Designer Katie Gebhardt infused California casual style into a Venice Beach home.
Homeowners Nicole and Jack purchased their 1980s A-frame in Venice, California, with the aim of taking its glam aesthetic and transforming it into an airy, modern retreat. Jack, who works in tech, and Nicole, a retired professional tennis player, hired Schwanke Architecture and Katie Gebhardt of Solstice Interiors to update the 40-year-old property to match their active lifestyle and desire for flexible indoor/outdoor entertaining.
While the home’s style was a far cry from the neutral furnishings, organic materials, and pops of edgy decor Gebhardt and the couple opted for, there were plenty of enticing elements. “It had some old Venice house charm with original wood floors,” she says. Plus, there was a large outdoor space shielded from the street and a recently remodeled kitchen, a space the designer chose to cosmetically update.
“They didn’t love the kitchen as it was but wanted to work around it because it was so new,” she says. They bought the home in 2020 and the kitchen was most likely renovated around 2018. The marble countertops and white Shaker cabinetry stayed but were enhanced with black hardware, floating shelves, a modern drywall hood, and mixed metals to “funk it up”, including a nickel Kallista faucet and bronze sconces from Allied Maker. “White kitchens are done so often; I wanted to see how I could make it special,” she adds.
The island, which initially featured a structural post for the loft above, was cleverly reworked. A supporting header allowed for a new streamlined white oak piece topped with one of the designer’s favorite countertop materials: soapstone.
Because of the home’s open-concept layout and connected outdoor space, placing the dining table next to the kitchen seemed like the right call. It provided optimal flow to the multifaceted outdoor area, with a fire pit, pizza oven, and pool. “The architect set us up for success,” Gebhardt says.
The dining table, which was built by Jack’s father, is complemented by a three-arm mobile and Barnaby Lane dining chairs. “Early on in the process we looked at inspiration images and they gravitated toward this California casual-meets-Australian coastal style,” she says.
The tranquil outdoor set-up, which includes green Hay dining chairs, water-hued Fireclay tile, and a concrete fire pit from Lumacast, provides a relaxed setting for lounging all year round.
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This simple yet sophisticated mobile light fixture adds an edgy flair fit for a dining room. The arms even rotate to spread light around the room.
The rich, olive green tone of this tile is great for earth-toned spaces and creating a feeling of tranquility.
This sleet fire pit is perfect for bringing a modern flair to cozy outdoor gatherings all year long. It even has enough space around the rim to place dishes or drinks.
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