A California Cottage Ideas

Attempting to overhaul your design scheme DIY-style? You don’t need to conform to a specific decorating style—or era—to create rooms that are stylish and modern with a unified look. Rather, your rooms should be dynamic, interesting, and full of the things you love, regardless of their provenance. In other words, yes, you can mix this with that!


In this new recurring series, we’ll dissect gorgeous spaces to see what makes them tick—by hearing directly from the pros that designed them. You’ll learn exactly why each room works, item by coveted item.


This month, we examine an adorable three-bedroom cottage in Altadena, California. Charmean Neithart, the San Marino-based designer, talks to us about the home’s Modern-Tropical aesthetic.

Neithart chose to mix the two decorating styles based on the downsizing homeowners’ fun-loving nature and their willingness to incorporate bright colors.

“But marrying styles isn’t always so intentional,” says Neithart. “A designer will rarely hear a client say, ‘Here’s my empty room. Here’s a bunch of money. Do whatever you want.’”

“That concept is a fantasy,” she adds. “And design shows on TV often make it seem like reality.”