It’s a Family Affair


Denise Morrison Interiors reimagines a dark Spanish-style home in Laguna Niguel as a welcoming, bright invitation to conversation and relaxation

Photo by Chad Mellon

Family dynamics are often fraught with tension. That’s definitely not the case with Denise Morrison, who collaborates with her daughter-in-law Rachel and her son Andrew on both her interior design and custom furniture businesses. In fact, the owners of this Spanish-style home in Laguna Niguel, now retired, had been classmates of her children at school. 

“Although we hadn’t bumped into each other in awhile,” Morrison says, “another client referred us, and they put it together that we knew each other through kid events.” Now retired, they wanted to update and beautify the space. Despite the Spanish-style home’s generous size, Morrison remembers the interior as dark and uninviting. “They shared that there were numerous spaces that didn’t work that well for them.”

In the living area, a sofa from Lee Industries is paired with a Hickory lounge chair, a console from Alfonso Marina. The lighting is from Visual Comfort. Photo by Chad Mellon
Photo by Chad Mellon

“I like to create spaces that are both beautiful and functional,” Morrison shares. Here that started with finding ways to bring in light and reimagine the furniture arrangement. “They had an oversized living room with one seating arrangement that they really didn’t like,” she remembers, “It was not oriented towards the fireplace and seating was so spread apart they said conversation was also difficult.” Given the room’s grandiosity, multiple seating areas were needed to capture the room’s potential including a separate space for the card games and puzzles the couple enjoys. Opening up one wall with an oversized steel and glass door merged the interior with the exterior and created “a light-filled haven with a super cozy vibe.”

The Dana Sectional Sofa is by House of Morrison. The Console is from Artifacts, Relaxor lounge chair is by Lee Industries. The lamp is from Arterior. The Cocktail Ottoman is by Lee Industries. Photo by Chad Mellon

With the family room under control, Morrison turned her attention to the kitchen. Rearranging the layout allowed for a better work flow. The addition of new windows on the range wall brightened the space while leather Quartzite countertops, lit by pendants from Visual Comfort hanging over the central island, were beautiful and functional. A full beverage bar created a one-stop shop for wine, coffee and drinks.

A Wolf range and a refrigerator from SubZero in the kithen. Photo by Chad Mellon
The pendants are from Visual Comfort. Photo by Chad Mellon

The centerpiece of the master suite is the bed, a collaboration between Morrison, who designed it, and the client, a passionate woodworker. “The client wanted to execute it,” says Morrison. “At first we were very skeptical of his ability to build it, but we consider it our first prototype for the House of Morrison Minori bed recently introduced into our collection.  He executed it perfectly!”

In the master bedroom, the bedding is from House of Morrison. The drapery fabric was found at from Nicky Rising. The lamps are from Visual Comfort. Photo by Chad Mellon
The fabric for the custom pillows is from Kravet. Photo by Chad Mellon

The result is a home the clients adore. “They absolutely love it and have continued to share how happy they are with their new and improved home,” says Morrison.