Sarah and Morgan’s Relaxed, Modern Santa Monica Home

updated Feb 20, 2019
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(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

Name: Sarah and Morgan Dews, their kids Tallulah and Max, and Cosmo the dog and Leroy the cat
Location: Ocean Park Neighborhood — Santa Monica, California
Size: 1,450 square feet
Years lived in: Owned 6 years (and soon to be moving!)

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Sarah and Morgan are two world travelers whose paths crossed in Barcelona, Spain in 2004. Morgan, who grew up in the states between the east and west coast, fled to Spain in his twenties in search of adventure. Sarah, from Los Angeles, had traveled all over South America and Mexico and felt that she needed to reside in yet another Spanish speaking country and landed in Barcelona for a study abroad. Two Americans seeking a foreign experience, found home in each other.

(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

Their love was sparked in Spain, grew in New York where they lived for four years and finally set its roots in California. Their cottage in Santa Monica is the first house they owned and started their family in. They were married in Oaxaca, Mexico and now have two kids, Tallulah and Max, a dog Cosmo, and a cat Leroy.

As you enter their house, it is clear these two have been all around the world. Global accents perfectly match modern style with a little boho edge. They have managed to make their nest relaxed, yet clean and modern, a perfect lesson in minimal design. There are kid-friendly pieces and spaces, yet it still feels like an adult home, a hard balance that seems to come perfectly natural to these two.

They are both media buffs: Morgan is a documentary filmmaker (whose first film was in Sundance!) and Sarah holds a masters in media studies and also helped produce Morgan’s last two films. They love living near the beach, taking advantage of the California sunshine and playing outside with their kids, and of course, watching movies.

(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Comfortable and livable with modern and bohemian touches.

Inspiration: Our house itself was a big inspiration. It’s a 1911 cottage that was renovated to a more open floor plan. It feels both vintage and modern. It’s a little quirky and still warm and inviting. We are both also inspired by modern design, things we find traveling and the various places we’ve lived.

Favorite Element: The high ceilings and wacky roofline and the big vintage window in the dining area. The amazing light fixture in the dining area found for us by Mike Powers of Mike Powers Design. Actually all the light fixtures.

Biggest Challenge: Storage. It’s an old house so there is a total lack of storage. The 2 closets are pretty full!

What Friends Say: It’s so relaxed, yet funky, a relaxed funk. They love that it’s like a cozy cottage, but with a nice modern twist.

Biggest Embarrassment: Our bathroom. We have had many a plan to change it but it has yet to happen. It’s the one area we’ve put no effort into. I think there may not even be knobs in all the drawers, oops!

Proudest DIY: Two very generous friends helped us remove bags upon bags upon bags of white landscaping rock from the yard. The rock was everywhere. It took a couple of days and lots of offerings of food and wine but it happened and we are so grateful it did.

Biggest Indulgence: We were so lucky to have Mike of Mike Powers Design design the kitchen, nook, and built-in bookshelves when we remodeled the kitchen. We knew we wanted vintage-looking windows and grey cabinets but that was it. They are the mix of modern and vintage that we could not have conceived without him. Being able to work with him not just on the kitchen but the house in general has been our biggest indulgence, a learning experience and such a pleasure.

Best Advice: Take your time and let it evolve. Our house really feels right to us now, but it took awhile. Let yourself live in it and figure out what you want as you go along.

Dream Sources: Mike Powers Design, I can tell him, “I’m looking for a giant round light, but modern and vintage” and BAM, there it is. But also, Vintage Modern, Burro kids for kids stuff, Craigslist, Heath ceramics


(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)


  • Credenza/Media units Pottery Barn
  • The couch is Restoration Hardware
  • Coffee Table is Pottery Barn
  • Kid’s Chair from Big Red Sun
(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)


  • Table is Restoration Hardware covered in custom cut glass
  • Salt Chairs from Design within Reach
  • High Chair is Stoke
  • Red Chairs are hand me down from parents
  • The Glass piece is by Bruce Chao
  • Golden Pig piggy bank by Areaware
(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)


  • Viking Stove
  • Rug – Vintage that Morgan bought in college while traveling in Turkey
  • Cannisters are by ChaBatree
  • Lamp belonged to Morgans Dad. We had a new shade put on.
(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)


  • Rocking chair is Nursery Works
  • Sheets from Anthropologie
  • Lamp from Anthropologie
  • Pink & White wool blanket by Mexichic
  • Multicolored Blanket by Head Regal
  • Changing Table is Oeuf
  • Mirror – street find
  • Owl Dream Ring by BlaBla
(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)


  • Sparrow Bed by Oeuf
  • Wallpaper and Curtains are Calder by Jane Churchill
  • Rug – West Elm
  • Flowered Blanket by Head Regal
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Minimalist style for the master bedroom (Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

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Thanks, Sarah and Morgan!