Tour A California Home That Perfects The Black And White Color Combo
Call it high-contrast chic.
As the founder of her eponymous jewelry line, Zoë Chicco is no stranger to beautiful things. So, when the designer began scouring the real-estate market a few years ago, she was on the hunt to find a place that was truly special. As luck would have it, finding her dream home would be as easy as chatting with her inner circle.
"A good friend of ours is our realtor; she actually saw the [property] off-market and texted me to say, 'I found your house,'" Chicco shares. "And, she was right! We went to see it before it was even finished and, shortly after, we made an offer."
Nestled in Valley Village, a neighborhood in L.A., the five bedroom home spans 3,200 square feet, offering plenty of room for Chicco, her husband Tim, and their seven year-old son, Truman. Though the structure dates back to 1942, she shares it was renovated by Michaela Cadiz prior to moving in. For Chicco, the recent revamp is what sold her on the space.
"It was as if we had worked together to design the house," she shares. "So many of the elements she chose were exactly what I would have selected. It felt like the house was made for us, so decorating it was easy."
With a simple black and white color palette and plenty of texture, this California farmhouse is the perfect mix of chic and comfortable — just as Chicco had envisioned.
"I want the first impression when someone sees our home to be 'Wow, this is such a beautiful home,'" she says. "But, at the same time, [you] know that a family actually lives here."
Chicco was immediately struck by the home's open layout — and wanted to put its breeziness on full display. "We loved the idea that it was on a quiet, tree-lined street with larger sized lots in a beautiful neighborhood," she shares. "What really got us was when we walked into the entry and saw the combined kitchen and dining area. That room blew me away as soon as I saw it, and it truly is the heart of the home."
Though the culinary quarter has touches of farmhouse charm, she peppered it with modern touches. Here, the Ethnicraft table is flanked by a mix of caned chairs from Crate and Barrel and a more pared-back style, courtesy of McGee & Co. However, Chicco notes finding the perfect light fixture to hang over her eating area was easier said than done. "It took us a long time to choose the chandelier we put in over the dining table," the designer shares. "We wanted something more modern but that would complement the pendants." Ultimately, she opted for a sculptural fixture from Corbett Lighting, giving the space an arty edge. Rounding out the room is a textural area rug, bridging the gap between cozy and chic.
The kitchen might be the stomach of every home, but for Chicco, it's also the crown jewel of her space. "It's where we spend the most time and it still makes me happy every time I walk in the room," she shares. "We get up in the morning and my husband makes us coffee, so that starts my engine."
As this kitchen proves, opposites really do attract. The high-contrast color scheme offers a modern, chic flair, while the brass hardware throughout keeps this palette from feeling sterile. Two antique pendants hang over the spacious island, offsetting the eye-catching tiles that flank the floor below.
Since the home was renovated right before Chicco and her family moved in, the kitchen looks the same as it did when they purchased it. However, the designer modernized the space with a row of sleek bar stools, courtesy of Lulu & Georgia.
For many people, the kitchen serves a primarily practical purpose; it's where you meal prep, scrub down last night's dirty dishes, and brew your morning cup of coffee. But, in true designer fashion, Chicco's room doubles as an opportunity to pack on the extras.
"I am a jewelry designer, so accessories are what I am all about," she shares."It’s just my style to do clean easy things that layer well together and to throw in something special for fun and texture. That can be said to describe my home or my work."
Though her graphic, high-contrast tiles provide ample eye-popping action, she added a cool-toned Ruggable runner to give the kitchen a laidback, lived-in vibe. And, as for her storage? The stone countertops and floating shelves are packed with eye-catching trinkets such as serving boards, canisters, foliage, and, naturally, fresh fruit.
Mosey on into the living and you'll spot a color palette similar to the ones spotted in the kitchen and dining area. According to Chicco, the scheme is a staple of her professional and personal style.
"I very much like a clean neutral palette," she shares. "Lucky for us, the house was mostly white with [dark] windows and doors and hardwood floors, so it already played nicely into my design aesthetic. I kept the style neutral and consistent throughout the house with cream, black and natural wood accents, and lots of layered texture."
While the living room has plenty of covetable moments — the leather woven chairs from Jonathan Adler and the Aerin light fixture are just a few standout features — Chicco has a special spot in her heart for the custom Croft House sofa.
