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A House That Makes You Smile

HGTV Magazine visited this Santa Monica, CA, cottage that brims with candy colors, poppy fabrics, and storybook-sweet furnishings.
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From House to Home

To give the yard an English garden vibe, Alison had vines, roses, and dense shrubs planted. One of Alison’s favorite tricks inside: Repeat your most-loved colors—periwinkle, coral, and purple, in her case—throughout the house so the rooms share a similar thread. “I’m also good about only bringing in things that I know I have a place for,” she says. “That’s how you get a collected, not cluttered, look.”

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Smile-Inducing Style

Step into Alison and Brian Kandler’s Santa Monica, CA, home and it’s hard not to break into a big grin. With its mash-up of cheery colors, charmingly shabby furniture, and mismatched patterns, the house—which was originally built in 1927 but gut-renovated three years ago—has an upbeat, come-as-you-are feel to it. “There’s a way to have lots of color, vibrant prints, and interesting shapes without going over the top,” says Alison, an interior designer.

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Mini Chairs and Painted Floors

Tiny furniture showroom samples fill the wallpaper-backed shelves. Periwinkle and green diamonds repeat on the floor of three rooms in the house.

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Dining Room

Floral wallpaper gives the impression that you’re eating in a garden. The color scheme sets the tone for the rest of the room, like the old farmhouse table and chairs with rosy Pierre Frey cotton seat cushions. The table’s unusual proportions (8 feet long and 30 inches wide) make the dining space feel more fun, less formal. The ceramic light, made by a French company, is one of Alison’s most prized finds. And, see if you can spot the doggy door.

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