How California formed my design style

Growing up in Orange county, California I was exposed to rich and historical architecture every day without even knowing it. As I drove to horse back riding lessons every week I pasted the famous San Juan Capistrano Mission. 

 The Mission of San Juan Capistrano

The Mission of San Juan Capistrano

This amazing piece of history subconsciously inspired me. It's majestic arches and rough stone and stucco walls in white and terracotta washed tones are breathtaking. 

What is even more of a mind-blower is I recently took my daughters to tour the grounds. They enjoyed walking the halls, exploring the garden and playing at the fountain. They are far too young to appreciate the architecture, but we will go again when they are older. 

 The walkways are lined with gorgeous plants to create a romantic garden. Truly a perfect place to walk and meditate. 

The walkways are lined with gorgeous plants to create a romantic garden. Truly a perfect place to walk and meditate. 

lavender at the Mission of San Juan Capistrano California
 This fountain is it's own eco system filled with large coi fish. I was speaking to the landscaper and he mentioned this fountain is not modern. I can't recall what year it was installed but it was not electrically operating. I'm always inspired by ancient mechanics. 

This fountain is it's own eco system filled with large coi fish. I was speaking to the landscaper and he mentioned this fountain is not modern. I can't recall what year it was installed but it was not electrically operating. I'm always inspired by ancient mechanics. 

coi_fish_Mission of San Juan Capistrano Calironia
at the Mission of San Juan Capistrano California

From school and horses in San Juan Capistrano my friends and life took me to the coast and Laguna Beach. As a child we wen to the beach almost every weekend. My father was a real wave lover so went to his favorite beach in San Clemente, T-Street. If you are a local, you know all of the good beaches are tucked away in neighborhoods. To park you must find a spot on the streets in the neighborhood and then walk a long way to the beach and then down the many stairs. Even as a child I admired all the homes in each neighborhood on the coast. Inhigh school my favorite beach was Turtle Rock in Laguna Beach. 

 The beach below the Montage Spa and Resort in Laguna Beach

The beach below the Montage Spa and Resort in Laguna Beach

 Modern house in beach neighborhood, surrounded by cottage and Mediterranean. Very typical mix.

Modern house in beach neighborhood, surrounded by cottage and Mediterranean. Very typical mix.

As I would ride in my parent's car I would oogle and dream of living in a home like that...no like that... oh no like that one! I loved them all. But my favorite were the show stopper modern homes that were different from all the rest. Which is interesting because I am a romantic and love French and historical architecture.

cape cod beach cottage California

I believe this is why I have a unique style of relaxed California Modern design style. A mixture of traditional details with modern lines. You see best by the pictures below. 

 The ultimate beach modern bungalow

The ultimate beach modern bungalow

 During school I was, and still am, fascinated by the juxtaposition of traditional architecture meets contemporary furnishings. 

During school I was, and still am, fascinated by the juxtaposition of traditional architecture meets contemporary furnishings. 

As a teenager and young adult I visited the Getty Museum in Los Angeles many times. I admired the art, but studied and was inspired by the architecture and use of materials. The garden was just divine and the way the grounds are all laid out incorporating circular and rectangle angels all together just is breathtaking. 

I have this fascination with white, and I use it as my standard neutral over beige and grey, and although it is not the most practical for families, I am inspired by the materials of architecture and its clean contrast against the other materials.

 The Getty Museum Los Angeles

The Getty Museum Los Angeles

My favorite classes was history of architecture, and part of that was also the history of furniture. I loved the clean lines from the mid century modern era. This room below is a good example of my style, with the clean cozy lines of this large sectional mixed with soft traditional drapes and historic accent furniture, juxtaposed with modern art and lighting. Pouring through the French Interior Design Magazines was my favorite past time. Their eye for light, clean lines, modern, and keeping historical influences present also influenced my design style.  California gave me that style an organic influence in my designs.  Classic Modern Elegance

 French Interior Design

French Interior Design

I remember during my bachelors program at Interior Designers Institute, in Newport Beach, when I was struggling with direction for my thesis project. My instructor stated, that I would really like the designer Kelly Hoppen, and to buy her book. So I found her book, took one look at the cover and said "YES! I do really like her." I love how she uses all neutrals in such an elegant manner that incorporates all the right amounts of texture. All the lines of her designs are clean and smooth and pleasing to the eye. She incorporates symmetry with grace, and the richness of everything she pulls together. I was so grateful I had found my design inspiration mentor. Finding her and studying her techniques has also shaped how I design. 

 Kelly Hoppen bedroom design

Kelly Hoppen bedroom design

Born and raised in California, it has shaped my design style in such a way that I achieve high luxury look in a very casual and tasteful way. When people see my work they often say, I can tell you have good taste. But what I really think they are trying to say is you have a sophisticated design eye. With my low key SoCal upbringing, I bring to that equation an approachable angle that is comfortable and casual while being beautiful. 

I believe you space brings you joy or stress. What we surround ourselves affects our emotional state. I simply want everyone I help to love where they live. 

To see my finished projects. Go to Design > Interiors

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tiffany lee ann design souther california interior designer