GIVE & TAKE

This South­ern Cal­i­for­nia fam­ily passed on a home with more space and bath­rooms, in­stead choos­ing a com­pact condo near the coast. It may be small, but it’s also un­mis­tak­ably modern—and em­phat­i­cally theirs.

Do It Yourself - - CONTENTS - WORDS SARAH WOLF HALVERSON PHO­TO­GRAPHS ED­MUND BARR STYLING KAREN REI­NECKE

A 1,000-square-foot condo gets a makeover that checks all the boxes for this young fam­ily to live their best Cal­i­for­nia life.

THE MOYSA FAM­ILY (GE­OFF, BRI, GREYSON, AGE 12, EMER­SON, 9, AND DOG CHOP­PER) SHARE A TWO-BED­ROOM, ONE-BATH­ROOM 1,000-SQUARE-FOOT CONDO—AND FOR GOOD REA­SON.

“South­ern Cal­i­for­nia is crazy ex­pen­sive, and this is what we can af­ford … we can’t see our­selves too far from the ocean, and with that lo­ca­tion comes an ex­pense,” Bri says of their thoughts when de­cid­ing to buy a home in­stead of rent. “Do we move in­land and get more house for our money, or do we stay here and make it work? We chose to stay and make it work.”

In­vest­ing in their condo was worth it, thanks to a few fab­u­lous fea­tures: the condo’s lo­ca­tion ( just 15 min­utes from Dana Point), out­door space (a nice-size back­yard), and a nearly blank slate for trans­for­ma­tion.

But that also meant see­ing past dated rooms in a sea of baby blue—on car­pet, ver­ti­cal blinds, even the toi­let seat!—to what the condo could be, once clad in in­te­rior stylist Bri’s sig­na­ture tans, grays, blacks, and whites. She is quick to credit Ge­off for be­ing an ex­cel­lent team­mate—the per­spi­ra­tion be­side her in­spi­ra­tion—and tack­ling ev­ery project that came their way. To­gether they tore out car­pet, spruced up the con­crete un­der­neath, over­hauled the kitchen, in­stalled benches and a van­ity, beefed up base­boards, and crafted wood shelves for nearly ev­ery room.

The cozy condo makes the most of ev­ery inch, and it all bears the Moysas’ modern, fit-for-a-fam­ily finger­prints.

“There’s a pride that comes with knock­ing these things out your­self and know­ing you sin­gle­hand­edly made your home what it is,” Bri says. “It’s all on us to get it done.” The re­sult is to­tally worth the give-and-take.

“I HAVE AL­WAYS SAID THAT I NEVER WANTED TO BUY A HOUSE THAT’S AL­READY DONE—IT WOULDN’T BE OUR STYLE. WE WANTED SOME­THING WE COULD DO OUR­SELVES AND MAKE IT OUR OWN.”

BRI MOYSA, HOME­OWNER

UP THE WALLS Bri’s hus­band, Ge­off, crafted a dis­play lad­der out of $9 worth of lum­ber, above right, to gather an ar­range­ment of beau­ti­ful blan­kets. Shal­low ledges on an­other wall barely in­trude into a path­way through the room but still show­case fa­vorite art­work.

HUB OF THE HOUSE A good-size sofa, clean­lined arm­chairs, and a gi­ant ot­toman cov­ered in leather pro­vide plenty of seat­ing in the great-room so the whole Moysa crew can gather, this photo. Cur­tains hung nearly at the ceil­ing vis­ually stretch the space, as do the leggy chairs that let sun­light stream through them—de­sign tricks home­owner and stylist Bri Moysa em­ployed to make the room seem more spa­cious.

LA­BOR OF LOVE The old kitchen was a cave of brown tiles and heavy oak cab­i­nets, which the Moysas lived with for years un­til they saved enough money to re­vamp it prop­erly. They tore out up­per cab­i­nets, re­painted the lower ones, and in­stalled butcher-block coun­ter­tops—all on their own. “It was a six-month process for us,” Bri says. “Talk about a mas­sive high five when we were done!”

THE DARK SIDE One wall in the great-room de­fines both the kitchen and eat­ing area with a swath of rich black paint, left. “That cor­ner needed some­thing,” Bri says, “and paint is a very in­ex­pen­sive way to make a vis­ual im­pact. It guides the eye to the kitchen, the benches pop more, the art on the wall pops more—it adds depth and in­ter­est to the space.”

