Turning Dreams into Reality


Intimate Living Interiors converts a dated Mediterranean home into a classic retreat with modern appeal

In the living room, the furniture, artwork and accessories are all from ILI Be Home Collection. Photos by Karyn Millet.
Photos by Karyn Millet.

“Our design approach to this space was to wrap collected, well-traveled and casual elegance within the bones of this coastal Mediterranean-style architecture,” says designer Kari Arendsen founder of Intimate Living Interiors about this recently completed home located in San Juan Capistrano. “Our philosophy is always to create spaces that transcend and evoke a sense of well-being.”

In the family room, the fireplace is surrounded by tile from Tile Collective. Photos by Karyn Millet.
Moroccan-inspired tile from Tile Collective and wallpaper from Les Indiennes adds color and texture in the powder room. Photos by Karyn Millet.

Arendsen and team were hired by a young family who recently relocated from the East Coast, to make the expansive 10,000-square-foot residence feel more intimate. “There were a lot of rooms in the home and they wanted each of the spaces to function independently, yet flow seamlessly together and reflect their lifestyle,” she recalls. “There were also lot of architectural elements within the home that felt heavy, in particular the ceiling treatments and finishes.”

The team began erasing the bulkiness by drywalling in-between the beams, removing poorly placed coffers, whitewashing original red brick and blending softer and more modern materials with thee traditional Mediterranean elements to steward the timeless architecture into the future.

A custom hood from Fran├žois & Co and tile from Tile Collective shine in the kitchen. Photos by Karyn Millet.
Photos by Karyn Millet.
Photos by Karyn Millet.

The heart of the home is no doubt the beautiful kitchen that was customized for the homeowners’ everyday needs and personal style. “We love the kitchen,” Arendsen remarks. “Especially the design of the hood and surround as it accentuates our clients’ laid-back yet elevated personality and is very conducive to their love of entertaining.”

The office features a chandelier from Palecek, a rug from Loloi and art by Kris Myles. Photos by Karyn Millet.
In an intimate sitting room, the furniture is from ILI Be Home and thee coffee table is by McGuire. Photos by Karyn Millet.

The biggest challenge came when transforming the existing 1,000-square-foot primary suite that lacked symmetry and balance. “We were able to design spaces within this oversized area, creating a true retreat experience,” she boasts. “The room now includes a beverage center for enjoying a morning coffee or an evening night cap, a sitting area near a fireplace for cozy nights, an additional sitting area for watching tv and of course the sleeping area, which is the main focal point.”

The primary suite features lighting from Visual Comfort, furniture from ILI Be Home Collection and textiles from Cowntan & Tout.
Photos by Karyn Millet.
In the primary bathroom, the lighting is from Visual Comfort, the floor tile is from Tile Collective and the furnishings and accessories are from ILI Be Home. Photos by Karyn Millet.
A chandelier from ILI Be Home hangs over the primary suite tub. Photos by Karyn Millet.

When asked how the young family responded while seeing their beloved new home, Arendsen proclaims, “Tears were flowing! They said they had never though it was possible to live in house like this. It was beyond what they had imagined, a dream home come to life!”