Photo: Amy Bartlam

Designer Irene Lovett claims she won the client jackpot when she was hired by Shelby Grayeli to renovate and build an addition onto her family home on the Westside of Los Angeles. Only months after the project was completed, Grayeli, a realtor and reno expert, stumbled upon a listing for a larger, although wildly outdated home only five minutes away.

Grayeli and her husband purchased the 1930s ranch-style house and immediately called up Lovett to see if she’d be willing to tackle renovation part deux. “What a dream for a designer to finish off a full renovation and then move onto another one with clients that you already have an established relationship with,” says Lovett, the principal designer of designstiles.

Photo: Amy Bartlam

The redesign of the 3,500-square-foot home was inspired by Napa Valley and Ojai, two popular California vacation destinations. The family wanted to create a home that was kid-friendly and comfortable — without sacrificing style. Upon walking through the front door, you’re greeted by a long bell door chime that’s original to the home. “It’s almost like a piece of art,” says Lovett. The designer chose a neutral wallpaper with a botanical motif that creates a welcoming first impression. “We wanted to add some pattern without going too bold,” Lovett explains.

Photo: Amy Bartlam

The entertaining space includes a marble-clad bar lined with liquor bottles and a relaxed seating area where guests and their accommodating hosts can kick back with a drink in hand. “Living rooms often feel like dead space that nobody ever uses,” says Lovett. “They have this reputation of feeling uninviting, but bars always pull people in!” The scaled down apron front bar sink is a standout feature in the space, contrasting beautifully against the black marble countertops and brass hardware.

Photo: Amy Bartlam

More formal gatherings are held in the dining room, which Lovett describes as transitional. “Even though they’re a more traditional style, the lighter tone dining table and chairs [purchased from Restoration Hardware] help it to feel less stuffy, especially compared to the polished mahogany wood tones you’d normally see.” A vintage area rug (Grayeli is an avid collector of textiles) is layered over sisal carpet, giving the room a “beachy, laid-back feel.” Pretty pastels like coral, aqua and yellow keep the color palette fresh and youthful, while a pair of brass crane candle holders from Anthropologie play into Lovett’s quirky aesthetic. “I always try to add an unexpected element,” she says.

Photo: Amy Bartlam

The powder room packs a punch with grasscloth wallpaper, patterned cement tile and a Chinoiserie bamboo mirror. “It’s like a little jewel box!” says Lovett. “There’s a lot going on, but without making you feel dizzy.”

Photo: Sabra Lattos

The timeless white and gray kitchen is reminiscent of the one Lovett designed for Grayeli in the first house they remodeled together. “Except for the Calcutta marble on the perimeter counters and backsplash,” Lovett points out. “We used the same for both so it kind of creates movement with the veining.” The duo chose a white quartz for the kitchen island, where the kids often eat their meals. “It requires less maintenance and is easier to clean,” explains Lovett. “We painted the base of the island a blueish gray because the rest of the room is so white. Using a different color and material on the island just creates a little bit of interest.”

Photo: Amy Bartlam

In keeping with the marble and brass theme, the breakfast nook features a round table with an x-base. The dining chairs are upholstered for “added softness” and the custom built-ins provide additional storage and a clever workspace.

Photo: Amy Bartlam

Lovett’s favorite design moment in the entire house is the cement tile fireplace surround. “We chose casual furniture like the rattan chair in the corner and used easy-to-clean, durable fabrics because it is a family room,” notes Lovett.

Photo: Sabra Lattos

In one of the girls’ rooms, Lovett gave new life to an antique settee the client already owned by recovering the seat in a funky fabric from Raoul Textiles. “The Nina Campbell wallpaper in the girls’ bathroom is another favorite of mine. Again, we had used that same wallpaper in their previous home,” says Lovett.

Photo: Sabra Lattos

The coral hued playroom features a Roman shade in a Schumacher fabric called Skittles. “Things like that really resonate with me because nobody would know what the fabric is called, but to me, it’s perfect for a playroom!” says Lovett. “It’s playful without being dainty, which is always sort of my goal when designing kids spaces.”

Photo: Sabra Lattos

The master bedroom is a bit more boho than the rest of the home, with a curated collection of patterned textiles. “The overall color palette is pretty neutral, but then we added in these pops [of color] like the Moroccan rug, the blanket at the foot of the bed and the patterned window treatments,” explains Lovett. The bone inlay dresser is a “definite statement piece,” accented by abstract artwork and carefully chosen decor items.

Photo: Amy Bartlam

For the luxe master bathroom, Lovett sourced a rope orb pendant from Restoration Hardware Baby & Child (hint: don’t be afraid to shop the kids’ section!) and used it to draw even more attention to the deep soaker tub. The space is practically dripping in marble, from the floor tile laid in a chic herringbone pattern, to the large slab over the double sink vanity, and the hexagon mosaic grounding the shower.

Photo: Amy Bartlam

“Throughout this process of renovating their previous and current home, the client and I discovered that we work really well together and have similar design styles,” says Lovett. “When we were about to complete the project, we kind of joked that we should work together. I thought she was kidding at first, but then she was like, ‘Yeah, I’d be interested.’ So we hired her as a renovation specialist.” Grayeli’s extensive renovation and project management experience has made her a valuable asset at designstiles. “Like who does that? How many people end up teaming up with their client?” asks Lovett.

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