“Nothing is as creatively exhilarating (and challenging) than starting from scratch,” says interior designer Caitlin Murray, founder of Black Lacquer Design. “What began as a sandy lot soon became a daring yet refined marriage of modern minimalism and maximalism.”
The owners of this home—a family of four living in Manhattan Beach—wanted a colorful, modern and inspired dwelling. They were immediately receptive to the bold ideas suggested by Murray, who worked on this project. The house, which is new construction, features clean, contemporary lines and white walls.
“This blank canvas allowed for a lot of creative freedom,” Murray says. “At the same time, it was a very collaborative process as the homeowners were so interested and involved in the design process; in fact, the shower tile layout in the main bath was client-designed.”
One small piece of decoration was the starting point for everything. “Very early in the project, the homeowners sent me a piece of multicolored, geometric wallpaper, which can be found in the downstairs bathroom, that became the inspiration for the whole project,” Murray explains. “It really encouraged the combination of vibrant and desaturated hues.”
Paints by Benjamin Moore, geometric wallpapers by Farrow & Ball and Astek, oversized abstract paintings, rich wooden credenzas, sculptural accessories, and wool rugs create textures and visual dynamism throughout all the areas.
When asked about her favorite element in the house, Murray answers without hesitation: “The paint-splattered Encrusted Spectrum wallpaper by Astek in the bedroom makes a fearless statement that I find so special.”
Lighting fixtures by France & Son, Leucos Lighting, Flos and Moooi—among others—combined with pieces by brands and designers such as Lawson-Fenning, Tom Dixon, RH Modern, ABC Carpet & Home, Kartell and Calligaris showcase different design styles and eras.
“Since the space is inhabited by a young family, form and function are equally important,” Murray says. “We juxtaposed very organic textures with metallics, acrylics and bright pops of color to bring soul, depth, and comfort to a very contemporary aesthetic. I think the variance makes the modern bones of the home feel kid-friendly and lived-in.” Touches of bold hues complement tonal grays, creating a playful and energetic look. “Adventurous color choices was definitely the theme for the home,” Murray confesses.
“I wanted to see a lot of variation in tones throughout the space, and I balanced it and made it pop by making softer, more subdued choices around those bursts of color.”
Thanks to a great dose of imagination and audacity, Murray has created a home with a strong personality like no other. blacklacquerdesign.com
PHOTOGRAPH: COURTESY OF MARY COSTA PHOTOGRAPHY