Design Ideas from Tyler Dawson's Los Angeles Bungalow
One West Coast designer transitions her big-city pieces for a casual SoCal space
Three years ago, when designer Tyler Dawson and her husband moved from San Francisco to a 1920s bungalow in L.A.'s historic Venice Canals district, they brought with them a highly covetable collection of urbanite furnishings: midcentury chairs, glam gilded lighting, and textural items in a stunning array of fabrics and patterns. That the aesthetic was the last thing anyone expected of a cheery SoCal residence didn't faze them. "It was an interesting challenge to incorporate those pieces so that they felt at home in such a different environment," says Dawson. "I ended up using paint and color in order to make everything look more natural and to lighten the mood a bit."
So in the dining room, she paired her beloved Nymphaeus drapery by Lee Jofa with Roman shades in Porter Teleo’s linen Quality of Line fabric. A pink Murano petal chandelier hangs above a glossy marble Saarinen table. The finishing touch: a pale aqua ceiling. "The lightweight, hand-painted fabric lends a breezy, playful quality to the space, and the aqua looks great with all of the sunshine we get here," says Dawson. "Basically, my mantra was more color, less gray."
The shades continue into the attached living room, where their simple line pattern and airy linen fabrication offer a subdued contrast to many of the room's richer elements, including a diverse gallery wall and leather and velvet sofas. As in the dining room, delicate lighting lends a soft underwater quality above a solid-wood etched cocktail table. "I was going for casual, beach, comfortable, and friendly, in keeping with the original neighborhood vibe," says Dawson.
Nowhere is that more apparent than in the bedroom, which turned out to be the designer's favorite room in the home. "It came together in such an unexpected way," she says. The rug was a Palm Springs consignment shop find that inspired the room's muted palette; the bed curtains add a visual burst that evokes the ocean. To bring the rug's colors to life, Dawson coated the walls in Farrow & Ball's Calamine—the ceiling was done in Slipper Satin—and then incorporated her gilded lamps on either nightstand. But perhaps the best accessory of all: the muted California light that streams in from a nearby window.