24 Relaxing California Coastal Interiors

These airy, tranquil spaces make a strong case for the argument that the West Coast is the best coast.
24 Relaxing California Coastal Interiors
Leverone Design Inc living room in Sea Ranch

In the living room of a modernist house in the Sonoma County utopian Sea Ranch community, Leverone Design positioned two A. Rudin swivel chairs so that they can take in the entire expanse of the Pacific visible through the picture windows or turn to face the seating area. A David Weeks pendant hanging above adds a delicate, sculptural element. Photo by Joe Fletcher

Christine Markatos Design kid's room in California

For the kids’ room of a 1940s shingled cottage in Malibu that she furnished entirely with vintage American furniture, Christine Markatos converted a farm table into a desk and painted a 1920s chest of drawers in what she calls a perfect “beach shade.” Of the overall decor, she says, “The simplicity makes it feel authentic and relaxing to the clients, who spent many summers on Martha’s Vineyard.” Photo by Manolo Langis

Ohara Davies Gaetano Interiors living room in Beverly Hills

“The goal was to maximize the ability to really be a part of the view and the outdoor experience while lounging in the living room,” Ohara Davies-Gaetano says of this space in a Newport Beach house. To instill it with “allure and depth of palette,” the designer employed about 15 subtly different shades of gray, tying it all together with a bold yet subtle painting Nick Gaetano created to hang above the fireplace. Photo by Richard Powers

Living room in Carmel, CA by Jamie Bush

The unparalleled panorama was top of mind for Jamie Bush in designing the living room of Frank Wynkoop’s 1950 Butterfly House, which he outfitted in an “organic modern” style that perfectly complements the swooping architecture of the Carmel landmark.

If the homeowners aren’t in the mood to sway in the rattan swing chair hanging from the ceiling, they can relax on the vintage Sergio Rodrigues seating or the sprawling de Sede sofa. These cede center stage, however, to the rugged coffee table by Pedro Petry. Photo by Grey Crawford

Patio by Jonathan Winslow

For this cozy Laguna Beach cottage, says Jonathan Winslow, “the goal was to create a decor in keeping with the original Art and Crafts vernacular of the 1920s structure, but to update the furniture using all-weather wicker and a soothing color palette.” With Arhaus seating, Winslow created a second living room outdoors where the homeowners can enjoy the awesome vistas and perfect California weather. Photo by Laura Hull

Living room in California by David Desmond

“The energy of the ocean and people on the Strand inspired me,” says David Desmond. describing his design for this home situated on the Manhattan Beach boardwalk, dubbed the Strand. He anchored the living room with a 1966 Gerhard Richter painting and Ed Ruscha’s 1988 acrylic on canvas, which reminds Desmond of a surfboard, outfitting it with furnishings that reflect his love of older pieces. The sofa is vintage Maison Yves Halard and the armchairs and ottoman by Axel Vervoordt, but our favorite is the standout Gabriella Crespi floor lamp. Photo by Stephen Busken

Brown Design Group crafted this space in a Dana Point house to be “the epitome of California style — an indoor-outdoor dining area with fabrics, rugs and woods in a natural tone against crisp white walls.” Completing the look is a daybed from Lawson-Fenning upholstered in Schumacher fabric. Photo by Matt Weir

The mid-century modern creations of Marcel Breuer and Charles and Ray Eames inspired Barbara Bestor’s design for this Santa Barbara “surf shack” belonging to a young family, The painting above the sofa is by Monique Prieto. Photo by William Abranowicz

Thomas Callaway transformed an old Malibu beach shack into an East Coast shingle-style structure, complete with white tongue-and-groove interior walls, raftered ceilings and exposed header beams. The living room features Fairfield sconces above the mantle and Arles sunflower andirons in the firebox, both by Callaway. Photo by Lisa Romerein

“Southern California beach living is all about the indoor and outdoor spaces blending together into a unified living experience,” says Callaway, describing this guest bedroom in the same Malibu project. “The goal, once again, was to bring the outside in, with window frames, doors and floors painted a seafoam blue-gray, and the rough, exposed structure of the interior painted a soft white.” Photo by Lisa Romerein

Kelly Wearstler’s Malibu beach house features Afra and Tobia Scarpa‘s Soriana sofa and a pair of matching lounge chairs. Photo by Nick Hudson

