This Lively Los Angeles Cottage Is Full of Fun Designs

Fun colors, fun stuff, fun house! Take a tour with HGTV Magazine.

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June 11, 2019

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

The Story

It’s not every day that a designer gets a request like “I want my house to feel a little silly.” But that’s exactly what comedian and writer Josh Thomas told designer Caitlin Murray.

“I like kitsch and whimsy and color, and I was looking to have all of that,” says Josh. The Australian moved to the States in 2018 for his new show Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, on the Freeform channel. He bought a plain 1956 cottage with only 1,100 square feet of living space, then called on Caitlin to bring the zing.

She started by painting most of the walls white. “White might not feel like the most obvious choice when you’re going for quirk, but it’s like turning your walls into a canvas so the furniture can be on display,” she says.

In Josh’s house, those pieces are a cheeky mix of rainbow-bright hues and funky shapes. Caitlin satisfied Josh’s other demand, dude-proofness, with a couch in a forgiving dark color and durable quartzite counters in the kitchen. “I like to entertain, my friends are disgusting, and I’m not great either, so I couldn’t have a place that was at all precious,” Josh says. His bachelor pad is practical yet packed with personality—silly chic at its best.

Living Room

“I’m way into big colors,” says Josh. Even on the fireplace? Y-e-s! Designer Caitlin went for an offbeat berry shade that doesn’t hold back. To keep the space from looking like a crayon explosion, she blended brights—like a sunny console from Chairish—with more subdued hues, like a cranberry wool-blend sofa from Muuto and baby blue chairs from Industry West. A triangle mirror by Consort serves as art: “It’s interesting but simple, so it doesn’t feel distracting,” Caitlin says. The vintage shiny brass coffee table is also from Chairish.

Kitchen

The counter and the backsplash rock: They’re natural quartzite in check-me-out pink. Caitlin painted the cabinets a light blue gray (Sea Star by Benjamin Moore) to complement the quartzite’s blue veining. Black hardware from Buster + Punch ties into the sleek open shelves. The large workspace came in handy when Josh first moved in. “I tricked new friends into thinking I’m someone who always cooks by making bread for them,” he says, “but only three times, then never again!”

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Living Room

A burl-wood-veneer-and-Lucite sideboard from Modshop at one end of the living room is Caitlin’s cool, unfussy answer to a bar cart. “The inside is filled with stuff like grappa that nobody but me seems to like,” Josh jokes. Gold-toned accessories, including a pineapple from World Market and a coppery vase from Anthropologie, glam it up. Josh already owned the kitschy artwork. The linen curtains, the same as in the dining room, are from Restoration Hardware.

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Dining Room

Caitlin chose a fab combo with a side of camp: a mod table from Eurway, vintage velvet chairs from Chairish, and a zebra-print rug from Etsy. At first Josh had his doubts: “Animal-print rugs remind me of something you’d find at an auntie’s house near a Jacuzzi,” he says. “But when I saw it all together, it looked good.”

Bathroom

Rad: octagonal-tile floors with a mid-century vibe that previous homeowners had installed. Bad: a blah vanity that had to go. Caitlin brought in a new one that’s built from a vintage walnut credenza, then upped the punch with cobalt blue paint on the walls, pink sconces from Amazon, and a geometric rug from The Company Store. “The rest of the house is so energetic, I didn’t want the bathroom to get left behind,” she says.

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Bedroom

Josh wanted the bedroom’s design to have more fun flair too, just in a more subdued way. Caitlin gave this small room grandness with custom raspberry velvet curtains hung from the ceiling and an upholstered platform bed from Blu Dot. A playful duvet cover from Biscuit Home and yellow shams from Target Josh things up.

Porch

Caitlin made the shaded front porch feel vacation-y with a peppy cabana-stripe rug from Serena & Lily and white CB2 planters filled with tropical plants. The table from Blu Dot is made of rustproof powder-coated steel; the chairs from Industry West are polypropylene.

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