Taylor moved from California to Chicago in 2008, they always knew they would return to their home state eventually. The move to the windy city allowed Travis to build his property management business, but also meant that the couple had to leave behind the new build that they had purchased just a year earlier. They decided to rent out their house, and return to their small San Luis Obispo community when the timing felt right. What Vicki and Travis didn’t realize at the time was how perfectly fit for them this home would be when they’d move back five years later with two young boys in tow.

After their time away, Vicki and Travis wanted to start fresh — before moving back in, they painted almost the entire house and replaced all carpets with beautiful eucalyptus plank floors. Breathing personality into their home — so that it feels unique and different from others in the planned neighborhood that they live in — has been a fun challenge for the family. Bringing only a few selected pieces back from Chicago has allowed them to slowly collect unique items for their home. Vicki, who has gradually been filling up her time with home styling clients locally and via Skype, also loves helping others turn their homes into happy places, using what they have and suggesting new pieces.

To create rooms that feel special and full of charm, Vicki has opted for various bold patterns and hues throughout her home. When it comes to color, Vicki doesn’t believe in rules about what goes with what — it just has to feel right. “Color, an eclectic mix of new and old, and sentimental pieces are the three basics that I feel are important building blocks in re-creating a space,” she shares.

The family’s house, located in a quiet neighborhood overlooking green horse pastures, has also turned out to be the perfect place for their two sons, Declan and Dash, to grow up. Travis still works in Chicago, but the upsides of California living override the downsides of traveling. “His lengthy commute is well worth it so that we can raise our family in this beautiful place,” Vicki explains.

Vicki also wanted the family’s home to function as a play and learning space for her boys. Both of them attend Montessori school, and Vicki has tried to model that concept at home. She has included toys and materials in each room of the house, offering the boys a chance to initiate play and creation at any time. To make this work, Vicki has sourced furniture that can easily display or store the boys’ toys and games — one of her favorite finds is a vintage tobacco cabinet with small drawers, now filled with Legos, crayons, paints and other art tools. With unique and creative solutions, Vicki and her family have turned their modern house into a home that feels comfortable and welcoming, and that celebrates creativity in all shapes and forms. Scroll down for a taste of this happy and colorful home!Sofia

Photography by Lisa Mallory, floor plan photo by Vicki Taylor

Image above: The living room soaks in sunlight thanks to the tall windows facing three directions. “I am so thankful for the bright light that pours into practically every room,” Vicki shares. Vicki chose to add interest to the large living room wall by designing a custom shelving unit — it holds an ever-changing mix of art, toys and vintage pieces.

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In the living room, versatile FLOR carpet tiles create a personal pattern that can easily be changed by rotating the tiles! The marble table top was a Craigslist find — Vicki’s brother, David Wheeler, built the custom base to play off the pattern of the carpet tiles.

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Vicki’s and Travis’ living room is defined by pattern and texture. The corner nook of the couch is a favorite spot to curl up and read or watch a game on TV.

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The swing-arm sconce from Restoration Hardware gives a soft light that is ideal for early morning reading. One of Vicki’s own paintings hangs in the corner in custom floating frames.

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Pops of color greet guests right when they walk in the front door.

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The dining room area is defined by a striped wall, a CB2 rug and “Kochi Vista” print curtains by John Robshaw. The Chrysler Airflow pedal car was restored by Vicki’s brother and is an exact replica of the pedal car that Vicki’s father had when he was a child. It is now used by Declan and Dash for “grocery runs.”

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The bar cart in the corner was a Craigslist find that Vicki had powder coated. The shadow boxes above hold wine corks and restaurant business cards from each of Vicki and Travis’ wedding anniversaries. Fern sconces from Crate & Barrel hang on each side of an old china cabinet that used to belong to Vicki’s grandmother.

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Vicki and Travis at home with their sons Declan and Dash, and Cash, the boxer dog.

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The family room features a neutral color palette with bright pops of color. The two vintage chairs that were found on the side of the street are the highlight of the space. They were given a new life with a fresh paint job and new upholstery, and have followed Vicki and Travis from home to home.

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“I love this room because it doesn’t have a TV!” Vicki explains. Bits of brass, like the wire side table from Target, add a bit of shine to the space. Vicki’s brother David welded a base for an old chest that came from Vicki’s grandfather in Sweden — now it’s the perfect side table by the couch.

