Name: Kara & Ken, with their two kitties Jack and Bean
Location: Long Beach, California
Size: 850 square feet
Years lived in: 2 — own
Kara and Ken Pearson took a great leap of faith in this new condo, when they decided to downsize from a three bedroom house. We first saw Kara and Ken’s home in the Small Cool Contest. With an incredible view of Long Beach, this condo sits on the fifth floor of a classy multi-unit residence. Kara showed me before photos and it’s quite impressive how much style and great love they threw into their remodel.
All the walls in each room are painted in rich tones and really bring out the simplicity of the layout. With guitars, books, collected artwork and clean white furniture on display, this home is cozy and very well cared for. The entire kitchen, dining space and living room are lined in floor to ceiling windows — the view was incredible and the light really added a sense of serenity.
Kara notes that the lamp that hangs above her kitchen table is the biggest imperfection in her home. “It must have been a design flaw” she states, as we both realized that if you centered the table directly under the lamp, you’ll block the door to the patio. However there are so many incredible vignettes in this home, it was hard to notice anything "wrong". One of the coolest DIY projects they did was custom build a kitty bathroom, in the bottom half of what was originally a coat closet. They carved a hole from center of the two doors just big enough for Jack and Bean to crawl in and out, and this way concealing the site and smell of the litter from the rest of the house. One of my favorite elements of the home was their use of paint colors, and how they really brought each portion of the condo to life.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Modern eclectic
Inspiration: Modern masters like Eames, Corbusier, Eileen Gray, etc. Also love World of Interiors magazine.
Favorite Element: the floors
Biggest Challenge: Downsizing from a three bedroom house to a one bedroom condo. Also logistically getting the physical remodeling done in a high rise building is difficult.
What Friends Say: “Wow!”
Biggest Embarrassment: Light fixture is not directly over the dining table.
Proudest DIY: Coordinating the whole project
Biggest Indulgence: The cabinetry
Best Advice: Keep looking until you find materials you love.
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
- • Living Room: Benjamin Moore Aura, Raccoon Fur
• Bedroom: Benjamin Moore Aura, Mink
• Hallway: Benjamin Moore Aura, 51-50 Tranquil Blue
- • Couch and dressers: Room & Board
• Saarinen table: Hive Modern
• Leather chair: Helms Bakery
• Coffee table: 2 Modern
• Family chest and secretary desk: Ligne Roset
- • BR111 in Macchiato Pecan, engineered hardwood
- • Vintage Persian Rug: eBay
• Bedroom carpet: Discontinued wool carpet from Expo
- • Room & Board, Ella
- • Own work
• 20 X 200 (thanks Apartment Therapy!)
• flea markets
• Chinatown galleries
• The small David painting came from a shop in Florence
- • Range, fridge and dishwasher: Fisher & Paykel
• Sink: Kohler
- • Bathroom: interlockin marble in Milano Grey. Nova limestone
• Kitchen tiles: Modwalls Brio Blend in White Linen
Thanks, Kara & Ken!
Images: Bethany Nauert
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