"It is a piece I had admired for quite a while and when we bought our home, I instantly knew it was perfect for the layout of this [space]," she shares. "When you walk into our living room from the entry, I love that you can see the leather and metal detail on the back that makes it so special."
Admittedly, using a black and white color palette throughout your home can easily veer into sterile territory. However, Chicco breathed some personality into this space with the help of patterned throw blankets, plants, and soft accents.
"I strive to have a living space that looks elevated and sophisticated, but is very comfortable," she shares. "I love my accessories both in the home and in my wardrobe, but it’s important to be well curated and edited."
Another way that Chicco keeps her space fresh is by looking far and wide for the perfect pieces. As the tale of her coffee table proves, that sometimes means scouring every corner of the web. "I knew I wanted a creamy color stone [style] that was large and square," the designer shares. "I had been looking everywhere and I happened to be cruising on Craigslist when I came across this one, [which is] likely from the '70s."
This table ticks off all of her style boxes, plus it was incredibly affordable. In fact, Chicco says she bought this well-appointed option for under $500.
"Finding treasures like that are so fun and satisfying and it’s those found elements that make a home really unique," she shares.
Not only does this Craiglist find pair nicely with the brand-new patterned tile around the fireplace, but it also offers the perfect blank canvas for her art books, crystals, and objets.
As the resident accessories queen, Chicco firmly believes that extras will take your space to the next level. However, the designer says it's important to apply a measured approach to your fripperies.
"Take your time to find the pieces you love — and be patient, which is not my strong suit," she shares. "Sometimes the investment [items] you want need to be custom made, or take longer to ship, but I promise they are worth the wait."
While Chicco loves ordering bespoke furniture as well as commissioning artwork and creatives from of-the-moment creatives like MQuan, Lucy Michel, and Jennifer Daily, the designer is happy to look everywhere for the right accessory.
"I have found treasures and pieces that I love at flea markets and Target," she says. "There is good stuff everywhere, and if it speaks to you and you have a place for it, I say go for it!"
Though most of the home's interior paired nicely with Chicco's personal style, the designer was in for a surprise when she saw the bedroom. The curveball? An accent wall swathed in Benjamin Moore's Van Deusen Blue.
"I considered painting over it, but am so glad we didn’t," she shares. "I don’t know that I would have chosen the color as I tended to opt for white walls in this house, but I have really grown to love it and find that it brings more character to the room, which I love."
In fact, Van Deusen Blue only enhanced her personal quarters' elevated cozy environment, a common thread seen throughout her L.A. abode.
"I wanted the bedroom to complement the rest of the home, but ultimately be really comfortable," she shares. "This is the first time we have had a TV and fireplace in our [space], so there are lots of cozy nights spent watching Netflix in bed."
The key? Covering her place in thoughtful layers. When the designer upgraded to a king-sized bed, she mixed and matched high-contrast linen bedding from Parachute and The Citizenry. An eclectic array of art — such as a Block Shop print, a canvas from Studio McGee's Target collaboration, and bells from MQuan — strike a balance between luxurious and livable. And, to give her space extra warmth, she draped a tactile rug from Lulu & Georgia over her hardwood floors.
In a time when your home doubles as your office, gym, restaurant, and so much more, it's important to create a space that truly brings you joy. And, for Chicco, that means bringing a serene spirit to every nook and cranny.
"I am not much of a color fan, in my home or my work," she shares. "You will see an accent here or there, but overall I keep it very neutral. I just find that [it's] easy on the eyes and calming, which is very much the vibe I want in my home."
The designer's bathroom is proof that a neutral color palette can be anything but boring. Here, she offsets Benjamin Moore's Sidewalk Gray base with various slabs of marble, strategically placed foliage, textural curtains, and a photographer from Max Wanger. The result? A happy mix of style and serenity.
As a jewelry designer, it's Chicco's job to interpret (and even set) the latest trends. But, when it comes to her home, she recommends decorating with your long-term goals in mind.
"I like things with special details or accents, but that are timeless and will still work and feel relevant for years to come," she says. "I make the same choices in my home. The pieces that we invest in have to be something that I will still love five, or even 10, years from now.
After all, feeling at home will never go out of style.