For this Dana Point home, interior designer Wendi Young played off architect Bob White’s farmhouse-style design. PHOTOGRAPHED BY KARYN MILLET
Interior designer Wendi Young adds beachy touches and whimsical details to a farmhouse-style home in The Strand in Dana Point.
Beach house decor has gotten a bad rap over the years, and rightly so. Weathered signs plus sea glass and shells on windowsills equals a look that’s overdone and expected. So when Wendi Young took on a whole-home interior design project in the seaside town of Dana Point, she made sure to create something elegant and unique.
An oversize outdoor swing provides the perfect perch to take in the ocean view PHOTOGRAPHED BY KARYN MILLET
“The aesthetic style our clients requested was a beach house look with farmhouse influences,” says Young, who was referred to the homeowners by the new build’s architect, Bob White of Forest Studio. “Our client loves details and furnishings that invoke a relaxed, country feeling—ones imbued with deep jewel-toned hues and accented with a sense of whimsy. Time-worn finishes and traditional details are her particular favorite.”
Young incorporated aubergine—a favorite color of the client—throughout the home. PHOTOGRAPHED BY KARYN MILLET
Young worked closely with her clients to come up with the design plan, and made sure to consider the architect’s vision when making selects. “While our client allowed us free rein, we approach every project we work on with a collaborative mindset,” she says. “When designing the interior with the architect, we want the result to appear as if it came from one mind... a complete melding of both architecture and interior detailing. When working with the clients, we want the interior to reflect them, their lifestyle and their authentic nature.”
A cozy chair and antique rug add traditional charm to the great room lounge area. PHOTOGRAPHED BY KARYN MILLET
That being said, the clients only brought one item from their previous home—a vintage Louis Vuitton trunk—and had just two must-install new items on their list. “One was an intricately handcrafted leaded-glass chandelier in the shape of an octopus by an artist in Oregon, and the other was a painting of a very large rabbit found at a gallery in Hawaii,” Young says. “We’re always up for a challenge!”
Surrounded by painted brick, an oversize steel window creates a dramatic backdrop for the range and fills the kitchen with natural light. PHOTOGRAPHED BY KARYN MILLET
This being a new build, no structural or color variation changes were needed. “The finish materials were selected to support the architectural style while the furnishings created the farmhouse charm our clients desired,” says Young. “We used a color scheme of aubergine, forest green, navy blue and ochre in various tones for fabrics and wallcoverings. Furnishings were either custom made or found, and many pieces are vintage.”
A rustic painted breakfront cabinet, floral fabrics and lamps made with antique salt-glazed stoneware jugs add to the farmhouse aesthetic PHOTOGRAPHED BY KARYN MILLET
The primary bedroom vestibule is papered in a custom block print by Galbraith & Paul. Th e primary bath table—as seen through the hallway—is vintage. PHOTOGRAPHED BY KARYN MILLET
While the whole home stands out, certain spots really shine, namely the living room, where Young says the clients’ country aesthetic is best illustrated. “While keeping with our clients’ favorite color scheme... we custom designed most of the furnishings with traditional details and a vintage feel,” she says. “Textured mohair covers the sofa, floral linen and pinstriped felt contrast nicely on the dining chairs, and vintage pillows accent the seating. Tables with rustic wood finishes and a large breakfront cabinet painted a beautiful shade of green are reminiscent of time-worn antiques.”
The handmade octopus chandelier hanging over the island was a special request by the client PHOTOGRAPHED BY KARYN MILLET
In the kitchen, the octopus chandelier, lovingly named Oliver, is the star. Young accented the room—complete with white oak cabinetry, white marble and oak floors—with spindle-back bar stools with custom cushions and accessories from local antique stores and the clients’ own treasures. With its stunning ocean view and incredible natural light, the primary bedroom is decorated in a subdued color palette of blue, gray and rust, all with a farmhouse twist.
Of course, when designing a home with ocean views, the outdoor spaces are a top priority. “The shuttered vestibule just outside the great room was the perfect spot to hang a custom swing the size of a twin bed,” Young shares. “Its low-slung profile doesn’t interfere with the views and the shaded space provides the perfect place for an afternoon nap.”
Even though it was difficult at times, Young and her team were able to seamlessly merge two seemingly disparate styles: farmhouse and beachy. “Now that the home is complete, I’d say the team executed our collective vision perfectly: a precise balance of whimsy and refinement, new and old, cozy and light,” she says. “The home teeters that fine line between a crisply detailed beach house and a relaxed country home, which is exactly what the client had hoped for. Mission accomplished!”
The cozy guest bedroom features handpainted wood floors, Rose Tarlow linen drapery and custom bedding topped with a pine green velvet quilt. PHOTOGRAPHED BY KARYN MILLET