Owner: Kirsten Blazek, interior designer and owner of California-based design firm a 1000 x Better
Location: Pasadena, California, “in the Linda Vista neighborhood, which sits right above the Arroyo where the Rosebowl is located,” explains Blazek. “I love this neighborhood because it is all residential, has incredible views over the Arroyo, and there’s lots of interesting and varied architecture, natural beauty, and tree-lined streets.”
Size: The ranch-style home is just more than 2,700 square feet, with four bedrooms and three bathrooms.
“I would describe my style as laid-back Californian with Southwestern influences and a little edge for good measure,” says Blazek.
A Space Full of Untapped Potential
“I loved that the house hadn’t been remodeled in quite a while and had all of its original features still intact,” Blazek tells us. “The home had been owned by the same family since it was built in the 1940s. It also had naturally good flow and generous-sized spaces. Although the home lacked character when we purchased it, we saw a lot of untapped potential, which is always a designer’s dream.”
Stunning and Serene Outdoor Spaces
Of all the spaces in the house, Blazek says there’s one clear favorite: “I love the back porch, it’s such a quiet and tranquil spot with complete privacy.”
“We did pretty extensive landscaping on the property since it was neglected when we bought the house,” says Blazek. “Originally, there were two beautiful and very old olive trees, which provided the perfect setting. I hung two swinging chairs on the covered back porch, which were very well-loved!”
Along with the covered back porch, the front of the house also offers a beautiful outdoor set-up. “The large covered front porch was another incredible space with a lot of potential,” Blazek says. “I stripped all the paint off the redwood, which ended up becoming a beautiful feature at the front of the house.”
Fixing the Floors
“Prior to our renovations, most of the house had narrow plank, original red oak flooring,” Blazek says. “I chose to match that throughout the house, and we stripped the flooring and bleached it to get the red out and then sealed it with a matte sealer. In the family room, where the flooring was all new, I laid it out in a herringbone pattern, which added lots of visual interest.”
The Perfect Bay Window
“When we first saw this home, I noticed that the formal living room had a massive original bay window, which brought in beautiful natural light into the home,” Blazek says. “I knew this spot would be great to sit in and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.”
A Tile-Inspired Kitchen Redesign
“The kitchen was another complete redesign,” Blazek says. “The tile is my favorite design element in the kitchen and was actually the jumping-off point for the whole design. In fact, this tile was the first thing I purchased for the remodel, and it really set the tone for the direction of the rest of the home.”
Upgrading the Principal Bedroom
“The principal bedroom initially lacked a lot of character,” Blazek tells us. “I wanted to enhance the space by painting the room one color, and I used Farrow and Ball’s Faded Terracotta to give the room a warm and sun-soaked feeling.”
A Bright and Airy Bathroom Full of Storage
“My favorite thing about [the primary] bathroom was the great natural light that it got,” says Blazek. “When we bought the house it was three separate rooms, which we blew out and created one large space. I also really enjoyed how large I made the vanity, because having lots of storage is essential.”
If Budget Allows…
“Ideally, I would have liked to pitch the ceiling in the principal bedroom and add in French doors leading to a wrap-around back deck,” Blazek says. “Unfortunately, the budget didn’t allow for that at the time.”
An In-Home Music Studio
“My ex-partner was a drummer and also required an edit bay for his work. We needed to utilize every square inch of the home, so we converted the California basement into a space where he could work and also play his drums,” says Blazek. “We moved the water heater out of there and installed a tankless heater on the side of the house. We cladded the whole room (which was previously exposed to the underside of the house) with cedar planks. We laid new hardwood flooring and ran electrical down there. We used a leftover piece of countertop to make a large desk space for the editing equipment and then furnished the room as a cool hangout space. It was the perfect creative space.”
One Extra-Special Original Art Piece
Though Blazek’s home is full of special collected items and vintage finds, she has one favorite.
“The painting above the fireplace was inherited by my ex-partner and was an incredible original piece of art by American painter Bill Gollings, which was very special to me,” she says.