SUB­WAY TILES ARE A CLAS­SIC CHOICE, BUT BRI MADE THEM MODERN BY BUY­ING AN ELON­GATED VER­SION WITH A MATTE FIN­ISH AND HAV­ING THEM IN­STALLED IN A GRID PAT­TERN. TRA­DI­TIONAL WITH A TWIST.

KEEP­ING IT CLEAR Just in­side the front door, what was once a din­ing room now serves as Bri’s of­fice and the pa­per­work hub of the house, right. She de­lib­er­ately keeps the desk­tops clear, stash­ing bills, cal­en­dars, and school pa­pers on the shelves and in the bas­kets mounted on the wall so the area stays or­ga­nized. The pen­dant was once a ta­ble lamp, which Ge­off trans­formed into a hang­ing fix­ture with a kit from a home cen­ter.

THESE BENCHES NOT ONLY STASH EX­TRA KITCHEN EQUIP­MENT AND KIDS’ TOYS OUT OF SIGHT, BUT ALSO TAKE UP LESS SPACE THAN CHAIRS WOULD.

CLEVER CHOICES Smart, stylish strate­gies saved the day in the new din­ing area, this photo. The oval ta­ble is long enough to fit the fam­ily but nar­row enough to avoid crowd­ing the liv­ing area. Black wish­bone chairs slip un­der the ta­ble when not in use, and the hand­crafted ban­quette packs sur­plus stor­age in a slim space. The art­work is a snap­shot of Ge­off as a teenager—Bri scanned it, had it en­larged and printed for $5, and framed it. “So many peo­ple want to know where I got it,” she says. “I should prob­a­bly just sell the print! You’d never know it was just a fam­ily photo.”

OPEN VIEWS Bri out­fit­ted a tiny stretch of wall as a foyer, this photo, com­plete with a con­sole and a row of iron hooks. The first project she and Ge­off tack­led to­gether, it’s made from a sal­vaged board and fancy hardware from An­thro­polo­gie. The mas­ter bed­room is vis­i­ble through dou­ble doors, a charm­ing fea­ture Bri liked about the condo from the get-go be­cause it lets more light flow freely be­tween rooms.

SIN­GLE SPACE The home’s one bath­room, above, doesn’t sac­ri­fice style for func­tion. The IKEA van­ity, built-in mir­rored medicine cabi­net, and float­ing shelves stash tow­els, toi­let pa­per, and other ne­ces­si­ties just where they’re needed. For a co­he­sive scheme through­out the home, Bri re­peated el­e­ments from other rooms (the black faucet, for ex­am­ple, and the round mir­ror).

EX­TE­RIOR DE­SIGN The Moysas hang out on the cov­ered pa­tio over­look­ing their back­yard, above. It’s as co­zily and com­fort­ably ap­pointed—with arm­chairs, pil­lows, a rug, mar­ble ta­ble, and wall hang­ings—as the ad­ja­cent great-room (through glass doors on the left).

IN THE OPEN The laun­dry room, this photo, sits in the hall­way and is vis­i­ble to any­one pass­ing by, so Bri wanted it to be beau­ti­ful. Wall cab­i­nets pro­vide hid­den stor­age, and a metal rod catches hang­ing gar­ments. The cute laun­dry sign hides that un­sightly spot where the wa­ter lines con­nect to the wall.

BEAU­TI­FUL BALANCE The mas­ter bed­room is small, sure, but it’s still brim­ming with pretty and prac­ti­cal ideas, this photo. The hats on the wall aren’t just for show—fair-skinned, red­headed Bri grabs one al­most ev­ery time she heads out­side. One in­vest­ment piece is the gorgeous cot­ton blan­ket with bushy tas­sels from June + Blue (june­and­blue.com); its cost was bal­anced by in­ex­pen­sive framed art (two copies of the same dig­i­tal down­load) and a bed­side sconce that is sim­ply a wood base looped with a bare bulb on a cord.

THIS PHOTO OF BELOVED PUP CHOP­PER CAME FROM PERKIE PRINTS (PERKIEPRIN­TS.COM), WHICH TURNS SNAP­SHOTS OF PETS INTO MODERN ART BY BLOT­TING OUT THE COLOR AND THE BACK­GROUND. MODERN ART Blackand-white art­work, a pair of plants, and a gui­tar—a Christ­mas gift for Greyson—clus­ter on the wall near­est his bed for an in­spir­ing but not-too-busy dis­play, left. To give each child some per­son­al­iza­tion in the room they share, his bed­ding in­cludes more blues and olive greens, while Emer­son’s blushes with some pink. FOR RE­SOURCES SEE PAGE 101.

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