ISSUE 6  |  The French Connection

LA Story: Mix and Match Garden for a Spanish Colonial

February 15, 2015 11:00 AM

BY Christine Chang Hanway

When a young couple with a baby on the way moved into a 2,100-square-foot Spanish Colonial, LA designer Martha Mulholland created interiors that complement their Southern California garden. By mixing the clients’ favorite heirlooms with eclectic finds, she created a comfortable backdrop for family life.

But first, the curb appeal. Garden plants, including cacti and other succulents, are drought resistant and thrive in heat. Green plants soften the black and white palette of the house’s facade. Let’s take a tour: 

Photography by Laure Joliet.

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Above: In addition to keeping the interiors cool, two black window awnings are an important visual element that adds interest to the low, L-shape facade. 

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Above: To the left of the window, a tall, spiny euphorbia is a succulent that masquerades as a cactus.

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Above: Two euphorbias flank the window, creating a symmetrical balance.

Above: Inside the house, Mulholland combined the clients’ existing furniture (treasured family pieces from Tennessee, including an 18th century grandfather clock) with a California modern look that they like‚Äďand turned it all into a casual, durable, and child-friendly setting.

Above: The custom kitchen cabinets, painted in Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray, are a simple Shaker style with oil-rubbed bronze hardware.

Above: The breakfast room overlooks the dining room and has built-in Shaker-style cabinets to serve as a visual extension of the kitchen. Vintage George Nelson steel frame chairs sit around a round oak dining table, a family heirloom the clients brought with them from Memphis.

Above: “I love colored walls in a small room or a painted wood floor to make a jewel box out of a living space,” Mulholland says. “In larger rooms, I tend to use color primarily in the accessories and textiles, like the emerald green curtains in the dining room.” The curtains are Amba Dossett Organic Green fabric ($12.98 a yard from Fabric) and the Farm Table is from Nicky Kehoe.

Above: “I love emerald green in interiors,” Muholland says. “I feel like it’s the next indigo and jump at the chance to use it. It’s a difficult color to combine with, but I thought that the white walls and neutral woods in this room would make a fitting backdrop for dramatic color.”

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Above: A Saltillo patio and stoop lead to the front door.

For more of our favorite LA entryways, see: