The Touch of Style-Oprah Home Contest the winner

When Pam Shamshiri and her husband, Haines Hall, and their 2 1/2-year-old son Reza, moved into their one-story Craftsman-style cottage in Venice, California, they knew there was work to be done. The house was small (900 square feet), littered with beach-themed accents, and somewhat haphazard in its lines—doors were one height here, another height there.
But Pam, trained as a set designer, was unruffled. She knew minor adjustments could yield dramatic effects. She relied on three foolproof methods to renovate the house:

1.Use satin and glossy paints, which are easier to maintain than flat or eggshell. The shinier finishes clean up easily and reflect more light.
2.Mirrors pop light into a room and wake up dead space. They also add new vantage points. You can have mirrors cut to fit at hardware and home-improvement stores—smaller ones can be attached to surfaces with glue or double-stick tape.
3.Keep seating heights the same—you don't want some people positioned higher than others.

In the kitchen, a square butcher-block counter anchors the skylit room. Comfortable woven leather stools by Henry Beguelin surround it. A samovar from Iran, Pam's native country, sits on top of an old Wedgewood gas stove
A combination of serious design elements and whimsical finds gives the house much of its personality. In the dining area, a 1960s Murano glass light fixture hangs over the Paul McCobb rosewood table and chairs.
The library is defined by a wall of built-in bookcases and a small fireplace that easily heats the whole house. It's outfitted with a tufted green leather Chesterfield (found at a friend's moving sale), and an armchair covered in a Lee Jofa fabric. Both sit just 14 inches high. "I wanted everything low to the ground here," Pam says. With the arrival two-and-a-half years ago of Pam and Haines's son, Reza, Pam discovered the height of the furnishings has an additional plus: It's completely toddler-friendly

Pam made sure that her stylish designs were also kid-friendly. Reza has a play area set up in the former garage, with walls and floors protected by interlocking rubber tiles

Pam blended interiors and exteriors and combined modern styles with vintage fixtures. In the bathroom, green trim connects house to garden, while black paint on the claw-footed tub's underside modernizes the vintage fixture
Pam's sense of whimsy also translated into Reza's bedroom. Cowboy-print curtains hang above a 1950s George Nelson dresser
Elsewhere in the house, photographs are interspersed with paintings by Haines's grandfather, William Haines Hall, a well-known illustrator in the 1930s.

A sofa designed by Pam's company, Commune, sits below an ingenious gallery wall: Wood slats allow for easy rearrangement of the art, all of which is hung with "S" hooks
In Pam's bedroom, works of art double as traditional design elements. A 1960s screen by Italian designer Tommaso Barbi, which Pam cadged from her father's furniture showroom in Iran, serves as a headboard. Textiles from Africa, China and Indonesia are on the bed.
Dark brown walls also bring peace and intimacy to the master bedroom, but French doors to the porch keep the room from feeling claustrophobic.
From the bedroom, Pam and Haines can gaze upon an organic, textural tableau on the porch. On display are a mirror made by an unknown artist from northern California, a Moroccan candlestick, a table made of driftwood and glass and two hand-thrown vases from Atwater Pottery.

2.Bringing Nature Inside-

For Kimberly Dellamonica, a perfect house is one that's "tropical, tranquil, luxurious and really inviting—I want people to feel comfortable as soon as they walk in the door." Mission accomplished, says Nate. "This place is like a sanctuary, a Zen retreat."
When Kimberly and her husband, Mark, began renovating their lagoon-front condo near San Francisco, she took her cues from her favorite holiday destinations: Southeast Asia, which she frequented in her 10 years as a flight attendant, and Mexican resorts such as Las Ventanas al Paraíso and Esperanza, both in Cabo San Lucas.
"I love the beach lifestyle," Kimberly explains. "So I told my husband, 'Let's just do it in our house.'"
Nate surprised winner Kimberly Dellamonica with an orchid, which fits perfectly in her tropical-themed home.

Neutral is not another word for boring. Kimberly varied this room's earthy palette with several tones and textures—from the glossy chocolate-brown lamp and woven caramel basket to the sueded tan chair. The few hits of bright color—the green palm leaves and fuchsia orchid—are straight from nature.
Kimberly created the duvet cover in her master bedroom by sewing two sheets together
Even without a green thumb, you can bring natural materials into your home—as Kimberly did with these large bamboo stalks, which are sold at local flower marts. When a miscalculation created a gap between the carpet in Kimberly's bathroom and its threshold, she filled the space with grouted beach rocks. The fix worked out so well that she repeated it in every doorway
3.Home Swiss Home

In the breakfast nook, a vintage mirror becomes a functional message board. The owners of the antiques store where Kirsten purchased the piece broke out the mirror and then sprayed the backing with chalkboard paint. She sits on a slipcovered Ikea storage bench at her breakfast table—an affordable take on an iconic Eero Saarinen design—also from Ikea.
Scattered throughout the house, these flea-market flower paintings might come across as mere kitsch. But grouped together, they make a strong graphic statement. Kirsten propped the paintings loosely atop two Ikea floating shelves to let guests know that she knows the pictures are more about fun than fine art.

To create the illusion of more space in the master bedroom, Kirsten painted the walls with horizontal stripes in close tones of one color. She plucked these three shades off a single swatch card.
If you're considering a bathroom redo, beadboard—which Kristen used—is more economical, less clinical and easier to install than tile.

4.Mix and Match in Beverly Hills
Rewind to 2005, when Jenn left New York to be with her fiancé, Todd, in Los Angeles. The couple bought a run-down condo in Beverly Hills, enabling Jenn—who had lived in rentals all her life—to finally realize her dream of renovating a home from top to bottom. She wanted to fix up the place before they moved in, so she gave herself a 30-day deadline. "I work best under pressure," she says. And she got to it, hiring a crew to lay new ebony-stained hardwood floors and repaint every surface of the apartment.

Each weekend, she'd scour the city's flea markets in search of hidden treasures, snagging a Buddha head sculpture on one visit, more glass decanters the next. "No one believes that the stuff in our house is from flea markets," Jenn says. "But I see potential in everything."
Her diaphanous glass decanters—on her Fasano Designs buffet—look like a cohesive collection, in part because they're "framed" shoulder-to-shoulder in a tray and surrounded by breathing space.
Rather than let an awkwardly placed window cramp the layout of her master bedroom, Jenn hung a scrim that creates the appearance of a solid wall.
The bench at the foot of her bed is a reupholstered flea market score. She found the pillows at Target and Restoration Hardware.
Don't skip the small stuff. Before framing these sea fans, Jenn spray-painted them navy blue to match the rest of the room. Also, establish a consistent visual rhythm by using a single fabric pattern in more than one color combination, as with these blue-and-white ikat throw pillows.
Jenn refers to her den as the Blue Room. Painting the ceiling the same color as the rug or the floor makes the room feel like an embrace. Connect indoor and outdoor spaces by using the same color scheme in both, as Jenn does here with the blues on her patio and in her den.
In her powder room, Jenn chose a metallic theme—carried out in the Jane Churchill wallpaper and the Z Gallerie sink, vanity and mirror

Jenn cut a dozen flower photographs out of a book and hung them in identical frames to create a larger composition.
Nate admires Jenn's gutsy mix-and-match, high-low approach. "These rooms look like they were assembled over time," he says. "You can't create a house like this in a day." But if you're Jenn Feldman, you can—somewhat miraculously, and with much gusto—do it in a month.


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