East Coast polish and West Coast casual live happily ever after in this storybook home in Pacific Palisades, California.
Nestled in the rolling hills of Pacific Palisades, a tony Los Angeles enclave on the ocean, this shingle-style house is the
perfect marriage of East and West—coasts, that is.
With a wide front porch, tons of wicker, and plenty of antiques, the house has as much classic style as an old Hamptons beach retreat. At the same time, batik prints, mercury glass accessories, and a mix of English and American antiques infuse the house with laid-back California cool and Old Hollywood glamour, too.
The designer, Lee Ann Thornton, brought the outdoors inside with both color and pattern. In the dining room, a verdant green hand-painted Chinoiserie wallpaper, plus petal-pink chandelier shades, echo the palette from the view outside. The Regency-style table and English sideboard are more typical of an elaborate dinner party setting than a beach barbecue.
Lee Ann's first order of business was to connect the house's interiors to its garden. Filled with boxwoods, peonies, hydrangeas,
lavender, and roses, the garden rivals those of cottages in the Cotswolds, and sets a joyous tone up front that Lee Ann wanted
to carry through the house. "As you walk up to the porch, past the pool and patio, you pass hundreds of David Austin roses,"
she says. "It's so cheerful, the blooms practically say, 'Welcome, come on in!'"
Nearly the entire front wall of the house is lined with windows and French doors, which lead to the primary living spaces—the living room, dining room, and kitchen. "The whole front of the house opens up to the garden, so those colors were a natural inspiration for the interiors," says Lee Ann.
In the family room, the tufted chairs are upholstered in Carolina Irving's Kandyli. The walls are covered in grasscloth by Phillip Jeffries, and the moorish mirror is from Hollywood at Home. "My look is anything but trendy," says Lee Ann. "It's about gracious living with a romantic yet current feeling."
Almost every room in the house now features at least one floral pattern; three rooms (the dining room, upstairs den, and master bedroom) have floral wallpapers, a hallmark of classic cottages. But mixed in with all those flowery patterns are bohemian prints in bright colors that add a touch of relaxed California cool. For example, in the office, Lee Ann gave an antique English sofa a trippy twist by upholstering it in an orange-and-pink batik fabric.
Despite the provenance of the furnishings, the house exudes a down-to-earth, welcoming vibe, thanks to Lee Ann's easy mix of casual elements with more formal ones. The upstairs TV den—nicknamed "the snuggle room"—has two double-wide chaises upholstered in creamy crewelled cotton and surrounded by French blue accents.