Interiorssneak peeks

A Seaside California Home Layered with Inspiration

by Shannon Grant

Chris and Christy Thiessen moved to the Bluff Heights neighborhood of Long Beach, California three years ago. Coming from Atlanta, Georgia, they decided to start fresh by leaving their furniture behind rather than bringing it along for the cross country drive. This bold move allowed them to re-evaluate their style and simplify. Two years after settling into this seaside home they appear to have embraced their new California lifestyle. Christy says they try to find a balance between masculine and feminine, adding texture and pattern to create a space that is reflective of their work and passions, whether it be a memento filled cork board or a triptych of vintage skateboards. Their favorite thing about their home is the French doors in the bedroom that allow them to enjoy the sunshine and ocean breeze. Christy is the other half of Hello Gem (see her business partner Chelsea’s home here), a wedding and event planning company specializing in event design, flowers and invitations, while Chris creates skateboarding films for TransWorld SKATEboarding magazine. Thank you Chris and Christy and thanks to Forrest Kline for the photos! Shannon

Image above: This is one of my favorite corners of our home because it is where my creativity thrives. If I am sitting in that chair, that means I am hard at work creating something. The cork board holds mementos of trips, inspirational photos, sweet cards from friends and invitations we’ve designed. The desk is Ikea- but I tampered with the legs to give a sleeker look. The shell chair was a gift from Chris.

Image above: This West Elm credenza is the best Craigslist find of my life, which we purposed as a bar as well as an incognito way of storing our movie collection. The clipboard wall is a tribute to the fun times with our friends. The rug was a steal I found at Pottery Barn.

See more of Chris and Christy’s California home after the jump…

Image above: I have had major desires for a black fireplace for some years now, so when we moved into this house, I knew it was the perfect fireplace to paint a glossy black. I love how much attention it demands in the room, as well as the way it interacts with the hardwood floor.

Image above: The tufted couch was my first big furniture purchase, which I got at Macy’s. The arm chair has a funny story behind it- I purchased it with money I won in a contest at America’s Funniest Home Videos.

Image above: I constructed the striped shades in my kitchen from mini blinds. The wooden arrow is from Slippin’ Southern.

Image above: Our O’Keefe and Merritt stove is such a conversation piece. It is in great condition for her age and really brings our kitchen together.

Image above: We recently exchanged our large farm table for this cafe table from West Elm, and is a perfect fit for us in our kitchen. I discovered these chairs at a vintage shop who had recently acquired them from the Scientology Center in Los Angeles. We have a full set, but the other two are in the living room for when friends come over. The rug was a wonderful find from the Long Beach Flea Market. The Georgia print is by Kelsey Oseid.

Image above: I’ve collected portrait paintings for as long as I can recall, and this lady is one of my favorite finds- I found her at an antique shop near our house. The rug is another Long Beach Flea Market find.

Image above: These skateboards from the 1960s were a gift to my husband for our 2nd anniversary. The painting of Chris and me was done by our extremely talented friend, Ashley Fundora.

Image above: I refinished this dresser in a glossy yellow paint but kept the original hardware for a nice contrast.

Image above: I use this shelf to store most of my art supplies. Chris has saved all of his skateboarding magazines since the 1990s- so these Ikea magazine holders help give me a peace of mind.

Image above: This is our shared workspace. Our matching desks sit back to back. The vintage American Flag was a find from one of the many antique stores in Old Town Orange.

Image above: Like I mentioned, this french door window is our favorite feature of our home. I am captivated by whales, so I have many gifted whale treasures throughout our home. The top print is by Michelle Morin and the bottom was thrifted.

Image above: We recently lost trees in our front yard that once canopied over the whole yard, so this area has been our biggest labor of love to try to bring back that charm. There have been countless nights with friends around our fire pit. I love our camellia bush so much that I don’t mind the mess it leaves behind.

Image above: Chris and I truly enjoy spending our late afternoons on our back patio listening to music and drinking margaritas.

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  • I used to live near Santa Monica and there are so many wonderful little beach walk houses that have this same buzz. The light the access to vintage and funky pieces and the abandon that so many Californians have to mixing great palates.
    Just because it is small does not mean it has to be boring and bland.
    Great little interior spaces thanks for bringing it forward as always.
    To all out there, use color and don’t be afraid to change it regularly.

