Guy & Karen's Modern Family Home

Guy & Karen's Modern Family Home

Marcia Prentice
Feb 22, 2012

Name: Karen and Guy Vidal, Owners of Design Vidal
Location: Silver Lake - Los Angeles, California
Size: 2800 square feet
Years lived in: 10 years

Family is definitely the essence of this modern home. Karen and Guy designed it but the kids have also added their own personality to the space; you can see their unique interests represented in their rooms. Their daughter's room is inspired by her love for all things creative from art to music. In definite contrast is their son's room, packed with figurines, animal posters, and a top bunk filled with stuffed animals.

Karen and Guy live in one of my favorite places in Silver Lake - right on the Reservoir! Yes, just a little jealous. The area is close to all the great restaurants at Sunset Junction and they have a walking trail right at their front door. I will need to come back for another visit for a great hike and lunch with their cute kids.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Silver Lake Modern with a twist. Eastside Chic. Sometimes we call ourselves: Modern Maximalists... (We wanted our home have enough room for the things we love and collect.)

Inspiration: The California lifestyle was our biggest inspiration - the bright sunlight, the connection to the outdoors. Neither of us is from here, so we appreciate that we can go swimming almost all year round. It doesn't get old.

Favorite Element: There isn't just one! The open kitchen/banquette/library configuration works out great for us and is where we spend the majority of our time. And we love the banquette - Karen's nana had one at her house and she can remember sitting there - the kids always had to be on the inside and if you had to get out you crawled under the table. Then there's the pool. I think it was the best thing we did. It always solves the problem of "what should we do" in the summer.

Biggest Challenge: Trying to find a style for it. The house was originally built in 1937 and then there was a really bad 1960's remodel. When we started it was a peach stucco box, green carpeting, acoustic ceilings, thick drapery on all windows and small louver windows with metal bars everywhere. We really had to strip it all back and re-imagine the spaces.

What Friends Say: They say it's modern but not cold. It's cozy.

Biggest Embarrassment: The front steps that lead from the living room to the main floor still don't have any rails! The house had one original chrome rail that we loved, it must have been from 1937, and we want to replicate it. We have had three failed attempts and still no railing.

Proudest DIY: We were our own contractors on our remodel. We worked with all the sub contractors to get our house done. We had renovating experience, but doing our OWN home was WAY more challenging than we expected. It didn't help that it was the year with the huge rain storms.

Biggest Indulgence: Adding our pool. Originally we thought our yard was too small, but we really wanted a water element. At first we were envisioning something like a large fountain that the kids would be able to wade in - it sounds crazy now. It turns out that a custom fountain is very pricey and once we wrapped our heads around that we figured out how to make a pool work. Our yard actually looks bigger now with the pool than it did before. It's really about balance and proportion.

Best Advice: If you are living in your home and unhappy with some areas - kitchen, bathroom, layout - it's better to fix the problems sooner rather than later. I see it all the time when people wait to take on a project and when it's completed and their house is transformed they all say "why didn't I do this sooner?" Love your space - it's worth it!

Dream Sources: We're living the dream! We're so happy to be here in Los Angeles, surrounded by endless opportunity, resources and inspiration. From friends whose art we love - Alexandra Wiesenfeld, Neal Taylor, Elaine Parks - to locally owned stores where the people make all the difference - Lianne at Neptina, Rosie at Cisco Home, Mohammed at Badia, Annette and Mary at Potted - this is the spot!

Resources of Note:




  • Living room couch and lacquer tables, Masterbed & Library Bookcase: our design, fabricated by DaVinci
  • Marble bar, green canoe chairs, lucite bar stools, grey couch (media room): All from In House Furniture
  • Banquette: our design, built by Tolteca Manufacturing, Los Angeles
  • Blue Eames rocker, grey shell chairs, Noguchi round table and Noguchi coffee table: Modernica
  • Hanging Outdoor chairs: Lawson-Fenning
  • Aqua Hoop chairs and ottoman: Potted
  • Copper tea tables: Badia Design
  • Exterior Marble Table: vintage
  • Dressers in boy's room: Haywood Wakefield
  • Pouf in Library by Calypso from Target





  • Red Oak: we were able to save much of the original red oak flooring
  • Guest Room: Stone pebble floor from Stone Creations, Ontario, CA



  • Penny round tile: United Tile & Stone, Los Angeles
  • Master Bath Wall tile; Pool Tile: Ann Sacks



  • Master Bedroom Bed and Daybed: our Design, fabricated by DaVinci
  • Pillows: Cisco Home
  • Duvet Cover: Isaac Mizrahi at Target
  • Kids Beds: Ikea

Living Room:

  • Girl with Rocks, Ginger Portrait, Horizontal Landscape: Alexandra Wiesenfeld
  • Collage by the bar: Neal Taylor
  • Brass Wall Sculpture: C. Jere
  • Small Landscape: Dahn Hiuni, Red striped glass vessel: Andrew Thompson from Lianne Gold

Dining Room:


  • Two Blue Sculptures and pair of brown sculptures: Elaine Parks
  • Glass vessell: Andrew Thompson from Lianne Gold
  • Glass fish and Elephant: Fratelli


  • Long Piece above bed, triptych, Piece over small stairs: Michael Illes
  • Goldfish: Patrick Marston. Both from Lianne Gold
  • "Maya": Alexandra Wiesenfeld
  • Horse collage and painting artwork on main stairs: Ginger Vidal
  • Hand painted mural in Ginger's Room: Alexandra Wiesenfeld


Guest Room:


Thanks Karen & Guy!

Images: Marcia Prentice

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