Monday, November 9, 2009

The Charming And Colorful Maria House In San Juan Capistrano~ A Perfect Example Of How To Make A House A Home~ Part 1

Welcome to the Maria house that was built in 1924 for the workers to live in while they built the 6,000 square foot mansion for the wealthy Doheny family.

Edward L. Doheny was an Irish oil tycoon that owned most of San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano. We still have a favorite spot, Doheny Beach to remind us of this tycoon. He drilled the first successful well in the Los Angeles city oil field. This house is modest in size, but big in character. It is currently being reviewed to become an official historic site in San Juan Capistrano. Nothing here says "workers quarters" to me.

All the windows and doors of this home are 16th and 17th century from a European property. They were replaced by the previous owner and antique dealer, Gep Durenberyer. Gep purchased this property in 1979 and proceeded to transform this modest cottage from the original Spanish style into French style to fit his needs.

Gorgeous and brave color combinations of yellow, green, white, pink, blue and red fill this space. Nothing feels too precious to touch, sit or relax in. Even though it is actually overflowing with precious little boxes, china, silver and collectibles. I'm sure the owners made a conscious decision to bring the grandness of these pieces down a bit with comfortable chairs, sofas, stools, rugs, pillows and lighting.

The current owners, Daviell Maldonado and Eric Gunether, the proprietors of Whim Interior Design, have created several sitting areas in this traditional living room. Eric believes in creating cozy sitting areas versus the large great rooms with only one sitting area that most of us have. If you don't, good for you, you are ahead of the curve. The room calls to you to sit down, enjoy a book, cover up in a blanket and get comfortable for a while. And, they have already thought of proper lighting. There are probably seven lamps in this room, from my memory. They had standing lamps next to chairs and lamps on each of the tables, so where ever you decide to sink into the lighting is perfect for drooling over any one of their design books. What a master plan.

Collections of boxes and books make this a welcoming and interesting space and leans itself to easy conversation with the homeowners. They share a bit of the homeowners history, travels, likes, and taste. Whenever you enter a home and don't quite know who the owners are, just examine the coffee table and side tables. They should, when done personally, show you a window to the owners soul. This is why I never truly know a person until I see their home. I just realized Eric's talk was on "Accessories... Just clutter or the room's soul?". Well, I guess I got that question right.

Orchids, tulips and ferns bring life to the room and are a perfect match for the traditional decor. Note how the pillows are beautiful, but aren't too precious to actually use or scream "you need permission first" to sit back on.

Awe... the small garden room. This is one of the two bedrooms in this cottage. The layering of fabrics and textures in this room make this small room pop with color and interest. Something about crisp and comfortable white bedding just calls to me to sit down and enjoy a bit. Does it do that for you? More photos to follow of this charming room this week.

This is one of the rose filled rooms, one of the 11, on this lovely acre of property. The railing and building on the left is the quaint Maria.

Gorgeous flowers and ferns in an french basket are overflowing with luscious greenery.
Whim provides the most original floral arrangements in Orange County with their talented staff with 20 years of floral experience.

The welcoming dining room with comfortable chairs in classic plaid, tile floors and a huge hand painted skylight and chandelier overhead. Sorry, the photo of the chandelier to follow.

A cozy bench with welcoming pillows tucked into an alcove in the dining room with ambient lighting. Seating is abundant in this cottage. I swear a 100 people could fit comfortably in this modest cottage due to the seating arrangements. This must have been a need the homeowners wanted to solve. And, they sure did and without any folding chairs!

Modern artwork fitting for a gentleman's home over wonderful live fresh plants in an interesting container.

My mom enjoying the fabulous food, wine and chocolates poolside steps from the Maria home while listening to live music, birds and waterfalls. And, being oh so patient while I take a million pictures. Can you blame me? I love you, mom.

This home is a great example of "how to" create a cozy space that is full of comfort, collections, color, texture and personality. Does it make you want to add a splash of color, texture or a personal collection to your space? Or, call these gentlemen to help you create the same comfort in your space? They travel all over the world just doing that for the lucky clients that get to work with them. Oh... I've got to hit the lottery! Ok, I am sure they are reasonable in price and, obviously, LARGE on talent. Until then, I get to visit my favorite store of theirs, Whim and am blessed to be able to enjoy these home tours. Sometimes I just want to pinch myself. Thanks gentlemen for all you do to create beauty, sharing your magic with the world and your graciousness! I've got more to share of this amazing home this week with out of this world tablescapes. Please come back this week for Thanksgiving and Christmas decoration inspiration from this dynamic duo.

Please let me know your thoughts. What do you think? Does this feel comfortable to you?
Go have yourself one fabulous day!

Fabulous Finds Gal


finance jobs said...

It’s a house full of gracefulness and elegance.

Online shops said...

I love the colorful floral designs of the interior fabrics. It looks beautiful.

Dustjacket Attic said...

Oh I just really enjoyed looking the house over through you! Loved the commentary and just loved the picture of your gorgous Mom. She look so nice.

The Red Velvet Shoe said...

The ottoman as the coffee table is my absolute favorite part~~what gorgeous fabric! It's such a great idea and use of space/surface.
Thanks for taking us on the tour!