  • Completely adorable! I can imagine myself sitting in this beautiful sui generis home listening to the music with the windows open…Thanks for the visit… Sherry

  • I love, love, love this home – so light and airy but with lots of personality! I especially love the yellow dresser she refinished – can she share the name/brand of the glossy paint she used? I have a set of shelves (found on my sidewalk!) that would look perfect in that sunny yellow.

  • Christy – you have done such a good job! Everything looks wonderful – I think the French window is my favorite along with the succulents on the wall. We miss you in Georgia

  • I love the gray paint in the living room. Can you share which paint was used please?

  • This is SO YOU! I love your style and always have. Glad to see the rug under the french doors in use! I’ll have to come see your pad in person next time I’m out that way.

  • LOVE this tour!! Such a great mix of modern and vintage, and wonderful styling. And I am crazy about your portrait collection! Thanks for sharing your home :)

  • Love this home. Two things perplex me. The café table in the kitchen appears to only have 2 legs. I’ve studied and studied the pic and don’t even see a shadow of a third. Also do you have oriental style rugs on the patio or did you find outdoor carpet in such a pattern?

  • Gorgeous! Curious… What is the small, thin appliance next to your amazing stove?

  • That’s an absolutely beautiful home you have, I could move in already. Now I’m not American (we Brits can’t stand patriotism) but the flag thing is bothering me – you need to flip it around so the stars on the top left corner, not right. Takes away from the authenticity a bit, considering you’re in the States!

  • Thank you everyone for liking our home!

    Jessica- the paint color used on my dresser is Behr’s “Flame Yellow.”

    Emilee & Cheryl- The paint used in my living room is Martha Stewart’s “Mushroom.” It’s an amazing color with the right amount of darkness.

    Anna- the appliance next to our oven is a Nespresso coffee maker.

  • Unique and pulled together with attention to every detail. My fav is the stove! Makes such a bold statement about the space. Love your home Christy!

  • ha, that couch (in lime) was MY first furniture purchase! i did love it dearly, and will once again when i finally rescue it from my mother’s home.

  • Lovely! Would love to know where you found your kettle and the outdoor white chairs.

  • Beyond beautiful and welcoming home :) Also so nice to see Old Towne Orange mentioned, as I live two blocks from all those antique shops!

  • I wonder if your house is the one I run by everyday and admire from the outside that has a lovely whale knocker on the yellow door? I’ve always wanted to knock and ask for a tour…and if not, great house anyway!

  • Chris & Christy – what a beautiful home! Just love it – the clip boards are an awesome idea! (and I’m not just saying that cause I work at the good ole p.o. in Suwanee, Georgia – we’re very proud of you back home :)

  • Janet- it’s a Le Creuset kettle which has given me many years of good use. Their newer kettles look a little different, but just as beautiful!

    Tamanna- We have a whale door knocker, but that isn’t our home….but I KNOW exactly what home you are talking about and it’s one of my favorite homes in LB!

  • Christy, your home is beautiful! I was wondering where that fire pit was from, it’s so unique!

  • Hi Christy:) I’d love to know where the throw on your outdoor chair is from.

  • Your home speaks to my sentiment and current struggle in designing my apartment- I like neutrals and clean simplicity, but man I love color and pattern and texture! I like modern and minimal but I can’t stop collecting awesome vintage things and stuff from nature and and and….I am trying to find my personality in design but its a little bit of everything and I love how that turned out in your home.

  • I love the dark, wooden patio chairs. Where are they from?

    I just bought a house and have been looking for acceptable patio furniture for months!

  • Where are the white succulent containers from? I’ve seen them before, and would love to hang some in my kitchen for herbs and green onions! Beautiful home.

  • Where did you get those two patio chairs in the second to last pic?? (the dark ones) I’ve been looking everywhere for attractive outdoor chairs and they’re hard to come by…

  • Love how you decorated the house! Where did you get the white wall mounted planters that are hanging in the backyard (third to last picture)? I love them and have been looking for something just like it to hang in my apartment. Thanks!