Col­or­ful in Cream

Vin­tage fur­nish­ings and a neu­tral color pal­ette make this Cal­i­for­nia beach cot­tage a warm fam­ily home.

Country Sampler Autumn Decorating SIP 2018 - - Inside - Pho­tographed by Grey Crawford. Styled by Sun­day Hen­drick­son. Writ­ten by Cara Labrie.

When Mary Smilove be­gan dec­o­rat­ing her Santa Mon­ica, Cal­i­for­nia, beach cot­tage, she didn’t let its small size get in the way of her big ideas. Years of col­lect­ing and repur­pos­ing trea­sures came to fruition in the 1,000-square-foot home where she raised her chil­dren.

“For me, when you want to show off any kind of col­lec­tion, a clean pal­ette is al­ways bet­ter,” she says. “I wanted the col­lec­tions to shine. I was picky about be­ing monochro­matic in whites and ivories. I kept the colors pretty con­sis­tent through­out to make it feel larger.”

The re­sult is a space that’s all about func­tion—open shelv­ing and step stools in the kitchen for all those lit­tle ones—and re­spon­si­ble de­sign. Mary em­braced the con­cept of “up­cy­cling,” find­ing a new pur­pose for items that might oth­er­wise be con­sid­ered for a trash heap.

Vin­tage fur­nish­ings and a neu­tral color pal­ette make this Cal­i­for­nia beach cot­tage a warm fam­ily home.

Con­sider the master bed­room head­board: It’s an old barn door, stripped and painted and turned on its side. An old oar found on a trip to Bal­ti­more be­came a fo­cal point of the liv­ing room wall. Rather than hide her jadeite din­ner­ware col­lec­tion be­hind a cup­board, Mary put in open shelv­ing to show it off and make it avail­able for daily use.

“It’s been a pas­sion to find a dif­fer­ent pur­pose for some­thing,” she says. “I al­ways like the sto­ries be­hind vin­tage items. It’s col­lect­ing mo­ments and mem­o­ries.”

While the home show­cases Mary’s chic old-is-new sen­si­bil­ity, she also ap­plies the same con­cepts to her sea­sonal dec­o­rat­ing. In the fall, she col­lects flow­ers, leaves, sticks and pinecones to use in cen­ter­pieces and other dec­o­ra­tive ac­cents. Fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles al­ways make for tasty, col­or­ful ac­cents as well.

“I love wild­flow­ers,” she says. “Dur­ing the fall, we’d do green apples as dis­play, other fruits and veg­eta­bles. Some­times, it just takes one piece to spark an idea.”

“Some­times, it just takes one piece to SPARK an IDEA.”

ABOVE LEFT: Ready for a fall party? It doesn’t have to be all about pump­kins. Se­lected gourds, au­tumn flo­rals and the smell of fresh-baked won­ders cre­ate a per­fectly sea­sonal scene. An orange slice pro­vides a pop of color— and vi­ta­min C—to an adult bev­er­age.

ABOVE: Ea­ger fin­gers can sneak a cookie or two from the vin­tage-in­spired bak­ery dis­plays. The mir­ror above the high-back farm­house sink re­flects a view of kids play­ing in the yard.

ABOVE: No need to hide a fan­tas­tic col­lec­tion of vin­tage jadeite dishes—dis­play it! Ac­cents of green, from the din­ner­ware to apples and flo­rals, cre­ate an ap­pe­tiz­ing pal­ette for Mary Smilove’s kitchen. Butcher-block coun­ters co­or­di­nate with both the floor­ing and the cen­ter ta­ble.

ABOVE: To make a small space feel larger—the home is only 1,000 square feet—mary chose a monochro­matic color scheme with hues of vanilla, cream and white. Up­cy­cled an­tiques and fam­ily heir­looms, such as the oar over the mir­ror and framed black-and­white and sepia-toned pho­to­graphs, add vis­ual punch to an oth­er­wise neu­tral space.

ABOVE: Fill dis­play shelves with small ob­jects that speak to you. Here, Mary em­braced the home’s steps-fromthe-ocean lo­ca­tion with shells and fam­ily pho­tos along­side mes­sage-ina-bot­tle-ready ves­sels.

A chalk­board wall pro­vides the per­fect lo­ca­tion for sched­ules, doo­dles and height checks. A step stool al­ways helps lit­tle ones feel like they’re part of the fam­ily.

LEFT:Man’s best friend de­serves a spe­cial place, too. Miss Pearl’s pri­vate dog door is the heart of the ca­ninethemed niche in the bath­room.

ABOVE: Bath­rooms are ideal spa­ces for fun decor. Mary kept the orig­i­nal corn-yel­low van­ity tile (re­flected in the mir­ror) and em­braced the happy color with walls painted in stripes. Ca­nine paint­ings are a nod to the fam­ily dog, whose dog door is nearby.

LEFT: Cre­ate lay­ers of in­ter­est­ing decor for a dy­namic space. In the master bed­room, the head­board is a re­cy­cled barn door turned side­ways. The mir­ror over the fire­place is an old man­tel with a mir­ror in­serted in the open­ing. No­tice the va­ri­ety of tex­tures—smooth, rough, soft, nat­u­ral, man­u­fac­tured.

LEFT: A ro­man­tic master bed­room doesn’t need to be es­pe­cially fem­i­nine. Mary rou­tinely changes the bed­ding, but the nat­u­ral stone and wood re­main no mat­ter the fab­ric treat­ments.

LEFT: Keep crisp tow­els within easy reach, but hide away un­sightly toi­letries be­hind closed doors, like in this vin­tage server turned van­ity. Fresh flow­ers lend a soft touch, while vin­tage-in­spired fix­tures con­tinue an old-as-new theme.

ABOVE: Re­pur­posed pieces—whether art­work, a sign, a star or a wa­ter­ing can—add per­son­al­ity to out­door ar­eas such as this cov­ered porch. Sim­i­lar col­lec­tions punc­tu­ate Mary’s in­door decor.

OP­PO­SITE: This out­door pa­tio em­braces any sea­son. The fire­place warms up a cool fall gath­er­ing, and there’s just enough light to bring a cup of cider to your lips. A soft throw nearby is ready in case it gets a lit­tle chilly. ABOVE: A pair of Adiron­dack chairs of­fers a quiet respite in the back­yard. Over­growth pro­vides pri­vacy as well as color, con­trast­ing the vanilla and cream hues found in­side.

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