Designer Haley Weidenbaum teams up again with a young couple to turn their open-floorplan home into a beachy retreat inspired by both coasts.
When Meghan and Pete bought a new home in an up-and-coming LA neighborhood, there was no question they’d enlist designer’s help. After partnering on a previous project the young couple knew she could create an inviting space that perfectly matched their personality.
“The house had a great layout, a large outdoor space, and a hint of Cape Cod-meets-So-Cal-beach-house,” Haley explains. “They both are the most cheerful, welcoming, and happiest clients so I wanted their house to reflect their ‘joie de vivre’ attitude. This was the first home they bought together, and when I first toured it Meghan and Pete were so proud to show me around to each room (even with barely any furniture). I knew that when I was done with the design they probably would never leave. My goal here (and with all my clients) was for them to fall in love with their house all over again every time they step through the front door.”
For Haley that meant balancing coastal charm from both the Pacific and the Atlantic—particularly leaning on from Massachusetts-inspired accents while layering on Cape Cod’s hallmark architecture—like wainscoting, shutters, and new bright paint colors. While the word “coastal” might seem fussy for a modern couple, Haley knows the genre has evolved.
“It’s timeless and always will feel fresh, welcoming, and cozy,” Haley explains. “Coastal no longer means nautical. It has a tranquil and serene sentiment thanks to the palette drawn from the ocean and materials found on a beach. Rather than being about cheesy pictures of beachy sunsets or cliche anchors, coastal style has become more about a feeling of tranquility that mixes muted blues/grays, bright whites, organic fabrics, natural materials, and comfortable and casual furniture.”
With that new zen vibe established, Haley piled on textures and textiles to ensure the space felt as young and fresh as the couple. The plethora of sea-inspired shades feel more neutral than overwhelming in the designer’s capable hands.
“When introduced in subtle patterns, blues and greys remain neutral,” Haley explains. “The key is not introducing a bunch of overpowering patterns. Mixing patterns that vary in scale and size is the best way to make sure they all flow together in one room.”
Proportion was also key to maintaining the flow. To help the space feel more expansive, Haley opted for low sofa and benches throughout the space to maintain an unbroken eyeline. Large area rugs anchor the furniture and fool visitors into thinking there’s more ample square footage. And a truly classic coastal favorite helps complete the illusion.
“To make this space feel bigger we used bright white paint on the wainscoting,” Haley explains. “It made the space feel so much more open and fresh. My go-to bright white to make spaces feel larger is Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace. It’s the brightest white they have.”
But the biggest highlight of the reveal might have been the ability to have a true “reveal,” right down to some over-the-top touches.
“Meghan and Pete went on vacation while we were doing the ‘final install’ so it worked out perfectly and became our own little HGTV reveal,” Haley explains. “We were able to finish the major aspects and even do all the little finishing touches like, setting the table with their new plates and linens and filling their home with plants. In addition, while they were on this vacation they got engaged so as a surprise we put a ‘Congratulations’ sign up above their sofa and left them a bottle of champagne! Knowing they were coming home to a finished home was just the cherry on top.”
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And read more about Haley’s project on Rue.