Color Is King in This Manhattan Beach Home

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There are two types of people: Those who like group projects, and those who just do all the work themselves and tell everyone else to go home. The owners of a new Manhattan Beach home are part of the former group, and luckily, so is Caitlin Murray, founder of the Los Angeles-based design firm Black Lacquer Design, which undertook the 1,700-square-foot home's overhaul.


The result is a collaboration between Murray; the architect, Jonathan Starr of Starr Design Group; and the family, who were hands-on to the point of even designing the ombre tile layout in the bathroom. "Of course there's always a bit of a challenge when you are working to balance design choices that can sometimes conflict. In this case, we set off to create spaces that were simultaneously modern, inviting, kid-friendly, and full of a wide range of colors," Murray said. "But the project developed so organically that it almost feels effortless in retrospect."

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living room
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Living Room

In the living room, a custom sofa and custom coffee table are paired with a coral-hued tripod lounge chair made of plywood by Kardiel. White walls, interrupted by minimalist window openings, provide an unadorned background for a living room filled with color.

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sitting room
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Sitting Room

An emerald-hued cowhide rug mirrors the color of the Kartell hanging light. Natural elements like a rattan coffee table by Anthropologie temper the brightness of color.

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Dining Room

The house features custom flooring throughout. A White Macaubas Quartzite countertop separates the space between the dining area and kitchen. A custom dining table, built from walnut wood and powder-coated steel, is paired with a set of Calligaris Bloom chairs.

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In the kitchen area, a pair of Tom Dixon pendant lights line the ceiling. Custom-made windows lend the perfect amount of natural light while cork flooring in the kitchen and dining room provide the shared area with a sense of earthiness.

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High design meets geometric playfulness in the home office, complete with a thin-framed desk by Lawson-Fenning and pink stools designed by architect Frank Gehry. A muted pale rug from Anthropologie stands out in a background of walls painted in Champion Cobalt from Benjamin Moore.

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In the private areas of the house, color is used in more daring ways. Wallpaper from Astek Inc. sets a wild tone. A custom-made bed and minimalist light fixture outfit the room with elements of minimalism to create a sense of balance.

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In a room that is both simple and chock full of bright colors, a Kartell chair is paired with a clear table from Urban Outfitters. Framed art, custom made by Paper Jam Press, is simultaneously bold and minimal.

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A geometric wallpaper in the bathroom became the color guide for the rest of the house. The backsplash was created by combining Cole & Son's circus wallpaper with Ann Sacks wall and floor tile.


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