Tour This Warm, Woodsy, Welcoming Home

Surrounded by trees and filled with color, HGTV Magazine found a home that's the definition of cozy.

Photo By: Lisa Romerein (Styled by Liz Strong)

Photo By: Lisa Romerein (Styled by Liz Strong)

Photo By: Lisa Romerein (Styled by Liz Strong)

Photo By: Lisa Romerein (Styled by Liz Strong)

Photo By: Lisa Romerein (Styled by Liz Strong)

Photo By: Lisa Romerein (Styled by Liz Strong)

Photo By: Lisa Romerein (Styled by Liz Strong)

Photo By: Lisa Romerein (Styled by Liz Strong)

Photo By: Lisa Romerein (Styled by Liz Strong)

Photo By: Lisa Romerein (Styled by Liz Strong)

Photo By: Lisa Romerein (Styled by Liz Strong)

In a Far Off Land

Nestled on a secluded street lined with decades-old sycamore and oak trees, Isa and Darryl Eaton’s 1958 creekside home in Santa Barbara, CA, seems more forest-y than suburban. That tucked-away, storybook feel is what sold the couple on the 3,250-square-foot house back in 2012, despite its trapped-in-time interior. “There was dark redwood paneling in every room,” says Isa. “It felt so dreary.” Wall-to-wall shag carpeting and a linoleum-covered wet bar weren’t helping, but none of it fazed the hands-on couple. Isa, an avid sewer, painter, and gardener, grew up rehabbing houses with her parents, and she and Darryl have also reno’ed two previous homes. Together they created a brand new space to share with children (from left) Otis, 7; Story, 5; and Samuel, 10.

One-of-a-Kind Space

Going full tilt for eight weeks, they updated every room, applying gallons of white paint and installing engineered hardwood flooring. Isa then brought in repurposed family-friendly pieces and lots of accents she made herself, including pillows and art. “Our eclectic, kind of thrown-together style is right at home in this little oak tree wonderland,” she says. Painted taupe, a nonworking rock fireplace sets a rustic tone in the dining room. A distressed World Market table with a fringed throw for a tablecloth continues the down-home feel. 


Tall oak trees shade the 1950s post-and-beam house, which is clad in old-growth redwood. For hits of color, Isa hung metal barn stars spray-painted blue (Lagoon by Rust-Oleum) on the balcony, and painted the front door tart lime (Eccentric Lime by Benjamin Moore). “Painting your front door is supposedly the fastest way to transform the look of your house—and I believe it,” says Isa. “It only took me an hour!” Original to the house, the unstained redwood siding is rot- and pest-resistant.

Family Room

Painting the redwood paneled walls brilliant white (Simply White by Benjamin Moore) instantly lightened up the room. A Pottery Barn sectional clad in machine-washable slipcovers holds tons of pillows—some whipped up by Isa, others from IKEA. Instead of a coffee table, Isa spray-painted two metal World Market ottomans green (Key Lime by Rust-Oleum). “They’re easier to move around for board games,” she says. IKEA cubbies and World Market baskets hold the kids’ toys. 


For a budget-smart makeover, the Eatons kept the old cabinets, which Isa says were “a horrible yellowed oak color,” and revamped them with white paint (Simply White by Benjamin Moore) and satin nickel pulls from The Home Depot. Gray granite counters and a subway tile backsplash also help the space feel brand-new. “I wasn’t sure I’d ever like this kitchen, and now I love it,” says Isa. “White paint is a miracle.” The beam was stained gray (Driftwood by Sherwin-Williams WoodScapes) to echo the color of the counters.

Master Bedroom

Wanting to keep the grain of the redwood paneling but not the color, Isa brushed on gray paint (Collonade Gray by Sherwin-Williams) mixed with water, then rubbed it with a rag to get a weathered effect. For a sophisticated-casual mix, a Pottery Barn sleigh bed is paired with block print–style bedding from Pine Cone Hill, mismatched nightstands, and found driftwood that’s propped in the corner. An oil painting of California’s Central Valley, done by Isa, has pride of place above the bed.


Family gatherings begin outside in the “lounge,” where every Eaton has his or her own Adirondack chair. Each chair is different, but thanks to Isa-applied blue spray paint (Lagoon by Rust-Oleum), they look like a set. For the table, she topped an upside-down terra-cotta pot with a round piece of wood she rescued from a neighbor’s trash pile and painted blue (Brazilian Blue by Benjamin Moore). The outdoor rug and pillows are from World Market.

Art Corner

“We’re all super crafty, including the kids,” says Isa. Wanting to give them a place in the family room to get creative, she painted an old dining table blue (Stratton Blue by Benjamin Moore) and designated it the coloring, gluing, and sewing spot. The chairs were either passed down from friends or bought from Wayfair. The playful paper lanterns are from World Market and IKEA.

Otis and Samuel’s Bedroom

For her sons’ shared room, Isa kept the walls neutral and added color with painted furniture, including an IKEA dresser and a secondhand bookcase, and a gallery wall of their art. “I just put construction paper backers on their creations and hang them with tape,” she says. Isa sewed the fish-pattern duvet cover out of Garnet Hill sheets and personalized sheer IKEA curtains with a felt-circle garland hung from the rod. 

Tree House

Darryl, a whiz with power tools, built the backyard tree house using redwood salvaged from inside the house, plus some hardware-store pine. To make the leafy perch look like a mini-me version of the big house, he mounted a blue metal star to the front. “The kids love to play in there with friends,” says Isa. “They reel in the rope ladder so no adults can climb up.”

Story's Bedroom

A Pottery Barn rug with abstract florals inspired the color palette of citrus orange and pinks in Story’s room. Isa painted the bed, a freebie from a friend, off-white (Spun Cotton by Behr), then added pattern with Pottery Barn Kids sheets and a pinwheel quilt she sewed mostly out of Amy Butler fabric. The sky blue child-size desk, an antique Isa inherited from her mom, keeps everything from looking too matchy. Isa used fabric scraps from the quilt to make this pennant garland.

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