Tour a California Penthouse Loaded With Design Ideas

Designer Kitchy Crouse created a completely new interior in this homeowner's Cardiff-by-the-Sea childhood home, complete with an open plan, modern furniture and fresh bathroom designs.

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Photo By: KC Interior Design

Photo By: KC Interior Design

Photo By: KC Interior Design

Photo By: KC Interior Design

Photo By: KC Interior Design

Photo By: KC Interior Design

Photo By: KC Interior Design

Photo By: KC Interior Design

Photo By: KC Interior Design

Photo By: KC Interior Design

Photo By: KC Interior Design

Photo By: KC Interior Design

Photo By: KC Interior Design

Photo By: KC Interior Design

Photo By: KC Interior Design

Photo By: KC Interior Design

Photo By: KC Interior Design

Lively Living Room

Designer Kitchy Crouse of KC Interior Design wanted to create a space that emphasized the coastal location of this Cardiff-by-the-Sea penthouse in Encinitas, Caliifornia without turning to typical design ideas. Crouse also wanted to match the client's vibrant personality, so the team used blues and oranges — the colors of a beautiful sunset sky — as a theme for the home. "My client was not afraid of color, pattern or texture," Crouse says. "That is just where I fit in."

Custom Color Combination

Black and gold can be seen throughout the home but especially in the living room. This versatile color combination is capable of making a home look and feel custom, which is what Crouse did here. "This is a luxurious combination that many are afraid to use but once they do, it is hard to stop," Crouse says. "The combination of those two colors together is perfect to create a curated space."

Ottoman + Accessories

These lacquer black accessories are what really bring this look together. Crouse brought in a pop of orange, (she says it is the color of 2019), and blue shades for a nod to the coastal theme in unexpected fabrics and applications. Crouse says this ottoman was custom made with ostrich vinyl fabric to tie into the cowhide rug beneath.

Blue Hues

The living room features two couches facing each other to maximize space. The iridescent vinyl blue shade pops against the muted kitchen and bare walls. To complete the look, Crouse added a black and white stripped cowhide rug over a wool rug.

Minimalist Kitchen

Crouse created an open kitchen to give plenty of room for entertaining. She used a restrained material palette, consisting of walnut, quartz and painted wood cabinets. To maintain the clean look, she used a Neolith backsplash and white quartz countertops.

Statement Pieces

Crouse says this is one of her favorite kitchens ever. "Black cabinetry is a huge design trend right now, but for me, it will always be timeless," she says. "I complimented the black with rose gold details, and now I see more and more brands using this finish on their hardware and fixtures."

Sculptural Jewelry

Designer Kitchy Crouse selected a statement hanging pendant to anchor the space and serve as a kind of sculptural jewelry for the room. These gorgeous statement lights along with the wood island and bar chairs make this space cool and hip. To give color contrast, Crouse added muted rose-tinted upper cabinets that hide the range hood and create an overall sleek look.

Wood Work

Crouse, whose husband is a woodworker and an artist, is—as you might expect—known for using wood in her work. "I believe people are always seeking connection from nature," she says and for her wood, "creates a welcoming space and is timeless."

Master Retreat

Crouse created a playful yet sophisticated master suite by using a neutral scheme with pops of orange — the client’s favorite color — on the window treatment. She selected rust velvet chairs for a refined look that complements the surrounding tones. "Bold, splashy colors can overwhelm, but when combined with a neutral palette, they can create a unique style that wows," Crouse says.

Dramatic Accent Wall

Love this sophisticated black paint? Crouse used Dun Edwards’ BlackJack (DE6371) to create a dramatic accent wall. You can also use wallpaper or even wood paneling to achieve a wow-worthy accent wall.

Cobalt Bathroom

This contemporary style bathroom uses basic design elements of line, shape and form to dictate its direction. To achieve a minimalist space, Crouse suggests using decorative items that are intentional and have function. "Don’t worry if some side tables or shelves are empty," she said. "It rests the eye." To streamline clutter, clean up your home yearly and throw away what is not important. This starburst mirror brings attitude to the space and stands out against the black and white wallpaper. Crouse suggests using vinyl wallpaper in the bathroom for easy clean up and practicality.

Detail Is Everything

"Consistency and attention to detail" says Crouse are critical skills for designers. She selected a functional and colorful vanity to create a focal interest and tie to the scheme used around the home. On-trend brass fixtures and wallpaper gives this space personality.

Custom Cubby

This shower cubby is a stand-out detail with its honeycomb design. The floor in this bathroom is also honeycomb but in a larger format. Crouse says 3D tile in the bathroom is another trend that is here to stay. It gives depth and creates texture in an interesting and creative way without overwhelming other design elements.

Guest Bathroom Design

The guest bath has a more masculine, minimalist feel than the cobalt bathroom. Crouse nodded to the black accents around the home, like the kitchen cabinets and black accent wall, and created a 3D tile shower wall with polished gold plumbing to create contrast and elegance.

Black + White

Crouse was working with a small space, so she decided to make it impactful and created a rock and roll vibe. To transcend the limitations of the space, she selected wallpaper to brighten the space. The floating vanity makes the space appear larger, and the mirror and lighting above the sink pull the look together.

Breezy Balcony

Crouse created a low-maintenance deck with a barbecue, a daybed and a small bar table with two chairs.

Space for Entertaining

The clean and functional space is "really is all you need to experience the sunsets of California in style," Crouse says.

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