“California style is comfortable, unfussy elegance,” according to the Consort team that designed this Los Angeles home. “It’s all about creating a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere that’s both stylish and social, the kind of place where friends exclaim, ‘I love what you’ve done with the place!’ while kicking off their shoes and settling in for a good, long lounge session.” The circular brass serving tray and tan Tusten II table lamp by Pletz are from Consort. Photo by Laure Joliet

“For a sublime California look,” says the Brown Design Group team, explaining their design for the master bedroom in the Dana Point home, “relaxed linen drapes and a tonal rug were layered on top of an earthy jute rug to balance out the classic wood four-poster bed.” Photo by Matt Weir

Sheldon Harte, of Harte Brownlee & Associates, describes his design for this Newport Beach home as “an exotic Sri Lankan approach to beach living and not the predictable kitschy blue-and-white motif with seashells seen everywhere.” The entryway includes limestone pavers, an antique bench and custom copper light fixtures by Paul Ferrante. Photo by Grey Crawford

Martyn Lawrence Bullard’s scheme for this Malibu master bedroom embodies California style “because of the casual nature, rich employment of textures and abundant use of layered, exotic fabrics,” he says. “The combination has become synonymous with California living — a casual approach to a well-travelled room that’s not too precious yet captures the international tastes of California today.” A framed swath of MLB Shambala fabric is mounted above the bed, while at its foot is a custom MLB bench covered in Madeline Weinrib fabric. Photo by Roger Davies

“We are so fortunate living in California to be able to take advantage of indoor-outdoor living no matter where we are in the Golden State,” says Suzanne Tucker, of Tucker & Marks, who designed this Marin County home. “This living room takes full advantage of that luxury, allowing one, even in the cooler months of Northern California, to open up to these spectacular views of San Francisco, from the East Bay to the Golden Gate Bridge.” Tucker created the dining table from a base by Andrew Fisher, of Fisher Weisman, and a top she designed to follow the lines of the windows. Photo by Matthew Millman

This Mediterranean-style Malibu home by Landry Design Group features exposed beams and glass doors that open to the oceanfront terrace. Photo by Erhard Pfeiffer

“Warm in the winter and cool in the summer, this room has the perfect palette, one that embraces and frames the Pacific Ocean,” Phillip Nimmo says, describing the master bedroom in a Tuscan-style Malibu home, which features a table lamp and side table by Nimmo and a Jean de Merry chest of drawers. Photo by Nick Johnson

“The French doors in this stone-clad Santa Barbara living room create an open, airy atmosphere,” says Cliff Fong, of Matt Blacke Inc. “The room is far from fussy. There is a plush Moroccan rug, a pair of naturally distressed Hans Wegner wishbone chairs and an effortlessly stacked book display that together bring a sense of California casual style and comfort.” Photo by William Abranowicz

Ashe + Leandro designed this Venice Beach house to be open, modern and studded with color. A rainbow-hued vintage Austrian pendant hangs over the Doug McCollough dining table. Photo by Fran Parente

“California style isn’t fussy, or rigid. It’s open and fun and easy,” says Betsy Burnham, who designed this guest room in an oceanfront Coronado home to represent “California style in the best way I know how — by taking classic elements (chambray, a turned wood bed, ticking stripes) and spinning them in a casual, ‘anything goes’ kind of way.” A California state flag hangs over the bed, which is topped with vintage quilts. Photo by Coastal Living

BoydDesign restored Oscar Niemeyer’s 1964 Strick House in Santa Monica, furnishing its living room with a George Nelson Marshmallow sofa and a Serge Mouille floor lamp. Photo by Richard Powers

“With its comfortable and collected vibe, this dining room in a 1959 Beverly Hills bungalow is quintessential California living,” says Trip Haenisch. “The indoor-outdoor feature allows for a lot of natural light and makes the space perfect for entertaining.” The furnishings include a Vico Magistretti for Oluce light fixture and a Holly Hunt dining table surrounded by Poul Volther chairs. Photo by Matthew Williams

The Malibu home of designers Nathan Turner and Eric Hughes has a blue and white color scheme and a vintage, collected feel. This bedroom features a variety of textiles and a wicker pendant lamp. Photo by Victoria Pearson

1 of 24

Loading next story…

No more stories to load; check out Introspective Magazine.

No more stories to load; check out Introspective Magazine.