House Tour: Beige (But Not Boring) in Laguna Beach
***Written by Arlyn Hernandez
I can’t remember who said it, but I DO remember that the following statement shook me to my core when I heard it: we all have the same 24 hours in a day as Beyoncé. Um, whoa…that’s both a personal attack as well as an incredibly inspiring notion. Either I’m sleeping too much and taking too much time in the morning to eat my scrambled eggs with a side of Gilmore Girls on Netflix, or I’m doing something SERIOUSLY wrong. This same thought popped back into my mind when I heard from Amy Oppedisano of Salt Coastal Interiors when she told me a little back story on this house, and her and her husband’s main business. Amy and her husband Derek run the very first publicly traded Cannabis-centric company in the US. NBD, obviously. She heads up the creative in the marketing department while he’s the CEO. With all the extra time in their days (like our girl Bey) they squeeze in, oh…flipping and designing homes…in their “spare” time (oh yeah, and they also have two young boys). This house tour of a Laguna Beach townhome we’re about to share with you is one of these flips (which they usually live in while working on). “This home is our current residence but we never stay long—we have moved 10 times in our 12 years together! Every time we settle into a new home, we always say it is the last one, but only time will tell. We sell our homes fully furnished and handing the keys to a grateful family who is thrilled to enjoy a newly remodeled home that we designed is rewarding beyond measure. While somedays our life can seem hectic, ultimately we are just a couple of nomads with a deep love for the entire design process!”
Though Amy said she’s designed homes as large as 10,000 square feet for clients, it’s the smaller ones (like this townhome that’s 1,600 square feet) that are the most challenging because you have to maximize every inch, hence attention to detail is crucial. “I started by taking an inventory of all of our necessities and I made a HUGE list of measurements—coffee maker, blender, toaster, all the way on down to how many linear feet of clothes and plates we had. Once I knew my storage necessities, I started with the cabinetry and worked backward from there. It is very challenging to be stylish if your home feels cluttered! To make the home feel more spacious, we painted EVERYTHING white. We are a laid back family spending most of our free time at the beach, so we wanted our interiors to feel as laid back and comfortable as our lifestyle.”
We’ll have Amy take it from here and walk you through her home and more of her thought process behind its design.
Hi EHD readers. Welcome to my current home! We spend most of our family time in this living room so a comfortable sofa was the anchor point of the space. This sectional is from HD Buttercup (no longer available, unfortunately) and I loved that the large corner piece is big enough to do some serious snuggling! Because we went with a very neutral color palette, we worked in numerous textures and patterns for visual interest.
The coffee table is from RH Teen and I’d encourage every small-space homeowner or renter to think outside the box when shopping for stylish pieces. Many retailers market smaller scale items toward kids or teens but that doesn’t mean they lack sophistication! This piece was scaled perfectly for a small room and wound up being more affordable than comparable “adult” options.
The kitchen was the toughest portion to design because it requires the most storage. I am an avid home cook and collector of Japanese dollar store dishware (I mean, who can resist beautiful blue and white plates and bowls that cost ONE DOLLAR!? Stay tuned for my episode of Hoarders: The Dishware Edition). This kitchen functions beautifully for us due to my detailed measuring of everything we needed to store, so I highly recommend this for anyone designing their own kitchen. It feels like a lot of work at the outset, but it is all worth it in the long run.
To break up the fact that we painted the walls and cabinets all white, we did a solid marble backsplash behind the stove and custom designed white oak shelving held in place by matte black brackets. The shelving is my favorite feature of the home; it was a very simple and affordable way to add huge style to elevate the entire space.
The breakfast nook area is the tightest space in the home. The wall of cabinets behind the nook serve as pantry, dog food/supply storage, as well as appliance garage and some dish storage. The microwave, blender and coffee maker are hidden in those cabinets and I LOVE the fact that we don’t have to keep appliances on the countertop. To make the space flow, we purchased a small oval table and four chairs (we pulled two away for the photograph so it didn’t look too cluttered). Dinner parties are just never going to happen in this home, but we can accommodate our little family of four and that is all that matters to us at the end of the day!
In the desk area, we mimicked the shelving from the kitchen and I styled these shelves with family photos, books, and some vintage pieces that were left to me by my grandmother. I am very blessed that my passion for design started as a young child because my grandparents were literally SO COOL. I was given their full collection of Russel Wright dishes they received as a wedding gift in 1954 (the gray bowl above is one of the pieces) as well as an original Eva Zeisel black coffee pitcher (also above in the shelves). The square photo in the black frame is my mom as a newborn in 1955 being held by these incredibly stylish grandparents to whom I would definitely credit my interest and confidence in pursuing careers in creative fields.
The art nook is another example of how we maximized our space. The cabinets below the artwork actually house some really boring stuff like routers and cables and blah blah blah. We made the space look like a cute little seat with picture frames and a sconce to take something functional and turn it into a little corner of the home that feels intentional.
As busy working parents, our master bedroom is our sanctuary. Both my husband and I feel at peace in a simple space—no visual noise or clutter allowed, hence the decision to keep the walls clean, smooth and airy. The rustic beam and vaulted ceiling keep the space interesting amidst so much simplicity. We love the freshness of bright white linens paired with simple lines and a few pops of muted color in the pillows.
The nightstands by Target’s Project62 line are some of the best furniture pieces I have ever purchased—there is a flap in the back that opens to accommodate an electrical outlet and USB port. Genius!
The master bathroom is a wonderful example of how a simple reworking of your walls/floorplan can turn a cramped space into something beautiful and functional. We took an awkward sliding-door closet and tiny master bath that was oriented to fit into a corner and simply reconfigured a couple of walls to create a spacious feeling master and walk-in closet. Where there used to be one tiny corner sink, we were able to fit this beautiful Restoration Hardware double-sink vanity to maximize storage and add counter space. This reconfiguration also allowed for a much larger shower.
