A Furniture Designer’s California Cottage Is Colorful and Joyful
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Name: Laurel Harrington, Australian Labradoodle, Tucker, and 7-year-old son, Crosby.
Location: The hills of Mill Valley
Size: 1,500 square feet
Type of Home: Two-story cottage
Years lived in: 20+ years, owned
Born and raised in California, designer Laurel Harrington has worked for companies like Pottery Barn and Estee Lauder, and for the past 15 years, has worked in interior design. And recently, she’s started a new chapter in her design career, launching the furniture company, honeydudley. The company base and laboratory is Laurel’s home, a two-story cottage she shares with her son and their dog. “The home was the first built on my street up in the hills of Mill Valley as a summer cottage in about 1915, so it’s over 100 years old!” she describes.
Honeydudley‘s specialty is joyful, colorful furniture, and those adjectives also describe her home, which features vibrant colors, fun shapes, and lots of curves, like daisy-shaped bar stools that enliven the kitchen. Repurposed birdcages that pull double duty as lanterns. A long window seat in the living room that’s lacquered in a show-stopping turquoise. And in her son’s room, an oversize puzzle headboard in primary colors that is both fun and sophisticated.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: My style is always about finding what brings you joy — whether it’s a $20 piece of art picked up at a flea market or beautiful fabrics by Christopher Farr. I’m also a big fan of working within a space… if it’s a modern home, the decor should fit and for a cottage like this, the same thing goes. You have to work with space and do what makes sense for the space. I wanted this space to feel homey, bright, and livable.
Proudest DIY: I recently had one of my favorite chairs painted with seals and beach balls by one of my favorite artists, Nancy Spoelhof. She did such an amazing job and it’s one of my favorite focal points of the room now.
Favorite Element: I love all the windows and how they let the beautiful sunshine pour in. I’ve replaced almost all the windows in the home. I also love the original hardwood fir floors that I matched when we renovated. Most of all, I love my wonderful neighbors! With everything going on in the world, it is so comforting to feel like we are surrounded by wonderful, kind friends up and down our little street. Literally across our street is a family with a little girl born one week after my son, Crosby.
Biggest Indulgence: Besides the renovation, I would say getting a window seat installed that runs the entire window wall of the living room (and then getting it lacquered turquoise). It is just the best place to sit and read, look at the view, or nap (or it used to be before I became a mom).
What most people get wrong about using color in their home: More than anything —playing it too safe and formulaic. I firmly believe if you find something, you will find a way to make it look great in your home — you love it!
What are the biggest tricks/secrets to using color in decor? Balance of white against bright pops of color. Like my white sofa with bright throw pillows from Jonathan Adler.
What’s your favorite wall paint color of all time: White to set off wonderfully colorful art. I love Benjamin Moore “Super White!” It’s clean, crisp, and perfect!
Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Slipcover everything you can if you have dogs and or kids!
- Puzzler Bench — honeydudley
- Hooks — DWR
- Chairs — Quatrine Home
- Pillows — Jonathan Adler
- Rug in custom colors — Jonathan Adler
- Table — West Elm
- Chandelier —This CB2 one is similar
- Painting — Nancy Spoelhof
- Large Bowls, platters and cake stands — March Splatterware
- Chairs and stools — honeydudley
- Hand towels — Love to have fun accents. Enamel Happy are my current favorites
- Bedding — Parachute Home
- Duvet — This Jonathan Adler duvet is in a similar style
- Roman Shade Fabric — Christopher Farr Cloth
- Wing back chair — Maine Cottage
- Fabric for chairs — Christopher Farr Cloth
This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity. Share Your Style: House Tour & House Call Submission Form