Tour a Cute California-Cool Cottage With Tons of Neutral Touches

HGTV Magazine shows you how one family doubled the size of their cottage without sacrificing any charm. Take a full tour of this starter home turned forever home.

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May 26, 2020

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

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

The Home

Back when Amanda and Thomas Wade were newlyweds house-hunting in Pasadena, California, this 1,100-square-foot cottage was an easy sell because it was adorable and in a walkable neighborhood. Twelve years and two kids later, the two-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bathroom setup had become less adorable. The kitchen felt cramped, and the Wades wanted room for out-of-town family to stay overnight. “A lot of homes in our neighborhood are small, so people either move on to something bigger or remodel,” Amanda says. She and Thomas took the reno route, growing the house to four bedrooms, three bathrooms and 2,700 square feet. They tapped designer Amy Peltier to create a chill coastal feel, with plenty of blue and white, and playful touches. Says Amanda, “It was the perfect house for us then — and with all of the changes, it’s perfect for us now and for many years to come.”

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The Family

Amanda and Thomas with Faith, 4, and Joshua, 6 on their front porch.

Entryway

From the moment you step into the home, there’s an irresistible California-cool vibe. Shiplap-inspired paneling, light French oak floors and a jute mirror by Jamie Young are a little beachy, while a graphic rug by Feizy brings modern flair. A built-in bench, baskets and hooks create a dream mini mudroom.

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Living Room

Although the living space didn’t get bigger, raising the ceiling from 8 feet to 10 feet made it feel like it did. Amy hung drapes close to the crown molding to emphasize the height. The couple already owned the tan sofa, and light wood accents perked it up, including a bobbin chair by CR Laine and a mini coffee table by Dovetail with an open base that works well for the compact area.

Dining Area

“We love how communal our round table is,” Amanda says. Crafting and lively discussions happen here, often prompted by a deck of the kids' conversation cards. Instead of matching chairs to the table’s rustic finish, Amy chose white Chippendale chairs for a fresh spin. They’re upholstered in a light blue fabric to match the kitchen backsplash. A chandelier by Arteriors Home made with wood beads and a wire-wrapped frame is fun and fancy.

Kitchen

The mission: a larger, updated space with extra storage that didn’t look overloaded with cabinetry. The answer: a super-tall pantry, bright white paint (Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore) and a scallop tile backsplash (from Tap ‘N’ Tile, a local store owned by a neighbor) to catch the eye. Counter stools by Stanley Furniture pick up the fun color. Amanda’s favorite part? “Opening the doors to the backyard makes washing dishes pleasant!” she says.

Master Bathroom

Take it from Amanda and Thomas, few things thrill parents as much as transitioning from stepping over bath toys and competing for the sink to having your own spacious and serene retreat. Sleek sconces by Hudson Valley Lighting and glossy mosaic tile with a sea green tinge by Lunada Bay Tile give it spa vibes. “Renovations are hard,” Amanda says, “but then there are the days when you get to pick tile.”

Master Bedroom

The first thing you do when you get a much bigger bedroom? Get a bed with a much bigger headboard! This king-size velvet one with a 6-foot-tall headboard by CR Laine is forever-worthy. The grass cloth wallpaper by Thibaut and the shag rug from Rugs USA bring in yet more luxe texture, while the wide nightstands by Noir substitute for a linen closet; extra sheets are stored there.

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Guest Bedroom

“With young kids, many of the sweetest moments happen early in the morning when they’re mellow and snuggly, so I wanted family to stay over at our place and not in a hotel,” Amanda says. She and designer Amy made it as special as a four-star room with pretty wallpaper by Clarke & Clarke, bright blue lamps by Circa Lighting and a tasseled duvet cover by Serena & Lily.

Joshua’s Bedroom

The 6-year-old got a kick out of filling up his new built-in shelves with all of his favorite books and some treasures to admire (his toys live in the playroom, which cuts down on clutter here). The bulletin board is where he displays his artwork and family photos. Best homework partner: a tiger rug from Amara.

Kids’ Bathroom

Faith and her brother got a Jack-and-Jill bathroom, with double vanities and a full bath with a tub — great for bubble baths. “We decided on subway tile throughout, but Amy had the idea to put in thin stripes of blue tile,” Amanda says. “It’s one small tweak that made a huge impact — guests have always asked about it!” Faith likes to perch on her step stool (by Serena & Lily) to check out hair bows in the mirror. The little blue light is by Feiss.

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