A Calming Home With Pacific Ocean Views

A California family’s barefoot-casual home is totally in step with its surroundings. HGTV Magazine takes you inside.

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Finding the House

After 12 years in a Brentwood, CA, condo, Nili and Gary Ovsiowitz decided to beachify their lives. Eager for ocean views and salty breezes, they purchased a ’60s-era home in the Malibu hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean, on a cul-de-sac down the street from Gary’s parents and a couple of blocks from his brother. The family-friendly location was perfect, but the dated interiors, with original wood paneling and a throwback brick fireplace wall, felt out of sync with the seaside address.

Wanting a more laid-back look — “like a Cape Cod cottage,” says Nili — the couple embarked on a major facelift of the 3,160-square-foot space. Topping the reno list: stripping out the mid-century details, laying wide-plank oak floors and removing a wall between the dining and family rooms. Working with interior designer Tracy Gilmore, they chose unfussy furnishings and coastal-inspired art that reflect the kick-off-your-shoes ease of being just a mile and a half from the waves. The final result is “totally chill,” says Nili. “How could we not feel calm living here?” 

Living Room

A cool blue, green and cream palette sets a relaxed tone in the living room, which includes a sink-into-it Lee Industries sofa with super-stuffed cushions and chairs with graphic Tuvalu Home pillows. When a new glass top gave the white-lacquered coffee table a greenish tinge, Nili went all in with the color and had the table relacquered in Hazy Skies by Benjamin Moore. Drapes sewn from ticking-stripe linen by Fabricut continue the easygoing vibe. The wool-blend rug is from NW Rugs. 


A console lacquered in orange (Rust by Benjamin Moore), with matching linen-covered drawer fronts and leather handles, adds 7 ½ feet of storage — and a major pop of one of Nili’s favorite colors — to the entry. Set in a silver frame, the photo of a leaf-strewn pier echoes the console’s vibrant hue.

Dining Room

The rustic table, made from reclaimed Douglas fir, keeps the dining room casual. So does the mix-and-match seating: The blue chairs are covered in wipe-clean Duralee faux leather, and the Restoration Hardware wingback chairs are slipcovered in machine-washable linen. The distressed iron chandelier is from Mecox, and the linen drapes with a batik-style print are Katie Leede & Company.


The old kitchen was chockablock with dated colors and materials, from a backsplash dotted with yellow tiles to an island topped with gold-flecked marble. White paint (White by Benjamin Moore) on the existing cabinets and island, plus white honed Carrara marble on the counters, the backsplash and the island top transformed it into a serene cooking space. Since the island is where daughters Casey and Cole do crafts and homework, the Lee Industries stools were upholstered in durable faux leather by Kirkby Design.

Breakfast Nook

Windows on two sides already drenched the built-in dining niche with sunshine, but custom chairs upholstered in a yellow diamond fabric from Romo brightened the spot even more. A Williams-Sonoma Home table with a glass top and a gleaming nickel-plated base also help keep the look light.  


Before Nili and Gary upgraded the outside, the home’s charms were hidden behind blah stucco and an overgrowth of climbing vines. Cedar shingles, major pruning and a new front door color (Santa Monica Blue by Benjamin Moore) quickly boosted the curb appeal.  


For TV watching, the couple chose a sectional upholstered in a Teflon-coated cotton blend by Kravet and a bunch of pillows in high-energy orange and navy. The large coffee table is actually an RH Baby & Child play table. The art hung above the sofa includes a photo of a lifeguard tower on nearby Santa Monica beach (snapped by designer Tracy’s husband), and prints of Hawaiian palm trees and surfers waiting for swells from minted.com.

Guest Bedroom

The cheerful, pattern-splashed guest room welcomes visitors with a bed and chair upholstered in a gray-stripe Villa Nova fabric plus drapes and pillows sewn from a vibrant Tilton Fenwick cotton fabric. The petite Wayfair desk is painted glossy red (Red Parrot by Benjamin Moore). A Leftbank Art watercolor print of surfers is the finishing touch.  

Master Bedroom

A combo of watery blues and sandy beiges — plus a 10-foot-tall vaulted ceiling clad in tongue-and-groove pine — give the bedroom an airy, relaxing feel. With the high ceiling, the 5 ½-foot-tall bed, upholstered in Duralee fabric, doesn’t overwhelm the room. The custom daybed, made to the exact height of the windowsill so the view isn’t obstructed, has a paisley-print Romo fabric that repeats the blue of the nightstands from Terra Nova Designs. 


A pergola canopied with lavender trumpet vines shades alfresco diners at the 8-foot-long made-to-order trestle table from local store Oasis Imports. Crafted of reclaimed pine distressed with gray stain and trimmed in oversize nailheads, the table contrasts with the white Pottery Barn chairs.

Fire Pit

Measuring 12 feet by 15 feet, the L-shape teak sofa from Oasis Imports welcomes a crowd around the gas-powered fire pit. The tan Sunbrella cushions are perked up by an assortment of weather-resistant pillows, with prints including white polka dots from Link Outdoor and orange squiggles from Chris Barrett. “It’s beautiful out here at night. If it’s chilly, we light the fire and the girls roast marshmallows,” says Nili. 

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