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Designer Kristi Nelson updates a 1930s English Cottage, beginning only with an African textile and the knowledge of what her clients did not want. Now the cottage in Hollywood Hills has an interior as worthy and stylish as the views surrounding it.


Kristi says: My clients arrived in Los Angeles with their toddler and a second child on the way, searching for a house with easy access to work and good public schools.


They landed in Nichols Canyon, in a charming English stucco cottage with spectacular views, dated interiors, a tired exterior and just enough furniture to eat and sleep on.


They had no idea where and how to begin, or even what they liked — just what they didn’t. I was hired to not only update the living room and dining room from floor to ceiling, but to also furnish and accessorize it — all before the birth of child number two.


The dictate was to create a warm, welcoming family space with a fresh feeling that reflected the husband’s love of Danish modern and contemporary design with the wife’s affinity for traditional interiors.


My starting point was an antique French bookcase, an antique oriental rug, a porcelain lamp, a vintage reproduction Chippendale dining table with four chairs (one broken), a couple of contemporary black-and-white framed photos and a framed African textile they had bought for $5 (now hanging above the couch).


The entire scheme came to life and became a true representation of their combined aesthetic.


That beginning has led to an ongoing relationship and the quietly stylish updating of almost every area of the house’s interior and exterior.

Photos courtesy of Sarah Wauters for KMNelson Design, LLC.


Design Inspiration

4 Responses

  1. Tonja Morris says:

    Love this cottage! Not over-done like I would think of for Hollywood Hills. Comfortable yet chic.

  2. caroline says:

    This is a gorgeous home. I love all the red accents – they're a nice common thread between the spaces. I also love all the chairs in the living room. Not matchy-matchy, but they share clean lines and all look comfy.

  3. KMNelsonDesign says:

    Thank you all very much for your nice comments! My design philosophy emphasizes creating warm, comfortable environments that do not scream "Decorator was HERE" but really look like a place you would want to live in not just look at. Harder than it sounds–but well worth the effort at understatement when my clients really are at home in their environments and each is truly unique, Glad you like it too!!

  4. Jenna says:

    I definitely agree, Tonja. Very chic and cozy –not the first thing I think of when I read Hollywood Hills, which is a good thing in this case.

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