Relaxed Yet Formal Interiors Inform A California Abode


mediterranean exterior entry and landscape

A tile roof and stacked stone give an Irvine home a classic, old-world sensibility. The new entry door is by The Beveled Edge. The landscape around the house--filled with eye-catching plantings, including bright red florals--was installed by Armando Montebello.

mediterranean dining area kitchen neutral

Referencing the rustic feel of the kitchen's beamed ceiling is the table by Noir. The chairs from Orient Express Furniture, with their more contemporary silhouettes, play off the heavier elements.

mediterranean kitchen farmhouse-style sink limestone...

In the kitchen, the taupe-colored backsplash tile, the cabinetry, the farmhouse-style sink and the limestone flooring were existing, but white quartzite counters from Walker Zanger enliven and update the space.

mediterranean hallway corridor vaulted ceiling

Interior designer Robin Strickler maintained the plaster-finished, vaulted ceiling of the house's main corridor, which features a limestone floor inset with wood and lit by a clerestory and Circa Lighting sconces. Columns and stone mark the transitions between the entry and the living room.

mediterranean living room wing chairs...

Throughout the home, Strickler employed pale tones to offset the dark wood and stone of the architecture, such as the light coverings on a sofa and a pair of wing chairs by Lillian August in the living room. The effect captures an airy, California-esque lifestyle.

mediterranean living room fireplace coffee...

Above the custom wood-inlaid cabinet hangs a painting by Peter Kuttner. The cabinet's almost medieval feel echoes the existing fireplace surround's imposing vibe. Leavening the scene is a CFC coffee table and a Stanton rug.

mediterranean bedroom coffered ceiling chest...

While the coffered ceiling, paneling and fireplace in the master suite read formal, the crisp white finish and pale hue of the stone tempers that, bestowing an airy feel, as does the patterned carpet from Unique Carpets. The chest is by RH.

mediterranean bedroom white neutral bed

With its ikat pattern, a Schumacher wallcovering lends subtle pattern and dimension to the master suite. The upholstered bed, the nightstands and the iron bench at the foot of the bed are all RH; the table lamps are by Circa Lighting.

Designer Robin Strickler has transformative powers–she can turn a dark and dated Mediterranean-style house with heavy beams, wood paneling and stone floors and walls into a collection of bright and stylish rooms filled with layers of texture that speak to a casual California aesthetic. Evidence of this ability is the home she recently renovated. “The house felt very heavy,” says Strickler.

Strickler had a thoughtful and effective strategy. “The clients liked the Venetian plaster so I wanted to keep it,” she says. “But lightening it and making it more of a cream color changed the look.”

“Even though this house is not on the coast, it has a coastal feel,” Strickler says. “The palette is very light and there’s so much linen.” The neutral palette, the simple, classic textures and the carefully balanced mix of styles that the designer arranged for this residence are marks of her design aesthetic. But in the case of this interior, the design gestures are particularly productive.

“The home’s architecture is more formal while Southern California is more informal,” she says. “The weather is warm year-round and people want connection with the outdoors. Mixing styles and using these textures achieve those things but they also give the house a timelessness.”