Design house: A modernized Spanish-style bungalow – decorated in pure white
New meets old in this cool, calm and collected California home
- (opens in new tab)
- (opens in new tab)
- (opens in new tab)
- Sign up to our newsletter Newsletter
Crisp white walls and an earthy, neutral approach to décor and styling runs throughout this Ocean Park bungalow in Santa Monica.
It's a cozy, curated space that was once cluttered, chaotic and not quite right for its new owners.
'The goal of this project was to modernize a classic Spanish bungalow in Santa Monica while maintaining the integrity of the home,' explains interior designer, Genna Margolis at Shapeside.
'The house had no common thread that pulled the space together, she says. 'There were so many different styles – it was all rather confusing, so we scrapped the lot and started entirely from scratch.'
Genna knew she had her work on her hands with this renovation. She wanted to get it just right for her client. After all, he was trusting her to give him his dream home.
Created by Genna, Shapeside is an award winning full-service interior design firm based in Los Angeles. Before creating Shapeside, Genna worked with some of New York and LA's most well-respected designers.
We speak to Genna Margolis about the design project. You can see more of the world's best homes on our dedicated page.
Dark and dreary before, Genna knew that an open and bright living space was priority number one for her clients. She went for a brilliant white palette to help open up the room. A cozy color scheme featuring tonal blues, wood and copper work wonderfully to enhance the leafy Santa Monica surroundings.
Traditional or contemporary, a white kitchen is a timeless option you can't go wrong with. A white color scheme can make a small space appear bigger and equally won’t clash with the décor in a large, open-plan space.
The designer didn't let a compact room become a barrier to creating a dream dining/ breakfast space.
If there’s one thing that’s going to create the illusion of more space, it’s decluttering – it can actually make a room feel wider in seconds, and that is just what Genna did when designing this bright, white scheme.
When decorating our homes, it’s all too easy to forget the hallway; after all, it’s not as if we spend much time in there. But there are so many reasons for making the effort. A beautiful houseplant take center stage and draws the eye upwards.
'Moving into the the media room, we really weren’t sure what to do with it at first, it was so dark and got very little light,' says Genna. 'This gave us to the idea to lean into the darkness and decorate with a navy color palette – perfect for a cozy movie night in.'
An essential part of any bedroom project, a well-considered lighting scheme will set the mood. Lighting is no longer just functional; it has become a home accessory and sometimes even a design object. Here, a pair of concrete pendants work well to center the space.
The outdoor shower takes its inspiration from the color and vibrancy of Mexico. ''My client went to Mexico and he wanted to recreate the look and feel of one in his home.' Here, Genna used a selection of Spanish-style tiles in rich colors to create a jewel-like, textured look.
Photography / Amy Bartlam
Interior design / Genna Margolis at Shapeside (opens in new tab)
Styling / Meeshaluna (opens in new tab)
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.
'Not washing terracotta pots can put your plants at risk' – expert tips on how to clean them properly
Terracotta pots look very pleasing with an aged patina but here's why it's not a such good idea to let them get too dirty
By Sarah Wilson • Published
Peat moss vs coco coir – gardening experts advise on the best growing medium to use in your garden
Take a look at the pros and cons of the two popular growing mediums
By Drew Swainston • Published