Worth Its Salt


Sara Simon of Handsome Salt shakes out inspiration in a home in Encinatas

The living room’s sofa, discovered at Lulu & Georgia, sits atop a rug from The Citizenry. The floor lamp and coffee table are from Anthropologie, the chairs are from Lulu & Georgia. Pictures her and throughout by Jenny Siegwart

Sara Simon of Handsome Salt and her husband, Sven, discovered an overgrown property in Encinitas. They decided to build a large four bedroom home and convert the existing two bedroom structure into a guest house. 

Pendants from ANDlight hang above chairs from Crate & Barrel surround a custom table. The zellige wall tiles were found at Cle Tiles.

“I love to travel,” shares Simon. “It’s definitely where I pull the most inspiration from.” Here, she looked to Moroccan riads, traditionally associated with the country’s palace architecture, where graceful archways lead to contemplative courtyard gardens. “One of my all time favorite places I’ve traveled is Marrakech and I just fell in love with the riads,” she says. “The unexpected beauty, the tiles, the feeling is so refreshing. I wanted people to come here and feel they were transported to another place, a place they didn’t want to leave.”

Plus she notes, “Being that the house is in California, it absolutely had to have an amazing outdoor space and a seamless flow from indoors to out.” And, she adds, “I also wanted to make sure the kitchen was set up for entertaining!” The result channels the sophistication of a swanky hide-away hotel. “I wanted to make this house feel like a vacation,” says Simon. “With the goal of bringing hospitality home.” 

Simon framed in a flattering pink by Dunn Edwards in the home office. The chairs are from Lulu & Georgia. The desk is from CB2.

Inside, clean lines and soothing colors nod to the simplicity of Scandinavian farmhouses. The open plan living and dining rooms play on a palette of sunrise hues rendered in a cornucopia of tactile textures and natural materials. This is carried through to the large home office where peach walls offer a soothing setting for work and a flattering backdrop for Zoom calls. A hammock is the perfect place for off-camera siestas. 

A Kudd Krig Home bed and pillows are paired with custom pendants from Leon Leon Design Studio of Mexico City.
The rug is from Lulu and Georgia.

The expansive kitchen, which showcases a pass-thru, takes a vacation from the expected. Birch cabinets painted a dramatic matte black and black-framed windows dance with pendants and bar stools with woven details made in Mexico City made by Leon Leon Design Studio.

The simple kitchen mingles Dacor appliances, Cle tiles, wall scones by Allied Maker, and stools and pendants from Leon Leon Design Studio of Mexico City.  

But it’s the exterior, cast in black with minimal ornamentation, where Simon cranks up the drama. For the landscaping, the desert was her muse. Brush and scrub were swapped out. In their place were planted sculptural palm trees, spiky mother-in-law tongues and cacti, with an above-ground pool serving as the fabled watery oasis. There’s a fire-pit and an outdoor dining area. 

The kitchen’s pass-thru, framed in black, is an inviting place at any time of day.
The above-ground pool is surrounded by plants.

“I had this vision of the plants surrounding the water, the sun setting, and the dramatic shadows they would cast,” she says. “When I witnessed the first sunset, I completely lost it. Nothing is more satisfying than when your exact vision comes to life”.