You would think having an active lifestyle and young children would make you shy away from embracing a neutral color motif but that wasn’t the case for the physicians who own this lovely Mission Hills home. Designer Laura McCroskey says they were all in on having a house that evoked a color story that was clean and crisp.
“The best thing about working with neutrals is that I don’t think they will ever go out of style. They’re classic and timeless. My two favorites are ivory and white because they compliment each other. The key is to do a warm undertone. If you go too white, you’ll get a blue cast. That’s why I go bone white because it’s warm without being stark and doesn’t have a harsh yellow undertone.” (The designers three favorite natural paint colors are Benjamin Moore’s Swiss Coffee and White Dove and Sherwin Williams Dover White.)
McCroskey took that color concept and wove it through the house. In the couple’s kitchen, she says the white is warmed up with a darker veining in the marble and with the dark wood insets and stain on the island. She also used gold and mirrors to give the room a splash of sunny brightness and a bit of glam.
That feeling was carried over to the dining room where McCroskey shared her secret to making a room très chic. “I think every dining room needs three things: One, beautiful wall paper; two, paneling or any kind of mill work – mill work is everything to a house; and three, a gorgeous chandelier.”
McCroskey says that the living room provided a challenge because it’s very long. “We wanted to break it up and divide it half. Our goal was not to accentuate the length but basically go against the shape of the room. With an open day bed and the way we placed the seating we were able to have two conversations spots in one room.
The bathroom is another example of taking clean and crisp to the next level. Its white palate is softened with gold accents in the light fixtures and cabinetry handles. “You have to make sure you have balance and are adding warmth with greenery and by mixing dark woods to offset the white.”
As for keeping all the white furniture and surfaces tidy, McCroskey says it’s science to the rescue. “You can have almost any fabric or rug treated to be stain resistant. Crypton is built into fabrics now and it’s just amazing.” (Crypton is a kind of fabric that offers permanent stain, moisture, mildew, bacteria and odor-resistant protection.) Even marble countertops can be protected with a sealer and then professionally polished to remove any etching.
This stunning home proves that a neutral palate can play and work beautifully together for any family and, in this case, was just what the doctor(s) ordered.