Domestic Bliss: Beverley Mitchell's Southern California Home
The 7th Heaven actress outfits her ranch-style house with refined yet family-friendly comforts
For actress Beverley Mitchell and her husband, Michael Cameron, their house in Calabasas, California, represents a kind of coming of age. “We moved into the neighborhood fresh out of college, and we were the youngest ones here—it was like living with all my friends’ parents,” laughs Mitchell, who spent her formative years known to countless WB fans as Lucy Camden, the second daughter on the long-running series 7th Heaven. “My husband was, like, ‘Why did you drop me in suburbia?’ But now that we’ve got two kids, it’s perfect.” What better way to mark this momentous life change than with a makeover?
Enter Dominic Milanese, regional manager of the home furnishings retailer Arhaus. “When we first met three years ago, Bev and Michael took me on a tour of their home and explained that they were ready for a more grownup look. They’d spent a lot of time renovating the space themselves and needed help pulling it all together,” Milanese explains. Mitchell had fallen in love with the Arhaus aesthetic while visiting her in-laws in Boulder, Colorado (“I would go to that store and drool over their beautiful pieces,” she recalls), and wanted a true partner in the process. “I could call Dominic day or night with any crazy idea I had. We were always on the same page,” she says. “He understood that it wasn’t necessarily about the design; it was about our lifestyle.”
THE COLOR PALETTE
The original ranch-style home—“a lot of beige, creams, light woods, and tumbled marble,” is how Mitchell describes it—didn’t fit the young family’s personality. “It felt like it belonged to people who were older than us,” she says. “Our goal was to have guests to walk in and immediately feel comfortable, cozy, and able to sit on everything.”
A cool palette centered on blues, greens, and neutrals establishes a link between indoors and out. “Our exterior is part of our interior; all those windows are like paintings,” Mitchell says. Hardy, somewhat unusual materials (including a copper dining table, an orange granite kitchen island, and a vintage-style iron cart in the entryway) act as textural contrasts to softer elements, such as an ikat-upholstered bench and a tufted round ottoman in a bold paisley print.
THE GATHERING SPOTS
“The goal, both inside and out, was to create more intimate areas within a larger space,” says Milanese. He carved up the open floor plan with inviting yet unconventional groupings: two swivel seats around a tufted round ottoman in a sitting area overlooking the pool, and a mix of armchairs, upholstered side chairs, and the ikat bench around the copper table. “For the 10 years we lived here before [the makeover], we never used the dining room. Now we use it all the time,” says Mitchell.
The distinctive barstools at the kitchen island are another of Mitchell’s favorite features. With their swiveling seats and high backs, they provide the family with another comfortable eating area. “The island was another space that wasn’t utilized before—it used to be a catchall for stuff,” Mitchell says. “Now my husband will sit and hold the baby while I’m making dinner. We can all converse and be together.”
Outside, Milanese set up separate conversation areas with pieces that mimic many of the elements from the interior decor. The handsome wingback chair in the living area is echoed by a pair of herringbone-upholstered outdoor seats near a firepit; the expansive outdoor table on the covered patio is, like the copper-topped dining table, composed of two rough-hewn materials combined with unexpected elegance. At the back of the pool deck, with a view of the surrounding hills, is a double chaise with a billowing fabric canopy that seems straight out of a tropical resort. “I was flipping out about it. It was made for that space,” says Mitchell, who completed the vignette with a fanciful outdoor chandelier. After all, “there’s nothing sexier than having a chandelier underneath a canopy.”
A freeform gallery wall in the home’s entryway is both a major focal point and a meaningful design element. “Everything I love is up there: family pictures, wedding pictures, my daughter’s footprints,” says Mitchell, who found inspiration while browsing on Pinterest. “I didn’t want a lot of competing color, so I mixed mostly black frames and white mats with a few bursts of blue.” An antique-reproduction iron cart (available only at Arhaus stores) grounds the space with its industrial-inspired character.
Although the couple didn’t realize they were expecting their first child until they were in the midst of the design process, sophisticated kid-friendly decor was the emphasis from the start. “Using materials that look great but are easily cleanable, and filtering in rustic pieces that you don’t notice dings on, are ways to accomplish this balance,” says Milanese. As for Mitchell and Cameron, who were finalizing light placement with their electrician right before they went to the hospital to have their daughter? “My husband would say that having a baby is the easy part!” Mitchell says. “But now she’s two, and our son is four months, and we get to come home every day and enjoy our hard work. Our philosophy [for the makeover] was to wait: we lived in it and figured out what was right for us. And our house is the way we always dreamed it would be.”