“I was going for a traditional California vibe when it came to this home,” says Lindsey Borchard of , who took inspiration from the breezy coastal aesthetic of Southern California while designing a functional-yet-fun space for a young family in Agoura Hills. With two little girls in the home, Borchard was tasked with the challenge of creating an elevated space that would be both kid-friendly and fit for entertaining.
Luckily, the home is blessed with a ton of natural light, which allowed Borchard to be a little more adventurous with the design. “With the floor-to-ceiling windows letting in a flood of light, we could add in more dark colors,” says Borchard. “Because when you have so much light, nothing really seems too heavy in a space.” The dining area was by far the most formal room in the home: The black and wood complement the luxe carpeting and white walls. The modern light fixture adds height to the space, allowing for a lively mix of styles.
“The home is traditional, but the clients’ style is more contemporary,” elaborates Borchard. “So, we had to bring in a modern, mid-century vibe. I like to mix styles, but I have to create the right balance.” She realized, then, that since she went for a darker vibe in the dining room, the breakfast nook could be the child-friendly, bright space the home needed—while still being functional enough for everyday use.
“The kitchen table is actually their old dining room table!” laughs Borchard. “I loved it so much, I had to have it in there. And the sideboard table is metal, but tufted for interest. So here, you have leather, wood, metal, and a mid-century light—it adds so much variation to the room.”
The children’s rooms also deviate from the norm by staying away from the traditional bright pinks that normally accompany little girls’ rooms: a move that was completely intentional. “For the nursery, we knew that the occupant would grow into it, and then have her own opinions of what she likes and doesn’t like,” explains Borchard. “So, I didn’t want a ton of pink in the room—I wanted a neutral color palette, with accents that pop. Then, should she want to change things around, it would be much easier to do so.” The only subtle pink touches come from the wallpaper and a few accent pillows, in order to provide some contrast in terms of the hues present in the space. Wall-to-wall carpeting also adds to the cozy feels.
For the elder daughter’s room, Borchard wanted to do the opposite of a blank palette and play to her favorite hobby, which is reading. “Whenever I design kids’ spaces, I prefer to speak to the kids and find out exactly what they’re looking for in a room, especially because the way kids interact with spaces can be very different from the way adults interact with spaces,” stresses Borchard. “Here, we knew we wanted to design a space where she could escape from her little sister. We wanted her to have her own room to grow.”
To make the space a true oasis, Borchard added some plush carpeting, texture by way of a series of blankets, colorful throw pillows, and woven baskets. However, the true star of the room is the sweet white teepee by the window. “Giving her the tent truly lets her escape, but the beauty is it can also be folded and kept away,” says Borchard. “This was a little space where we kept some of her books, pillows, and blankets, so that they didn't take up the room.”
And to create even more space, Borchard placed the dresser in the closet: “When you’re that small, your clothes don’t take up that much space!” she laughs. “So that was an easy trick.”
The key to making both the kids’ spaces—and really, the entirety of the home—sleek and sophisticated was keeping it decluttered, so that the accent pieces could really shine through. “The home didn’t have a ton of built-in storage, so we had to add things, like the storage shelf in the living room, to keep everything in its place. Also, for the kids’ rooms, baskets of varying heights can be your best friends,” says Borchard. This is evident in the bright playroom, which also makes use of crisp white open shelving for an additional take on toy display.
Borchard’s biggest challenge, however, came from the fact that the family wanted two living rooms right next to one another, and the open floor plan meant that they couldn’t be too similar. “It would be different if one was more formal and the other more casual, but that wouldn’t fit the feel of the home,” says Borchard. “So, we kept the color palette alike—having both the spaces contain two grey sofas, for instance—but tried to make one a little more polished than the other by way of adding leather and mixed metals.”
In the bedrooms, Borchard opted for a similar palette of neutrals with pops of color—shades of blue, to be precise. “I think it adds a sense of serenity to the space,” she says, emphasizing little touches like the blankets and cute, logo-esque artwork. “By adding in pops, it’s a great way to include chic decor without being overly design-y”—an ethos that clearly extends to the entire home in general.
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