Modern in Manhattan


Bay Area designer Kristi Will adds style and warmth to a Manhattan Beach escape

In the entrance, a round mirror from Egg Collective hangs on the Chain Mail wallcovering in Lancelot Beige by Phillip Jeffries. Photos by Jonathan Mitchell.

“I believe that every project has two clients, the homeowner and the home itself, and we pay close attention to both,” says veteran designer Kristi Will. “The homeowner is obviously the most important—how they’re going to live in the house and how they envision their lifestyle in the space—but for me, it’s also really about the house. What does the house want to be?”

This is how Will and her team began the design process when transforming a 3,500-square-foot home in Manhattan Beach for existing clients whose main residences is in the Bay Area. “They recently had a work opportunity in the Los Angeles area and decided to purchase a second home for travel and business,” she notes. “They wanted a place to retreat after a busy day with a close proximity to the Manhattan Beach pier. They have two adult daughters who spend lots of weekends at home.”

The Bali performance rug by Holly Hunt stretches across the living room floor below a pair of the Coastal Braided swivel chairs by Baker.Photos by Jonathan Mitchell.
A commissioned painting by Cassandria Blackmore hangs over a custom console by John Pomp in the dining room.
Photos by Jonathan Mitchell.

The goal was to infuse the beachfront home with modern flare while maintaining a relaxed, beachy vibe. “The clients originally expressed that the home felt like a white box,” says Will. “We used a warm metallic Phillip Jeffries wallpaper throughout the main level to add depth and warmth to the spaces and outdoor fabrics and rugs throughout for durability. No worries about walking in with sandy feet!”

Custom Infinity pendants by John Pomp hang over counterstools by Worlds Away.
Photos by Jonathan Mitchell.

The existing lighting plan made the home feel dark, clearly an undesirable aesthetic for a beach residence. Therefore Will and her team worked with John Pomp and other notable lighting vendors to create custom fixtures throughout. “We selected all new decorative lighting throughout and it really added the sparkle the house needed!”

In the guest bedroom, a custom headboard made by Leonardo’s Fine Furniture is covered in Elitis Fabric and sits behind Green Oaks wall pendants by Palecek.Photos by Jonathan Mitchell.
Photos by Jonathan Mitchell.

They also worked closely with premier Bay Area gallery, Caldwell Snyder, to select most of the artwork with the client, who loves color. “We also commissioned a striking shattered back painted glass large piece of art from Cassandria Blackmore,” she notes. “It has a wonderful water like quality to it and infuses the room with color.”

Another infinity pendant by John Pomp illuminates the wetbar.Photos by Jonathan Mitchell.
Photos by Jonathan Mitchell.

“We accessorized the project with the understanding that anything the client didn’t like would be taken away,” says Will. “It was such a huge surprise when we received the note that the client wanted to keep everything! They loved every detail and were so appreciative to walk into their new home turn-key.”