Swimwear designer Marysia Dobrzanska Reeves’ home in Venice Beach is an ode to the sunshine state,
Swimwear designer Marysia Dobrzanska Reeves’ home in Venice Beach is an ode to the sunshine state
When it comes to enviable lives, Marysia Dobrzanska Reeves’ is right up there with those of Meghan Markle, David Attenborough and Amal Clooney. The Polish-born swimwear designer lives with her handsome husband, Nathaniel Reeves, and their two daughters on a beachfront house in California that’s so pretty, it is almost inspiring enough to book a one-way flight to LAX. Raised in Europe, she has lived in Venice Beach for years and her interior aesthetic is similar to her renowned swimwear designs—sleek, sexy and chic, with a mix of West Coast glossiness and Old World glamour.
“California has absolutely influenced my interiors,” she says. “I feel like you can’t help but be inspired by the beautiful fauna and flora, the proximity to the beach, the warm climate and the laid-back attitudes. All of those things have informed both my home and our studio.”
Her Polish roots, however, have also played a part, particularly when it comes to accessories. “I left Poland around the age of 14, so I wasn’t yet old enough to start collecting home decor items,” she says. “But I cherish our family’s silver and when I visit Poland this summer, I plan to pick up more to add to my collection.”
Reeves is adept at seamlessly combining the various influences in her life. The former ballerina and long-time surfer realised that she had spent a significant portion of her life wearing leotards and wetsuits—but instead of letting that knowledge slip by, she decided to create a business plan from it. As she was exploring her interest in fashion, she discovered she could translate her early ballet and surfing uniforms into sleek, simple swimwear and effortless beach dresses for her swimwear brand, Marysia.
This pared-back aesthetic comes out in her home, which is memorable for its airiness, its neutral palette and its welcoming simplicity. Antique mahogany furniture centres the otherwise all-white bedroom, while touches of colour are provided by bunches of wildflowers, gold-trimmed mirrors or the occasional ornate bedside table.
“A natural palette is soothing in a home and I always enjoy adding small details with texture and colour to make a visual impact,” says Reeves. “I think that adding various natural textures gives a space warmth, along with personal items with meaning to the home owner, so the space doesn’t feel too sterile. We added family heirlooms to each room along with varying textures and natural elements.”
Light fixtures play an important part in her home, despite the blinding Californian sunshine outside negating the need for
electric light for most of the day. From midcentury chandeliers in the sitting room to ultramodern snake reading lights in the bedroom, these creative lamps add real character to the spaces.
“After finding the right fixtures for each room myself, I relied on my interior designer to help with the placement and installation of the fixtures,” says Reeves, who hunts for her perfect accessories online but also everywhere from Californian flea markets to Beverly Hills boutiques. “I also give a lot of credit to the architect who designed the home, David Hertz, along with my interior designer, Martha Mulholland,” she adds.
Houses with a neutral colour palette and simple designs can be in danger of feeling cold, but Reeves’ Venice Beach home is warm and inviting—not an easy balance to strike. This is partly due to the running theme of gold, which is a constant in every room and found on lampshades, corner tables and vases, lit up particularly prettily by the Californian sunshine. Other tactics to bring warmth to the rooms include lots of emerald green pot plants filling every corner, and floor-to-ceiling windows.
“Plants are such an important part of my interiors’ aesthetic,” says Reeves. “We love live plants, and in every one of our homes we’ve incorporated potted plants and trees into the design. When it comes to picking the perfect ones, I think that scale is important. You need to be sure that the size and
height work well within the space, and doesn’t overwhelm it or get lost.
“The colour and size of the leaves is also important,” she continues. “Pick between light and airy palm fronds to dense and large leaves on a ficus as they can both really change the look of a room, depending on what you’re trying to achieve and your interior design style. Also, always remember to put your plant somewhere with plenty of natural light.”
A fanatical surfer, Reeves is a woman with a passion for the outdoors and beach life, so it is no surprise that her favourite room in the house is actually outdoors—her sleek rooftop terrace, which doubles as their entertaining area on warm summer evenings and their breakfast spot all year round.
“I love our rooftop deck and patio,” she says. “The views make you feel like you’re in a treehouse high above the street and close to the tops of the palm trees. It’s where I go after work to unwind.”
The enviable California girl aesthetic has been wooing us all since the Beach Boys first sung about it in the 1960s. But rarely is it styled as warmly or creatively as by Reeves, who has imbued both her swimwear and her interiors with an idealised model for West Coast living.
“I think that both inform the other,” says Reeves. “My aesthetic, whether it be in my home or the way that I dress or design my collections, is always about quality and craftsmanship, minimalist design and thoughtful details. That’s what makes me happy.”
A SUNNY DISPOSITION From left: The Californian lifestyle provided a significant source of inspiration for the interiors; a whimsical collection of art adds colour and character to the stairwell
LIFE LIVED WELL From left: Live plants are an important part of the design aesthetic; Reeves’ favourite part of the house is the spacious rooftop terrace, where she goes to unwind after work