This bath serves as a powder room as well as the kids’ bathroom. The space was very tight with the door swinging in past the vanity. After much diligent research, we realized that our only option was a custom vanity and we loved the idea of something simple and clean that wouldn’t make the space feel even tighter than it already was. The marble top was a good fit with the white walls and the black frame is architecturally interesting without feeling heavy or imposing. The artwork on the wall is one of our sons running on the beach that the home is situated on. The photo was even taken by the same photographer (Alison Bernier) who photographed the entire home.
Because this is a two-bedroom home to house four people (two of whom are very rambunctious boys), we needed a bedroom that could function as a space to accommodate storage, sleeping and playing. The built-in bunks keep the entire floor space of the room open so that the bedroom could also function as a playroom.
The drawers below the chalk-wall store toys and the wall itself functions both practically and artistically. Once my older son entered grade school, we found that by placing his weekly spelling words on the chalk wall, he boosted his spelling test grades drastically. This is probably the best example of form and function I have ever designed!
And finally, this last multi-purpose room. This space is more than just a bathroom. The home is a 3-story townhome and this represents the first floor which serves as a combo bath, laundry and mudroom. Because space was limited and we wanted to maximize it, we did a stackable washer/dryer so that we could accommodate a full bath and the mudroom is designed where each family member has a “locker” consisting of hat cupboard, bag cabinet and shoe drawer. Because the home is essentially a beach house, it was important to us to have a sand-friendly spot to shower feet and run in and out for bathroom breaks. I have gotten tons of questions about how the concrete tiles wear and I have to say I LOVE them. I feel as if the wear-and-tear makes them softly patina into an authentically beautiful material as a result. It’s kind of a great metaphor for life if you are a person who puts WAY too much thought into tiles (as I clearly do).
Thank you SO much Amy for sharing your beautifully designed home with us.
1. Block Print | 2. Floor Lamp | 3. Sectional (similar) | 4. Coffee Table | 5. Curtain Panels (custom design) | 6. Rug (similar) | 7. Armchair | 8. Mud Cloth Throw Pillow | 9. Mongolian Lamb’s Wool Throw Pillow | 10. Tassel Throw Pillow | 11. Plaid Lumbar Throw Pillow | 12. Tassel Throw Blanket | 13. Cactus Silk Throw Pillow | 14. Driftwood (similar) | 15. Leather Side Chair | 16. Earthenware Coffee Pot (similar) | 17. Ceramic Vase | 18. Woven Basket (similar) | 19. Small Ceramic Vase (similar) | 20. Task Lamp | 21. White Faceted Bowl (similar) | 22. Agate Bookend (similar) | 23. Fluted Bowl (similar) | 24. Black Vase (similar) | 25. Decorative Ruffled Dish (similar) | 26. Roman Shade (custom design) | 27. Two-Tone Vase | 28. Pedestal Table | 29. Wishbone-Style Dining Chair | 30. Pendant | 31. Sconce | 32. Artwork (similar) | 33. Polished Nickel Frame | 34. Surf Shack | 35. Glass Vase (similar) | 36. Cabinet Knob
1. Roman Shade (custom design) | 2. Duvet Cover | 3. Bed Frame | 4. Blue Fringe Pillow | 5. Indigo Blue Lumbar Pillow | 6. Table Lamp | 7. Nightstand | 8. Basket Tray | 9. Cream Ceramic Bud Vase (similar) | 10. Porcelain Tray (similar) | 11. Glass Beads | 12. Bench | 13. Rug (similar)| 14. African Hausa Pillow (similar) | 15. Navy Plaid Pillow (similar) | 16. Indigo Shibori African Mud Cloth Pillow | 17. Sconce | 18. Metal Chair | 19. Sheet Set | 20. Slate Linen Duvet Cover | 21. Letter Board | 22. Picture Ledge | 23. Striped Baskets (similar) | 24. Fire Truck Toy | 25. Recycling Truck Toy | 26. Bean Bag (similar) | 27. Black Knob | 28. Throw Blanket (similar) | 29. Stuffed Panda Toy (similar) | 30. Stuffed Alligator Toy | 31. Surfing Sloth Tandem Sloth Art Print | 32. Wooden Print Dowel Hanger | 33. A-Z Bookends | 34. Black Handle
1. Wood Double Vanity | 2. Mirror | 3. Wall-mount Faucet | 4. Sconce | 5. Hex Marble Tile | 6. Vessel Sink (similar) | 7. Mirror | 8. Black Faucet | 9. Beach Print (similar) | 10. Toilet Paper Holder (similar) | 11. Marble and Metal Single Vanity (similar) | 12. Soap | 13. Block Print | 14. White Planter (similar) | 15. Hammered Brass Bowl (similar) | 16. Cement Tile Print 1 | 17. Cement Tile Print 2 | 18. Pebble Tile (similar) | 19. Marble Subway Tile (similar) | 20. Towel (similar) | 21. Cabinet Pulls | 22. Cabinet Knobs | 23. Roman Shade (custom design) | 24. Kitchen Faucet | 25. Double Farmhouse Sink (similar) | 26. Round Wood Cutting Board (similar) | 27. Rectangular Cutting Board | 28. White Hex Planter (similar) | 29. Sconce | 30. White Marble Candleholder | 31. Bud Vase | 32. Landscape Print (similar) | 33. Black Marble Candleholder | 34. Black Wood Bowls (similar) | 35. Tiered Hanging Shelf (similar) | 36. Natural Wood Bowl (similar) | 37. Striped 2’x3’ Rug