The creative force behind Create & Cultivate, a media company for ambitious women, Jaclyn Johnson prioritized having a stylish place to unwind. “Before the pandemic, I was on a plane every other week, so my husband and I wanted help making a forever home that let us do more of the things we wanted, like cooking and spending time by the pool,” she says.
With a few smart moves, her interior designer Ginny Macdonald turned her California home into a chic and sunny space that fully embraces the summer weather all 365 days a year.
Bring in some trendy cane.
You can find this style of rattan in headboards, chairs, screens and more. Its texture and craftsmanship adds depth and character.
Display your favorite objects.
Jaclyn Johnson’s open kitchen shelves and large island are used to store everyday essentials like glassware and dinnerware, but they also show off the entrepreneur’s ceramics, books and decorative pieces.
Get the look: White Oak Floating Shelf, etsy.com.
Make a statement with storage.
Crafty nooks can corral wine bottles, cutting boards or anything else you need to stow in style.
Ginny’s Design Tip: Be smart about placement. Adopt a thoughtful approach when styling shelves with decorative accents. An example: “You’d never light a candle underneath a shelf, so don’t put it there.”
Embrace a timeless palette.
“I like the black-and-white modern style and the cozy California aesthetic, so we really tried hard to marry the two,” says Jaclyn.
Ginny’s Design Tip: Stick to a consistent palette. If you’re mixing patterns in one room, make it cohesive by picking a few main colors to use alongside a couple of daring shades for visual interest.
Layer shades of a single tone.
Combining variations of one hue is a no-fail way to introduce character into a design. The powder room’s soft pink walls, layered with square tiles in a deeper shade, complement the terrazzo vanity top.
Ginny’s Design Tip: Experiment with different shapes and heights. “Have lower elements that lead into higher elements, and try not to be too symmetrical with things, because that could feel forced.”
Try top-to-bottom tile.
Besides a luxe soaking tub, the primary bathroom’s highlight is reflective green wall tiles that suit the chevron-patterned flooring. “The darker tile makes the room feel quite special and complete,” designer Ginny Macdonald says.
Craft an outdoor living room.
When it came to designing Jaclyn’s outdoor living area, Macdonald treated it as an extension of the interior by adhering to the black-and-white color scheme. The seating can withstand California weather, but it “looks a lot like our indoor furniture,” Jaclyn says.
Go retro with umbrellas.
A scalloped canopy in soft pink gives this otherwise sleek and modern outdoor area a throwback feel. Tall metal lanterns and a pop of wood balance the look.
Set the mood with string lights.
Nothing says summer like the sweet twinkle of outdoor lights. “The view is so great, and we didn’t want to clutter it up,” Jaclyn says of the minimal decor, including a striped rug that pulls the area together.
Mount floating shelves outside.
Whether you love entertaining or dining alfresco, your outdoor setup can benefit from useful storage. A pair of shelves and a buffet table offer ample room for dishware, greenery and more.
Ginny’s Design Tip: Don’t break up collections. If you own a set of pretty glassware or handmade bowls, for instance, display them together on a shelf. Consider adding greenery to “give it more of an organic feel.”
Choose local, native plants.
Low-maintenance cacti, succulents and bougainvillea are native to Southern California, meaning they don’t require a ton of upkeep in this West Coast home.
A version of this feature appeared in the June 2021 issue of Good Housekeeping.
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