Design Inspiration

06 Apr 2020

We, at Designs of the Interior, couldn’t be happier with the outcome of a recent interior design project of ours in Montecito, CA, and we’re honored to be featured in 805 Living, with this issue’s focus on home and garden. The magazine wished to showcase a remarkable home, and ours was chosen to tell the story about how our design channeled the homeowners’ lifestyle and penchant for color, comfort and gatherings with those they love. Home is where our safety lies, where families stay together, home is–now more than ever–where our lives are centered. In our firm, we’ve always thought your home should be a comfortable sanctuary. Now it’s more so than ever. We hope you enjoy our story…

Lifestyle Rules

A comfortable contemporary home checks every one of a Montecito family’s desired boxes.


Lifestyle Rules


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Lifestyle Rules for youIndoor-outdoor living on a single story. A contemporary look. Pops of color. An easygoing, informal vibe. That was the wish list for a family’s dream home in the Ennisbrook neighborhood of Montecito. How to combine those features with the Spanish-influenced architecture required within that community was an issue, but it was solved impeccably in plans drawn up by Los Angeles–based architecture firm DesignArc and a quietly elegant layout orchestrated by Westlake Village interior design and custom-furnishing studio Designs of the Interior (DOTI).

“We bridged the two [looks],” says Karen Shoener, CID, ASID, and president of DOTI. “The house was designed around the lifestyle.” The blend begins at the entrance, where the white-plaster, red tile–roofed exterior is complemented by sleek, modern light fixtures, and continues in the foyer, which is graced by contemporary art and a driftwood sculpture.

Lifestyle Rules Great SpacesInside the three-bedroom, 4,000-square foot main house, an open floor plan can be expanded to the outdoors thanks to two exterior walls in the great room that can disappear completely. With a patio fireplace, dual sofas, and a huge faux-stone cocktail table, the space is the epitome of indoor/outdoor living. In the great room itself, custom furnishings—swivel chairs with textured fabric, sectional sofas that invite lounging, and a handsome Laloi rug—combine blue hues with orange accents that reflect the owners’ penchant for color.

The color scheme extends to the dining room, where an oversize iron-framed window incorporates French doors to the back patio. A custom sideboard is finished in dusty blue, and brass-based barstools are appointed in crocodile leather dyed blue to match. The use of performance fabric on the dining chairs underscores the family’s casual approach, while a Hubbardton Forge light fixture is another example of their contemporary taste.

“We selected all the wood finishes and fixtures,” says Shoener, pointing out French oak planks that run throughout the home. For the kitchen, streamlined cabinets—no handles in sight—were custom made with wood finishes, and subtly veined porcelain tops two islands, one with a sink, the other with a cooktop.

A dozen mirrors over a low dresser add drama to the master bedroom, which boasts its own doors to a patio furnished with sky-colored chaise longues. For late-night TV watching, a customized lift raises a television from the footboard of the king-size bed, while a blue daybed and orange throw carry out the home’s palette.

For a playful sense of design, though, there’s nothing quite like the eye-catching powder room. “We designed the back wall with mosaic lily pads in white, blue, and gray,” using materials from Westside Tile and Stone in Beverly Hills, says Shoener. Then she had a partial privacy wall painted with a faux finish that evokes a cloudy day.

Lifestyle Rules Indoor Outdoor

Of course, Southern California’s cloudy days bring rain only rarely; Ennisbrook’s water regulations dictated the choices for landscaping on the expansive lot, which includes a casita that doubles as a studio. A front lawn is actually artificial turf, bordered by mounds of prairie grass, while olive and strawberry trees fill other parts of the property.

After a year of construction, the family moved in late last fall, just in time to celebrate the holidays indoors and out.


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