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Classic Spanish Home

A classic Spanish-style home is updated with modern amenities while retaining its original character.

For some, the lure of buying an older house is re-creating the period style in beautiful detail. Los Angeles-based designer Kevin Kolanowski did just that when he carefully restored his classic 1920s Spanish-style home. Kolanowski was luckier than most — the wood floors were in their original condition and the architectural elements, like arched doorways and windows, were still intact. He built upon the classic look with a spare color palette influenced by the natural surroundings.

The muted blues, grays and greens found in the firebox tiles dictated the palette in the living room. A cream-colored rug and sofa blend seamlessly with the off-white walls. Two candy-colored pink chairs saturate two corners in color.

The dining room is in the center of the house and is visible from the living room, kitchen and foyer. Since it serves as a focal point, Kolanowski wanted to keep the look understated yet elegant. He painted the cove on the ceiling an eye-popping red and painted the walls a neutral color that gives off a warm glow in the sunlight. The dining set is modern with sleek lines and dark woods paired with cream colors on the seats and tabletop. The chandelier serves like a piece of artwork overhead.

The kitchen was completely remodeled but reconstructed in the same vein as the original space. The doorway was widened for easier access, the linoleum was ripped up to reveal the original wood floors and the cabinets were updated with new pieces that are exact replicas of the originals. By adding new stainless steel appliances, a large butcher-block island and a marble countertop and backsplash, he was able to create a state-of-the-art space while staying true to the classic Spanish look.

Interesting rustic tiles found at a flea market were inset into the backsplash to further punctuate the Spanish influence.

The master bedroom is awash in a soothing, restful palette of robin's egg blue, chocolate brown, cream and gold.

He found the linen draperies at a flea market and after several washings was able to make them work in the space, albeit with the muted tones of the fabric's back side facing out. A chocolate brown chair paired with a glass side table creates a cozy spot for reading.

The bathroom features the original black, tan and gold tile, which Kolanowski enhanced with a green-tinted Venetian plaster wall finish above.

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