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Best Dining Room
Jules Wilson Interior Design 

Best Bathroom
Blackband Design 

READERS' CHOICE
Best Indoor-Outdoor Space
Studio Collins Weir 

Best Bedroom
Bliss Design 

Best Home Office
Laurel & Wolf 

Best Open-Plan Kitchen/Living Room
Alison Palevsky 

Best of Design: At Home

From San Francisco to San Diego and everywhere in between, California is teeming with undeniable design talent. Here, we pay homage to the Golden State’s brightest stars.

 

 

Best Dining Room
Jules Wilson Interior Design
This stunning dining room is part of a full-home overhaul in Rancho Santa Fe. Jules Wilson, the designer behind Jules Wilson Interior Design, outfitted the entire project with a mix of classic modern and European furniture, along with commissioned artwork from Ronis Fine Art. For the dining room, in particular, the focus was on using carefully selected, high-quality pieces while sticking to a streamlined and bold style—a signature of the designer. “We liked the juxtaposition of the soft, organic live-edge wood table with the slick Minotti clean-lined dining chairs. Though it’s a more minimalist look, the overall feel is still very comfortable,” Wilson explains. The focused aesthetic carries through to the Moooi lights, where Wilson says, “we wanted to make a big impact in a simple way. The transparency allowed us to invade the space dimensionally without hogging the space visually.” 1050 G St., San Diego, 619.546.4920

Best Bathroom 
Blackband Design
When O.C. designer Wendy Blackband of Blackband Design set out to remodel this main-level powder room for a stylish San Clemente couple who love to entertain, her goal was to create a space that would stand out yet jibe with the rest of the home’s Spanish-modern decor. Her strategy? To “take it in a more modern direction with an eclectic twist,” says Blackband, who is known for her coastal bohemian design aesthetic. The result is a bath teeming with distinctive tones and textures—including bold Azzurro Vulcano raffia grass-cloth wallpaper by Élitis from the Donghia showroom; faux steer skulls with gilded accents found at the Rose Bowl Flea Market; Visual Comfort Etoile sconces in polished nickel; and an antiqued coffee wood and Italian Carrara marble Maison single vanity from Restoration Hardware. “The Aztec-inspired wallpaper was so unexpected in a home of crisp-white walls, so this was definitely our favorite part of the powder room,” says Blackband. “The wallpaper added another element of warmth and texture, while the faux skulls redirect back to the home’s original Spanish vibes.” 3198 Airport Loop, Studio E, Costa Mesa, 949.872.2234

READERS' CHOICE 
Best Indoor-Outdoor Space

Studio Collins Weir
Arranged around a courtyard at the foot of Horse Hill’s equestrian preserve, this custom new build in Mill Valley is a study in contrasts. Studio Collins Weir worked with the architect and client to both highlight and soften the building’s chosen materials—matte black corrugated metal siding, rough-sawn cedar ceilings, poured concrete floors, and white Sheetrock walls—that evoke the kind of artist studio-meets-agrarian vernacular the homeowners desired. The main living area opens onto a cedar deck and paved patio by way of sliding glass doors. From mounded Paola Lenti Afra chairs, guests look out onto a solar-powered lap pool and gardens that provide privacy from neighbors, and every room in the barnlike home affords a different view of the outdoor space. Steel, glass and reclaimed wood on the interior reinforce the exterior framework, while furniture from different eras establishes a depth and sense of history. “It also helped create a home that felt immediately comfortable and lived in, despite the newness of the construction,” says co-founder Chris Weir. But perhaps most importantly, the intentionally spare design serves as a muted backdrop to the homeowners’ growing art collection, which includes a Max Lipsey lounge chair inspired by bicycles and large-format canvases by muralist and fellow Mill Valley local Zio Ziegler. 1306 Bridgeway, Flr 2, Sausalito, 415.289.0590

Best Home Office
Laurel & Wolf
With a busy career cartooning the likes of Anna Wintour and Sarah Jessica Parker, and sketching campaigns for Prada and Alexis Bittar, it’s no wonder that decorating her live-work studio in West Hollywood kept being pushed to the bottom of fashion illustrator Carly Kuhn’s to-do list. So The Cartoralist, as she’s known on Instagram, called on online-based interior design firm Laurel & Wolf to do the job. Reflecting Kuhn’s casual vibe—“I’m a jeans and T-shirt girl,” she says—and droll line drawings, the clean, spare space, punctuated by native California plants, integrates Kuhn’s busy life into one serene whole. Flat files hold Kuhn’s work; a gallery of her pieces dance across one wall; a large pale wood table doubles as a conference table or the setting for a lively dinner with friends. Kuhn, who has described her work as coming from a happy place, enthuses: “It’s not just meant for work or just meant for living. It’s a nice blend of work, play, eat, drink, live, etc.” Definitely a happy place. 

Best Bedroom
Bliss Design
“I wanted to create a space for my client that blended a casual sophistication and an eclectic mix of modern elements and European finishes,” says Senior Designer Quin Brotherton of Corona Del Mar-based Bliss Design. “I love that this space has a mixture of textures and colors but still feels light and collected.” Starting with Oly’s Marco canopy bed as her inspiration, Palmer sought to create a bedroom that was inviting, elegant and captivating in this stunning Newport Coast home. She achieves that with plush European bedding from SDH, Hickory White nightstands, Lee Jofa window treatments, Arteriors table lamps and an elegant bench from Century Furniture anchoring the end of the bed. Los Angeles-based fine art photographer Gray Malin’s “Coogee Beach” triptych (from $749) serves as the pièce de résistance, adding a punch of coastal whimsy and color to the walls. Palmer shares: “In the end, our accomplishment is that we have created a home, not just decorated a space.” 3321 E. Coast Highway, Corona Del Mar, 949.566.0380

Best Open-Plan Kitchen/Living Room
Alison Palevsky
“I wanted this to serve as our great room,” says Alison Palevsky of the open-plan space she created for her young family in Pacific Palisades. “Everyone loves to gather in the kitchen, so I purposely connected it to the living room.” Palevsky, who’s been designing for nearly 20 years, used the passageway where a Gottfried Helnwein painting hangs “to both delineate and merge the two rooms simultaneously.” The resulting area is “transitional modern,” a blend of old and new. “Designing your own home is difficult because you want to incorporate every good idea you ever had, but the key is to pick only the great ones,” she says. Along with projects like a ranch house and a Beverly Hills reno, the designer is busy with her new Brentwood boutique, Palevsky, where she shows a sophisticated mix of furnishings: her own customizable designs, vintage pieces and limited-edition collaborations with artists and fellow designers. 11740 San Vicente Blvd., #115, L.A., 310.826.0066

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