Liz Strong and Dave Reiné, shown with twins Lucia and
Laine, have been sprucing up their old home little by little. They decided to live with the existing siding
colors and instead paint the brown fence and hang new gates outfitted with knobs
from old doors.
United by similar tones, an assortment
of chairs from flea markets, including one
standout vintage peacock chair, adds
personality. An outdoor lantern-style
pendant painted yellow amps up the energy (Ironlak Spray Paint in Butter; dickblick.com).
after stepping into her Los Angeles home, Liz Strong kicks off her red clogs to reveal one striped sock and one solid, both brightly colored. In that simple act, she shares something about her personality as well as her decorating style. She’s a bit of a free spirit who’s drawn to pattern and color and who loves mixing not matching. “I like things that feel more evolved, collected,” says Liz, a stylist for magazines and catalogs.
On the surface, it may seem like the 1904 Craftsman house she bought six years ago was an odd choice with its dark brown floors, woodwork, and cabinets. It was too formal and serious, Liz says. Still, she liked the idea of a house with history and was confident she could lighten things up. (It was a smart move space-wise now that she shares the 1,600 square feet with Dave Reiné and their twin babies.)
A believer in home facelifts on a budget, Liz relied on paint for the big-impact change: coating the not-in-greatshape wood floors in muted green. “Once the floors were painted, the house brightened up,” she says.
Sunday morning shopping sprees to L.A.’s famed Rose Bowl Flea Market helped Liz achieve the unmatched look she loves. Dining chairs are a character-rich mash-up of styles, and vintage paintings let her fill walls on the cheap. Those special finds, Liz says, are key to giving a home comfort and soul. “It’s about creating a feel, not a look.”
Liz left the stained wood
in the entry, above, as a nod to the home’s Craftsman roots then
covered the walls in wallpaper. The brown wood, she says, works
better with the bold hydrangea pattern than
white trim, which would have been too
strong a contrast.