From Boring to BoldAuthor:Lindsey Shook
AE Design transforms a standard suburban home into a cool, contemporary dwelling
“My passion for design stems from creating unique spaces by utilizing innovative finishes, colors and textiles,” says Amy Elbaum, founder of AE Designs. “I always encourage my clients to be open-minded about design concepts outside of their comfort zone and to venture away from everyday, typical design.” This approach by Elbaum and her team is reflected in this Southern California home owned by a family with a young child.
Built in 2000, the 3,000 square foot house was a lackluster cookie-cutter tract home in need of some major personality. The clients discovered AE Design’s work through an online outlet and quickly brought on the team to overhaul the look. “The house was wonderful in size and layout for the most part, but the finishes needed to be updated and the way the spaces were used needed addressing,” notes Elbaum.
The main focus was to instal high-end finishes, materials and furnishings that were also family-friendly while making the flow more functional. Elbaum notes, “We were conscious to use stain resistant fabrics, rounded corners and incorporate plenty of storage.”
Faced with limited space in the main living areas, the team maximized function by devising multi-use rooms. For instance, just off the kitchen is a study that doubles as a guest bedroom. “We included glass sliding doors with black out drapery to provide total privacy when needed,” says Elbaum.
Various shades of blue dance throughout the home providing a bold yet soothing tone. From the deep navy cabinets to luxurious grasscloth by Phillip Jeffries and a divine installation of Artistic Tile, the team displayed how to play with a central hue while adding depth in the design. “We were looking to do something different than design we typically see and push boundaries on colors and finishes,” says Elbaum. “The result is a home that feels modern and rich but at the same time is family-friendly.”
A children of immigrants, this was the clients’ first own home that now feels like a space they can for familial generations to come. “Walking our client through the finished space was one of the most rewarding moments of my career,” says Elbaum. “They have been very impressed with how all the furniture and finishes have been holding up since their now three year old is living there and are so pleased with the selections we have made.”