Next Generation


Carly Waters transforms a 1950s tract home into a serene Santa Monica family residence

The entire house is painted with White Picket Fence by Dunn Edwards.
Photos by Jenna Peffley.

“As a designer, I believe that the ideal space is one where form meets function. I coined my signature style, warm minimalism,” says designer Carly Waters. “Unlike a developer, I save homes and honor the original architecture and finishes. I use white palettes, clean lines and textures in order to create peaceful and purposeful spaces. “

A custom section by Clad Home sits in the living room.
Photos by Jenna Peffley.
Lighting from Cedar & Moss and hardware by Schoolhouse Electric add pops of black in the white kitchen. Photos by Jenna Peffley.

Inside this quaint Santa Monica home, Waters kept the vibe serene and simple. “Before we started our work, I would say this was one of those 1950s tract homes that lacked any style,” she says. “While we typically adhere to the original architectural style of the home—because we had such a blank canvas here—we were able to turn it into the California modern abode our client had always craved.”

A pendant by Workstead sheds light on a custom banquette.
Photos by Jenna Peffley.

The clients, a busy young family, contacted Waters via Instagram. “We live in a crazy world where the majority of our clientele comes from social media,” she notes. The worked together to completely overhaul the home by taking down major walls, extending the house to make space for a larger living room, moving the kitchen and adding a primary suite and laundry room. Skylights and additional windows were added throughout, to increase the natural light and bring the outdoors in.”Within the interior renovation, everything was specifically designed for these clients including new floors, paint, lighting, built-ins, doors and hardware,” says Waters. “The biggest transformation for older homes is new casement windows.”

Lamps from Rejuvenation shed light on bedding by Pom Pom home in the primary bedroom. Photos by Jenna Peffley.
Cle tile lines the floors and showers in the primary bathroom.
Photos by Jenna Peffley.
Kohler fixtures are featured in the primary bathroom.
Photos by Jenna Peffley.

“My clients lived through a very long renovation process as they actually lived in the two bedrooms during construction, so I think by the time we were done, they were exhausted,” she notes. “Renovation projects are not for the faint of heart, and it’s something that I tell my potential clients all the time, but I do know that they thank their lucky stars they finalized this renovation prior to the lockdown since they were able to fully enjoy the space, and take advantage of their guest suite.”

Photos by Jenna Peffley.