A Sunny California Home with Bright and Happy Details | Design*Sponge
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Cash the dog enjoying some playtime in the family room. “I love the eclectic mix of art and shapes that catch your eye in this open floor plan,” Vicki shares.

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A tulip-style table and “Real Good” chairs from Blue Dot make up the breakfast area, which is in constant use. “We eat every meal here and can look out into the backyard from the table and see deer in the morning and horses in the afternoon,” Vicki says. The tobacco cabinet is one of Vicki’s favorite vintage finds. Her brother cut copper plates to fit in front of each drawer and also welded a stand for the cabinet to sit on.

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The kitchen opens up to the family room and breakfast area and has a nice view of the backyard. The plan is to eventually update the backsplash with white subway tile, which would keep the space fresh and simple for future owners as well. The chalkboard is a canvas for the boys, and the perfect space to add inspirational quotes.

“Our youngest son, Dash, had some serious medical issues when we moved home from Chicago. I painted the wall in the kitchen with chalkboard paint so that I could change quotes and inspiration each day or week, whenever something struck me as encouraging,” Vicki shares.

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The master bedroom is filled with happy colors, eclectic patterns and plenty of texture. The bench at the foot of the bed, upholstered in “Folkland” by Robert Allen, pulls all the colors together.


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The ocean painting above the bed is a nod to Travis’ surfing obsession. “When he isn’t working in Chicago, you can find him in Morro Bay or Cayucos on his board.”


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The boys’ play room provides plenty of space to spread out toys, work on Legos or trade Pokemon with friends. The mid-century desk is a sentimental piece, as it was used by Vicki’s dad in college. The vintage letter D was found online. “The boys will have to fight over who gets it later on!” Vicki says.


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A gallery wall in the boys’ play room features fun art by family and friends.


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Declan and Dash’s bedroom has trundle beds that help save space in a small room. “I wanted to keep this space quiet and simple without being overrun by toys,” Vicki explains. Many of the pieces have transitioned from the boys’ nurseries and were originally chosen to work even as they get older.

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The plan of Vicki and Travis’ four-bedroom house.


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“What we love most about our home is that we are surrounded by meaningful things.”

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Comments

  • Vicki Taylor! You have created a work of art and call it your family home. What a gift you have given Travis, the boys, and yourself by using your incredible creativity, your bargain-hunting genes, and your love and respect for all-things vintage and practical. You are an absolute marvel at crafting an environment ingeniously designed for the beings who inhabit it. Congratulations to you and your clients.

  • Great job on crating a comfortable and colorful home. Do you mind if I ask where you got the orange chairs in the living room?

    • Thank you Jane! The orange chairs were free on the side of the road- what a lucky find! But, in searching for more, I’ve found similar versions on Ebay and Craigslist.

  • I particularly like the fact the boys share a room and have a separate playroom. Most kids actually “play” very little in their rooms.
    This is a clever way of keeping toys and kids mess in a place where fun should be!

    • Thank you Lisa, it does seem to work really well to have two separate spaces for sleeping and playing. The only problem occurs when they need “time apart in their rooms”- they both would rather be in the play room! Ha!

    • Absolutely Aidel! He definitely is. He is an automotive metal fabricator/artist by trade- I’m so lucky that he is willing to make my “visions” come to life!

  • I am in love with the off white of the dining room! Do you mind sharing the paint color? I have been searching for that perfect tone…

    • Absolutely Amanda, the color is Abalone by Benjamin Moore. It is the color that you see throughout the house (minus the boy’s rooms). It looks different in various lights but we love it as a neutral base.

  • Lovely colours! I love the happy vibes of this design, very ideal for families. The breakfast area is so cute and the kitchen is strategically positioned which is absolutely perfect.

    • Hi Courtney- Thank you so much for your comment. Our renters put in the shades while we were in Chicago and it was the first thing I wanted to change when we got back. I’m so glad we didn’t! Now they’ve grown on me and I really like the darker pop atop each window since we rarely have them closed. They are from Select Blinds.

    • Hi Lauren, Thank you so much. It is the “Dash” rug from Blu Dot. We absolutely love it- super soft and cozy. It sheds terribly, but I think it’s worth it!

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