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Step Inside a Manhattan Beach Contemporary Coastal Home

Finishes are everything to designer Kathy Barone - just step inside her new contemporary coastal project and they grab you over and over again.  The inspiration comes from builder Mike Davis of Manhattan Beach who wanted to build a modern Frank Lloyd Wright home with an open floor plan and plenty of natural light.  The table was set with natural materials, earth tones, geometric shapes, white oak floors, and a perched view of downtown Los Angeles with a quick hike to the beach!  We sat down with Kathy to find out about her latest project and what inspires her.

What did you do visualize on the facade of this house?

We wanted to use a lot of natural material on the outside so we featured large format Black Iris Brushed Marble; it's insane!  Then we brought nature inside by using a lot of texture and organic tile, the house feels very grounded.

When did you know you wanted to be an interior designer?

I have never had a desire to be anything other than an Interior Designer. It was innate for me. I recall being eight years old and would put myself to sleep by designing a house, room by room.

Do you have a signature feature in the homes you work on?

I like to create bold impact moments that are cohesive with one another, creating the visual experience of a harmonious flow.

Arpel U1

Tell us more about this amazing kitchen!

The Black Honed Amulet Marble tile is really the star in the back of the room, we were so lucky to pull in the same rectangle cutout as the kitchen hardware.  We have white oak throughout this house and our marble was able to have just enough gold color for that interest I wanted.  The pendants are made by Arpel from France; we have never seen anything like them and they're perfect!

Arpel U1

What do you love about design?

I find it so incredibly gratifying to watch a vision become actualized. I adore the endless amount of possibilities, inspiration, and knowledge with every project.

How about this powder room?

Our powder room brought everything together - this gorgeous white oak geometric front paired with a marble system geometric tile, and great cut gem pendants in smoked glass, I love this room!

What building materials are hot right now?

Ceruse woods, neolith stone, and corrugated concrete.

Is the white house with black trim story over or still going strong?

It's a timeless beauty that can always be recreated with relevance.

How did the stairwell come together?

We wanted an open tread feel in the stairwell and needed a simple strong element for our railing.  We have a soft black accent throughout the house and picked up these hexagonal Blok Pendants from Tech Lighting to complete the look.

How have your clients responded to Covid in terms of refocusing on their home or work environments?

It's been a mix. A few clients have put their projects on hold while others want to move full steam ahead.  Overall, the industry is bustling.  I think it's great that people have taken the time to fix up and update their home sanctuaries; it helps the soul when your living space is organized and fresh.

The tile you featured on this home is insane! Who is your dealer?

Kimm Dunne - Owner of Details in Hermosa Beach.

What is your dream project?

To renovate a castle with a modern twist.

Wow, they actually did a project just like that on Grand Designs, that British TV show, have you seen it?

I don't watch many design shows, I try to get inspired by people and places and carve my own path.

Backlit Batrhroom Mirrors with LED Tape Light

Are you leaning towards illuminated mirrors in bathrooms vs. fixtures?

Well, I do like to focus on the tile and there is no better way to bring out the texture than to light it.  We used LED strips to back light the wall.  In the other bathrooms, we are using some newer illuminated mirrors with leather straps and black frames that are neatly done and can help modernize these spaces.

What is your favorite restaurant in Los Angeles?

Toscana Restaurant in Brentwood. I'm drawn to restaurants that take you through an experience to their origin by evoking all the senses.

If you could hang any light in the world over your dining table at home, which one???

I love the Wireflow - the artisitic structure and simple lines make it easy to be around.

Vibia Wireflow

Wireflow by Vibia

What's next for you!?

Oh my gosh, we have a new beach contemporary in Hermosa Beach and I just started three other projects, busy, busy, busy!