For a young family relocating from Seattle, this Pacific Palisades house was a rare bird that checked all the boxes: a white-brick, traditional-style home close to the ocean with an abundant backyard. In the eyes of the owners, a tech entrepreneur and his wife, it evoked the classic coastal setting of a Nancy Meyers rom-com. “Its vernacular is East Coast rather than Spanish-style or modern, both of which are more common in L.A.,” explains designer Parrish Cameron Robe, who helmed the abode’s top-to-bottom interior refresh. “My clients loved the idea of it feeling like a Hamptons beach house, but they didn’t want a literal interpretation of that look.”
The goal for Robe, working with project managers Rachel Rodgers and Devin Henderson, was to translate that vibe into something appropriate for both the location and a family of five. Recently built by architect Ken Ungar with M Group development, the blank-page interiors appealed to the couple as a starting point—and they couldn’t wait to inject them with their own joie de vivre. Game for some madcap color experimentation, they found the perfect partner in Robe. But finding the prismatic combinations that spoke to them proved harder. The wife didn’t want to repeat the purple-and-gray palette of their former Pacific Northwest home, but, as they were “circling the color drain,” Robe quips, “the only hues she liked were cobalt blue, fuchsia, lavender and gray.” The designer encouraged her client to lean into those preferences. Then, it was game on.
Some of the most daring design moves reveal themselves the moment you walk through the door, which offers expansive sight lines into the main living spaces. Robe’s bravest gambit plays out in the dining room, where a chandelier with a stark-white foliate design offers delicate contrast to the punk-rock edge of snakeskin-covered chairs. As dramatic as those elements are, they’re still supporting players to the room’s centerpiece: a custom dining table in a rich, glossy eggplant hue. Notes the designer, “The purple table didn’t take as much convincing as I’d imagined. We showed the clients the color rendering and they were sold!”
From there, the grape crush doesn’t stop. The color appears throughout the abode in various iterations. See the bursts of magenta and violet on the butler’s pantry wallpaper, the deep-plum leather ottoman in the family room and the primary suite’s amethyst chairs. “I wanted references to the palette everywhere you look,” Robe explains.
While such cues lend cohesion and a sense of playfulness to the interiors, the furnishings and textile choices also needed to hold their own against three children under the age of five. The designer wisely turned to indoor-outdoor fabrics, textiles treated with easy-clean technology, and washable-vinyl wallpaper for the home’s highest-traffic areas.
In addition to kid-friendliness, as the husband has family in India and the wife hails from Canada, creating spaces for relatives to settle in for extended stays was also a priority. The couple took a whimsical approach to conceiving some of the guest areas. “The husband wanted one bedroom to feel like a hotel suite from The White Lotus—the Hawaiian resort from the first season of the show was our reference,” Robe says. While she felt that using a palm-tree wallpaper might be too on-the-nose, a print featuring swimming turtles won the day.
As the interiors approached completion, the designer turned her focus to wall spaces in need of artwork. And as luck would have it, paintings with a particularly special provenance suddenly materialized. One evening the husband showed Robe several of his father’s contemporary works—a painter in India, he had recently passed away, bringing his art into his son’s possession. “It was around 7 p.m., I’d been installing all day and out comes this battered roll of original canvases,” she recounts. “We started peeling them back, one after another, and found that they were amazing. So, we had them all stretched and hung.” As if it were meant to be, the home’s palette, including purple, figured prominently in many of the pieces. “They couldn’t have been more perfect if we’d had commissioned them ourselves,” Robe states with satisfaction. This personal touch capped off a project chock-full of color and fruitful collaboration.