House Tour: Vanessa's Sun Filled Bungalow

House Tour: Vanessa's Sun Filled Bungalow

Rebecca Orlov
Oct 10, 2008

Name: Vanessa McLean & Boo Radley
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Size: 1300 sq/ft
Years lived in: Owned for 3 years


Surrounded by lush palm tress and organic plants, Vanessa's sun filled home plays every part that a classic bungalow should. With a comfortable and airy front porch, open floor plan and rustic vibe, Vanessa's home is truly a sanctuary. She kept most of the original architecture in tact (only big change was renovating the very small master bathroom) and Vanessa's home is relaxing and welcoming. We love Vanessa's gorgeous and cozy beach bungalow and are happy to share it with you. Check out the full house tour after the jump.



AT Survey:

My/Our style: Comfortable, bright, warm and welcoming meets the beach. Nice and laid back.

Inspiration: I don't draw from one style. I love flipping through magazines and seeing rooms and styles that I like. I also enjoy going to open houses to see how other people have styled their homes. It gives me design ideas I may never have thought of on my own. I enjoy entertaining so wanted to create an environment that people would feel comfortable in.

Favorite Element: The front garden, the location and the wood fence in the front yard.

Biggest Challenge: My master bathroom is tiny. I knew we needed to make it bigger, which was a challenge because of the limited space. I sealed up a door that was working as another entrance to the hallway, tiled over it, added another shower head and made it a long thin shower with 2 shower heads, one on each end. I would never design it to be so narrow, but it was a great solution and now I feel spoiled with the shower.

The other big challenge is that I am a wine lover and had over a 100 bottles of wine that were warming up to uncomfortable temperatures (no air condition in my beach home). It took a long time for me to find a fridge that looked good and that blended into my small space. The fridge I have is large, but it goes well with the vibe of the home and the furniture and pieces around it. It also says, "Come over for a glass of wine and dinner." I put a bowl that I got from Mexico on top of it to warm up a bit and give it a personality (a great place to pick up dishes, etc. that can act both as nice pieces throughout the house and as great serving dishes for parties) as well as a great painting that is made with gold flecked paint, and catches the sunlight really well and plays well with the color of the wine. Having those 2 pieces there really helps the refrigerator blend in with the rest of the house.

I also read a ton of books and have a ton of books. I found a great day bed for my 2nd bedroom from the Pottery Barn. It acts as a bed, a storage unit and a book shelf as the bottom half of it is an actual book shelf.

What Friends Say: That the house has a great vibe. If it's a day party, everyone loves the light in the living room. If it's an evening party I think everyone loves hanging out in the front yard. It also has a very calm feel to it so it's a great space for just chilling out in and reading. Or napping.

Biggest Embarrassment: My 2nd bedroom. I painted it myself and the color blue didn't turn out the way I thought. It is existing as the "dread 2nd room" where you store everything you aren't quite ready to throw away. We'll get there.

Also the bistro table in the front yard - need one that better suits the personality of the house and the yard. I inherited the one that is out there now.

Proudest DIY: My design idea for the master bedroom which opened up the bathroom and totally changed it from a tiny shower to a spa-like shower.

Biggest Indulgence: The wine fridge! And my bathroom redo. And fresh flowers every week. I love keeping the house filled and decorated with fresh flowers. It's an indulgence, but I love the way it makes the house feel and look. And it's like a rotating piece of art each week. I hang them on my walls with vase holders I got from Pottery Barn as well as place them throughout the house. It's amazing how much flowers can change a room.

Best advice: When you first move into a home you are overwhelmed with excitement about the things you want to change or customize. Sit on those ideas for a while. Get to you know your home and space and how you move and feel in it. Ideas come to you months or even years later that you would never have thought of when first moving into a space. A house is like a relationship; it's filled with surprises.

Dream source: I don't have a dream source. I see things and fall in love, usually because I see a piece and am can see instantly where it belongs in my home. I don't shop at just one store or via one catalogue. And I'm a big believer in the fact that it doesn't have to be expensive to be great.



Came with the house. The wine fridge is Danby Silhouette (ordered online which was better than buying in a wine shop b/c you can find sales and they deliver.)

Came with the house and I need to update!

Custom made L-shaped couch and side chairs were from Sofa U Love. They are made with ultra suede and are a must have in any home. We have a dog and his markings come off with a soapy towel. Even the wine comes out of them. If you can afford to do measurements and have them made, I highly suggest it. My couch is one a favorite of mine and my guests too!

Sleigh bed frame is from a great Pine Wood store on Lincoln that is no longer in business but places like this exist all over! I saw this bed in an expensive catalogue and they made it for me for less than half the price with just the picture.

TV armoire is from Stansbury Collection on a great shop on Abbott Kinney. Well-priced and Armand the owner is a great guy.

Flower vase holders are from Pottery Barn.

Dishes from Mexico. Look around when you are there!

Rose Café in Venice has some great kitchen pieces from time to time. I have some great brightly colored water pitchers and bowls from there that I leave out all of the time b/c they are so pretty.

Throw blankets from Pottery Barn and Fred Segal. I love a good throw blanket. Makes any room that much more cozy.

Shower curtains are from Bed Bath and Beyond- save where you can!

Rugs and Carpets:
Shaggy white rug is from Cost Plus.

Tiles and Stone:
Tiles from Home Depot.

My sister is a photographer so a lot of her pieces are throughout my house (
I also love photos of family and friends. I have a bunch of pictures of my family from when I was a kid that I love. I think that's a must in a home. For me it creates a warmth and a recognition of your past home or homes. Plus, I love feeling like my family is around.

The gold-flecked hummingbird painting was a gift from a dear friend and something that I feel was MADE for my house. The artist's link is- //

Hammock from Pottery Barn.

Dog beds from Tails of Santa Monica (The store on Main St is closed but now available online.)

(Thanks, Vanessa & Boo!)


Photos by Rebecca Orlov

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