What do you think about first when decorating your space? Is it the color scheme? Is it the rug? Or just like a pair of killer shoes, do you plan to build the room around a statement piece of furniture? For Lindsay Surowitz of food was the starting off point. As a certified nutritionist, food is a through-line that connects her work to her personal life and so she wanted a space that reflects that common thread.
It was important that the 3400 square foot home was open with ample space to entertain both indoor and out. "I’ve always loved hosting my friends and family, so it was really important to me to turn our home into a place for gathering and relaxing, where I could have our favorite people over, drink some wine, play cornhole in the backyard, enjoy a delicious meal together, and let everyone get cozy and stay awhile," she explains.
While the home is fairly traditional in style, recent renovations in 2016 opened up the floor plan so it feels spacious, airy, and bright. Located in San Diego, California Surowitz wanted to give the home a beachy and casual feel, while also feeling grown up and sophisticated at the same time. Take the tour and see for yourself with a few style notes from Surowitz along the way.
Being in Southern California (and just a few minutes from the beach) Surowitz wanted to infuse that fresh, beachy vibe. This is reflected in the color palette of blues, whites, and tans, and taupes, along with different wood textures, and a mix of fun pillows. "All of these elements make the house feel casual and fun, and not perfectly matchy-matchy," she says. "When it came to furniture, I picked items that would make my vision of cozy entertaining come to life."
Being a nutritionist and a blogger who works from home, Surowitz spends a lot of time in two places: the kitchen and the office. "It was really important for those two spots to be my happy places that would inspire creativity and productivity," she says. By the looks of this stunning kitchen, we're pretty sure it does.
The white kitchen is definitely a striking feature thanks to the abundance of natural light. With that in mind, Surowitz really wanted the décor to add a pop of color and cheer. "In every room, I splurged on a few items, and then I shopped around for some bargains," she tells me. "The kitchen splurges were definitely the Serena and Lily French bistro-style barstools. They're probably my favorite thing in the house." We can see why.
The traditional style definitely comes through in the kitchen but the white palette, modern tile backsplash, and marble countertop bring it into a modern context.
If we had a kitchen this beautiful, we'd want to bake too.
Another splurge for Surowitz was the "super comfortable" Restoration Hardware slipcovered dining chairs with high backs, armrests, and wheels. "Because who wants to have a long dinner in a clunky, uncomfortable chair?" she explains.
The cozy breakfast nook is nestled into the light-filled corner of the kitchen and it's brimming with colorful, patterned pillows.
In fact, shopping for the pillows was one of Surowitz's favorite ways to save. She scoured Etsy to find a chic and affordable match for the space. "I’ll find a designer pillow that I love, and then search for a similar pattern on Etsy and get it for a fraction of the cost," she admits.
When Surowitz and her partner first put in an offer on the house, they did wonder how they were going to fill it. They ended up asking the seller to throw in some of their staging furniture (which was all brand new from Zgallerie). "Well, they didn’t say yes to everything, but they did throw in the two couches in the living room and the light wood coffee table which happened to fit perfectly with our beachy theme and colors," she says.
The biggest challenge was having the patience to decorate little by little. When they moved in, Surowitz was eager to get started and do it all at once, but we all know that doesn't work out. "It ends up being pretty impossible due to the cost of decorating and needing to save for large pieces like dining tables, outdoor furniture, and rugs," she explains. "It forced me to take my time, which in the end, I’m really grateful I did."
The gold bar cart came from their previous home and is actually one of their favorite wedding gifts. It was a perfect fit in the corner. They also brought in their former bookshelf, so all they really needed to buy were throw pillows, a rug, and the fiddle leaf fig in the corner. "The textured, denim rug from Serena and Lily was the perfect piece to pull the room together," says Surowitz. "The walls remained empty for a while in the living room until we added a beautiful piece (which was once in my parents’ home) that has all of the beachy blues, peaches, and even some silver in it to totally complete the room."
The goal for the guest room was to make it as cozy and welcoming as possible. "The 'Mi Casa Su Casa' prints from Sugarhouse Supply really say it all for us," she says. "Those are my favorite purchases for the guest room, aside from the red Persian-style rug which adds a lot of color and warmth and was a huge steal from Houzz."
The rug, the white bedding, and a mix of solid and patterned fluffy linen pillows make the room feel fresh and casual with a touch of boho.
We can only imagine how welcome guests feel in this bright and airy bedroom.
While the rest of the home is fairly gender neutral, Surowitz's office took a more personal approach. "My husband said, 'that’s your domain, so decorate it however you want and make it a place you love to work' which is exactly what I did," she explained. Surowitz painted the walls a light mint green which she says always makes her feel calm and peaceful. "I found an affordable blue and white rug to pull in the colors from the rest of the house and then added some feminine pieces with pops blush and gold to really make it feel like me and my brand," she continues.
To finish off the space, Surowitz added custom California Closets built-ins behind her desk. "I have thought about investing in that for two years and I'm so excited I finally went for it," she says. Then Surowitz filled the shelves with cookbooks, nutrition books, framed photos, plants, and fun pieces from Target, West Elm, World Market, and Home Goods. "And of course a funky and girly chandelier was a must," she laughs.
Now that it's all done, Surowitz can enjoy every room and really feel at home. "I love how bright and cheerful it is," she says. "I truly love spending time in my home whether I’m recipe testing in the kitchen with the music on throughout the house, or sitting at my desk working on my group nutrition programs, or playing in the backyard with my pup, my home is my happy place and it makes me feel calm, creative, and inspired."
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