California casual is the latest interior design trend that has stolen our hearts. This laid-back, yet luxurious aesthetic has gained popularity for its ability to successfully – and beautifully – combine comfort and style.
'Light' and 'airy' are the buzzwords for this refined look, it’s the epitome of cool – think Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi – their stunning former living room hits all the notes for this uber cool trend. There’s very little to dislike about it, it’s lived in but edited – minimalist yet warm.
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But how easy it is to achieve the California casual look in your home? The answer is surprisingly simple – just look to nature.
It is this affinity with nature that has shaped Ellen and Portia's blurring of boundaries within their home. For the interiors, the power duo enlisted the help of Clement Design for their former home in Trousdale.
Clement Design looked to the easy-going decorative style of California for inspiration. The mid-century modern seating pairs beautifully with the curvaceous design, while colors taken from nature – taupe, burnt orange, forest green, and sand – are inspired by the lush, rugged landscape outside.
Natural materials are used throughout and enhance the harmony of the scheme. They are, like everything else in Ellen and Portia's home, perfectly pitched and poised.
Textures and beautiful tactile pieces are really at the heart of this look. Hand-crafted beechwood mirrors – circular is good – earthenware pots, artisanal baskets and unique chairs made by skilled craftsmen will all create the desired effect. Breezy yet grounded, think calm and welcoming with a color palette of ochres, off-whites and dusky tones, like in this room by Clements Design.
This trend shouldn't look pretentious or too streamlined. California Casual style is effortless, or rather that’s how it needs to look. There are no bold color statements with this style, it’s all about subtleties and light, as Lou Graham, founder of Graham & Green explains:
‘California casual style is often described as 'warm minimalism'. Its use of light and texture means that, despite the minimalism of this style, it never feels cold or uncomfortably modern. '
'The way you achieve this is by using neutral wall colors and light wood to bounce sunlight around the room. Incorporating natural textures, such as woven rattan and beautiful geometric rugs, also adds warmth. Plants will bring subtle splashes of color, while a trestle table gives off a vibe of casual elegance.’
Shop the 'California casual' look
There is a definite coastal feel to California Casual, too, and the outdoors and indoors is blurred. Here, our editors have picked their favorite products to help your replicate the look in your own home.
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Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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