A Grown-Up Way to Do Pastels
Mark Lohman (Styled by Liz Strong)
In the breakfast area, a half-circle bench, upholstered in thistle-purple cotton, is paired with bamboo and resin bistro chairs in teal.
Michelle and Jeff Bader didn’t plan on decorating their Sherman Oaks, CA, house in a palette of confectionery colors. As their hillside home was being built three years ago, Jeff envisioned pristine neutral-white rooms, while Michelle was gravitating toward rich burgundies and grays. But after teaming with designer Alison Kandler, they found themselves embracing happier hues, like purple, teal, lemon, and turquoise. “I was pregnant with the twins at the time, and it hit me that I wanted fun, kid-friendly colors,” says Michelle.
To prevent the interiors from veering toward the sugary, the couple stuck to classic furniture and lots of white on the walls (Whisper by Dunn-Edwards). Repeated prints with a Marrakech vibe—a shout-out to Michelle’s Moroccan heritage—help the rooms feel connected. “We were surprised at how the house ended up,” admits Michelle. “But you can’t argue with the awesome results.”
The California-casual living room is anchored by a plum-color sofa upholstered in pre-rumpled linen and a 5-foot-by-5-foot alder wood coffee table with plenty of space for games and crafting. Adding pops of graphic pattern: a Suzani-print-inspired love seat, a skirted side chair, and heaps of pillows in eggplant and aquamarine. The tough-wearing jute rug hides dirt and echoes the neutral color of the F. Schumacher linen drapes.
Michelle serves help-yourself meals and party buffets on the 8-foot-by-4 1/2-foot island. Its vivid teal was “a little more Day-Glo than we anticipated,” she says. “But it’s amazing with the purple-tinged Moroccan tile on the backsplash.” Along with a dishwasher, a sink, and trash and recycling bins, the island includes roomy cabinets for stashing smaller appliances, like a slow cooker. The counter stools are from Restoration Hardware, the pendant is Italian milk glass, and the counters are cream-color Caesarstone quartz.
I love the open layout. If I’m at the kitchen island, all the action in the living room is right there in front of me.Michelle Bader
In the windowless dining room, a grape-color blown-glass chandelier from Horchow and a built-in wall of cabinets with mirrors help bounce light around. The glass-front cabinets are backed with Sister Parish wallpaper to showcase white serving ware. The cane-back chairs and round pedestal table are by Grange, and the graphic tablecloth is from Roberta Roller Rabbit.
Jeff, who grew up near Boston, helped choose the bluestone patio tiles—they reminded him of the walkways around saltbox houses in Cape Cod. The turquoise Dutch door (Bahaman Sea Blue by Benjamin Moore) and ceramic planter hint at the upbeat colors to come. The white Adirondack chairs are from World Market.
Sorting, washing, and folding is less of a chore in a laundry room energized with mustard yellow English ceramic tiles and hand-printed Pierre Frey wallpaper. Snowy white cabinets and simple white Caesarstone counters make a nice, crisp contrast.
A checkerboard floor—painted Aspen Hush and Ash Gray, both by Dunn-Edwards—sets a playful tone in Asher and Rosie’s bedroom. The twins sleep side by side in matching cribs from The Land of Nod because “I bunked with my twin sister growing up, and Jeff shared his childhood bedroom with his younger brother,” Michelle says. Popped into simple frames, 1940s school charts morph into colorful artwork. The side chair is upholstered in Clarence House fabric printed with playful animals.
Worried that the pink, burgundy, and purple ceramic tiles accenting the master bathroom might seem too girly, Michelle chose an Arteriors chandelier crafted from 52 vintage soda bottles. “It instantly gave the space a more his-and-hers feel,” she says. Cubbies and ledges surrounding the built-in tub keep towels and bubble bath at the ready when Michelle finds time for a soak.
I love the practicality of a surround tub, with all the storage around it.Michelle Bader
From the window seat upholstered in Osborne & Little fuchsia cotton to the cottagey painted floor, this bedroom puts a fresh spin on pink and purple. The distressed-wood crate, with Boston rubber shoe company stamped inside, is a swap-meet score—and a convenient spot for extra blankets. The bedding is from Bloomingdale’s, the floral shams are from Osborne & Little, and the purple-and-white sham is from Roberta Roller Rabbit. Above the bed, a framed vintage hooked rug depicting a house under the stars is hung as artwork.