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Hearts of the Home

Get inspired by California kitchens and bathrooms that pair exceptional functionality with enviable design.

“As the clients use this house as a weekend getaway, it was easy to be more daring with the overall color scheme and design direction,” says John Cialone, partner at Tom Stringer Design Partners. 

Wintersteen mixed more traditional tiles with clean lines and bold shapes to create this modern Spanish bathroom in Encinitas. 

“Kitchens should feel warm, inviting and lived in,” says Kendrick. “Since they have a tendency to lean toward clinical, adding sculptural objects, art and found pieces helps balance them and give them character.” 

Fixtures from Waterworks’ RW Atlas line are used throughout. “This line has the best details with supermodern industrial character,” says Massie. 

Going Green
A verdant kitchen blooms in Palm Desert.

For this cheerful, elegant kitchen at the Marrakesh Country Club, Tom Stringer Design Partners took the client’s wish for an open, fun, colorful home to heart. “The client originally suggested green cabinetry, and we looked at a lot of greens from subtle to bold,” says John Cialone, a partner at the firm. “We landed on this particular color as it was fresh, felt like grass, and had just enough punch to make the kitchen a focal point.” In addition to quartz countertops by Difiniti and lights in various shapes and sizes, Cialone and crew incorporated rich elements that would be at home in a living room or den, such as the custom drapery made with Galbraith & Paul linen and Samuel & Sons trim. “As it opens to the living room, it needed to be an extension of the living area,” Cialone explains. “I envisioned the space as a ‘painted library,’ something our team does a lot, as opposed to a traditional kitchen.”

Darien pendant in historic nickel, $578, Hudson Valley Lighting,

Globus pendant in bronze with polished nickel accents, from $2,100, Urban Electric,

Aura interior paint in Kiwi 544, $70 per gallon, Benjamin Moore,

Hudson chair, price upon request, Thibaut,

Birds in pink on Logan white linen, to the trade, by Galbraith & Paul at Thomas Lavin, Laguna Design Center and Pacific Design Center, and De Sousa Hughes, San Francisco,

Hobbs dining table, to the trade, price upon request, Rose Tarlow, West Hollywood,


Material Matters
Festive patterns and earthy textures unite in a bold Encinitas bathroom.

When remodeling a bathroom for a busy couple in Encinitas, Susan Wintersteen of San Diego-based Savvy Interiors channeled wanderlust. “We wanted to re-create a resortlike bathroom that reminded them of travel or Cabo San Lucas,” she explains. To achieve that objective, Wintersteen first tackled the room’s layout. “We took out the shower near the tub and relocated it to the other side of the room to create a larger shower—we also took out a makeup vanity,” she says. The ceiling height was also raised. Next up: the materials. “We chose a really fun, densely patterned tile from TileBar for the shower,” Wintersteen says. “Each one feels like it was hand-baked and painted.” Custom vanities covered in Cleaf wood laminate and topped with quartz countertops from Pental Surfaces are one of the room’s standout features. “The nice thing about this is that it protects the cabinet from water drips as if it’s a farmhouse sink,” she explains. Lastly, Wintersteen installed 9-inch poplar boards horizontally behind the sink, then painted them white. “I love that the size of the planks mimics the countertop,” she says.

Santa Monica Warm Deco ceramic tile, $7.50 per square foot, TileBar,

Sara 67-inch soaking tub with Taron floor-mounted faucet in polished chrome, $1,697, W Wyndham Collection,

Infinity wall mirror in olive, $479, Room & Board, Costa Mesa, Culver City, San Diego and San Francisco,

Reclaimed Russion oak single-wall-mount washstand, from $3,295, RH, San Francisco and West Hollywood,

Ara two-handle wide-spread bathroom faucet in chrome, $381, Delta,

Round cotton bath mat in coral, $13, Cost Plus World Market, The Grove,


Making History
Studio Hus’ take on a contemporary Brentwood kitchen is one for the books.

“I love spaces that blur lines,” says Studio Hus founder Tatum Kendrick. For this masterful Brentwood kitchen—originally narrow, dark and heavy—Kendrick and team first tackled extensive renovations, relocating a powder room and pantry, before opening up the space. “[The clients] wanted us to create an open, light and bright space that could hold the bustling family of six, maximize functionality and have a clean aesthetic,” she explains. Inspired by a mix of old-world European and contemporary styles, Kendrick brought the kitchen to life with patterned tile floors, custom paneled cabinetry in a glossy historical green with large brass hardware and contemporary lighting. “We needed to [utilize] more modern and quiet lines to allow the old-world details to pop,” she says. The clients’ antique collection—including the chestnut drop-leaf hall table that was cut down to become the dining table—also played a role. “We paired this with modern Eames chairs, which are classic and quite indestructible,” Kendrick explains. “I design a room like you would paint a painting. You have to feel it as you go and keep tweaking until you find the right balance.”

Bistro chandelier, $2,850, by Visual Comfort at Grace Home Furnishings, L.A. and Palm Springs, gracehomefurnishings.‌com and Barclay Butera Interiors, Corona del Mar,

Aura interior paint in Chantilly Lace OC-65 and Rainy Afternoon 1575, $70 per gallon, both at Benjamin Moore,

Eames molded plastic dowel-leg side chair, $495, Design Within Reach, Costa Mesa, Pasadena, San Francisco and West Hollywood,

Medina Etoile tile in matte finish, from $25.71 per square foot, Exquisite Surfaces, Beverly Hills, Laguna Niguel and San Francisco,

Profi single-level mixer in platinum matte, $3,871, by Dornbracht at Waterworks, San Francisco and West Hollywood,

Color Pop!
An industrial modern bathroom in San Mateo relies on clean lines and playful moments.

When Jemy Massie and Emily Simons of San Francisco-based Studio Revolution were summoned to redesign and renovate the home of a young family of five in San Mateo, a complete overhaul was in order. “The homeowners are young, hip and quirky and wanted their home to reflect their modern style,” says Massie. The entire home received an overall contemporary and minimalist design aesthetic, with a heavy emphasis on high contrast with rustic wood finishes to warm things up. The couple wanted a functional bathroom for their twin daughters that was in line with the rest of the home aesthetically. A double vanity creates ample hidden storage for bath toys and towels and keeps clutter at bay while looking sleek, while a red cross cabinet by Cappellini adds storage along with a touch of whimsy. “It’s such a simple and functional piece that adds a bold statement,” says Massie. “This is a bathroom for two young girls, but the clients did not want it to look ‘girly.’ This was the perfect piece to add a hint of fun color while adding more functional storage.”

Imbrie articulating sconce in oil-rubbed bronze, $340, Rejuvenation, Culver City,

Minna 60-inch-by-30-inch-by-20-inch rectangular cast iron bathtub. $2,440, Waterworks, San Francisco and L.A.,

R.W. Atlas volume-control valve trim with metal wheel handle in burnished nickel, $588, Waterworks

Cross Cabinet, $1,030 each, by Thomas Eriksson for Cappellini at Poltrona Frau, L.A.,;

R.W. Atlas 8.5-inch shower head, arm and flange in burnished nickel, $1,926, Waterworks

Keystone decorative field tile in basalt, $25 per square foot, Waterworks; Savoy penny round mosaic tile in chalk, $15 per square foot, Ann Sacks, L.A., Laguna Niguel and San Francisco,