Southern California Cottage – Raili Clasen House Tour

Karyn millet

It seems like an eternity (24 years, in fact) since Raili Clasen bought his first home: a charming white cottage in Costa Mesa, California. The 1950s property barely tip the scales at 1,100 square feet, so she and her growing family quickly went their separate ways for bigger digs. However, because they continued to rent the chalet, it was more of an open ‘see you later’ than a hard and quick goodbye. So when Raili, who spent 16 years in the surf fashion industry before switching to design with his company Raili Ca Design, and her husband, Ryan, who works for shoe brand Vans, decided to downsize, they decided to come back and reinvent the sentimental starting house.

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“I have always loved this house,” says Raili. “Even when I was so far away from it, I still had an idea book six inches thick.” She dusted off that dog-eared notebook and married her chic surfer aesthetic with a summer camp kick. Here’s how she made the transformation …

Open for an airy layout

During the renovation, Raili chose to cut up the wall separating the kitchen and the dining room from the living room. To help the three areas feel like a cohesive common space, she added new vertical ‘Scandi cabin’ pine planks from floor to ceiling, even cutting the windows and mantel in unstained pine, for a warm look. and finished. To keep the living room as relaxed as if it were an outdoor space, she opted for a wood-frame sofa in a rough, battered linen. Then to get the most out of just a few pieces, she added a graphic Anthony burrill print and a geometric rug.

Have the look:
San Pedro by citizenship

Kissed the color green

To make the little cottage feel big and airy, Raili looked up, knowing that potentially charming farmhouses were lurking in the attic. After some engineering efforts to remove the suspended ceiling and strengthen the vaulted ceiling, Raili brightened up the dark wood with white paint. She then introduced more evocative cabin moments like pine plank walls and cabinets in a color reminiscent of vintage Coleman lanterns. Meanwhile, a few wooden chairs left as trash in an alleyway set her looking for more mismatched pairs, all of which she gave a uniform look with a very California-appropriate avocado green tint.

Rewired with a jute covered cord, this vintage pendant light hangs directly from a junction box, but the swag rope makes it look like it’s casually thrown around the beams.

Have the look:
Ceiling paint color:
Pure White by Sherwin-Williams
Cabinet paint color: Ripe olive by Sherwin-Williams
Chair paint color:
Lawyer by Sherwin-Williams
Cord covered with jute: Global Market Jute Cord Electric Cord Kit
Backsplash Tile:
Zio and Sons patinated white “Zellige” tile by Clé Tile

Windows and folding doors installed

In addition to preserving the footprint of the house (plus a small bump to accommodate another bedroom), they prioritized outdoor living spaces which, thanks to a sequence of folding doors and windows (, feel like extensions of the interiors. Raili’s triangular bell ringing invites everyone to the bar-height indoor-outdoor terrazzo countertop that doubles as a workspace for the small kitchen.

Made the house a dark and cozy backdrop

In a nod to the exteriors of the cottages, architect Eric Olsen suggested replacing the old existing stucco in the house with a horizontal cedar strip. “We took it to the next level by staining it in black,” says Raili.

Have the look:
Exterior stain color:
Black Alder by Sherwin-Williams

Creation of an outdoor “dining room”

At the back, with the help of landscape architect Bridget Skinner, Raili has recreated the dreamlike ambience of alfresco dining amidst a grassy field. “It’s like walking through the countryside and having a nice little picnic there,” Raili explains.

Natural materials used everywhere

Instead of a traditional headboard in her 18-year-old son’s tiny bedroom, Rees, Raili added warmth and texture with a plywood accent wall that she had lightly polished and then sealed, for a matte finish. Still, the wall was crying out for color, so Raili looted her stockpile of vintage finds from the Long Beach flea market, eventually settling on a perfectly weathered vintage Red Cross flag, which she draped over it. of the bed with two pins. A bold striped quilt and decorative pillowcases add another graphic touch.

The bathroom’s pegboard shelving system echoes the bedroom’s plywood wall.

Have the look:
Striped duvet and pillow shams:
Glacier National Park by Pendleton

Creation of a sunny place to soak up

Raili’s original plan for the bath called for an all-white space. She started moving the needle up the color scale a bit with plans to paint the clawfoot tub dark blue, but the lighting saleswoman had her own ideas. “She said, ‘I ordered you a yellow bathtub,'” Raili recalls, laughing. “I thought about it for a few days. This is just another example of people who know me better than I know myself. Raili therefore opted for other blue accents, landing on hand painted wallpaper with bold illustrations of the matilija poppy native to southern California (aka “the fried egg poppy”).

When the bright blue folding beds are open, bathers can soak up a direct open-air view of the backyard.

Have the look:
Door paint color:
Mountain stream by Sherwin-Williams
Matilija by the August lake

Built an outdoor shower

Ryan, an avid surfer, requested a strategically located outdoor shower next to the back door. It is equipped with a rustic bench and a vintage portrait of a boxer, a breed beloved by the family.

Have the look:
Shower device:
for similar, Outdoor shower attachment by Gotonovo
Beach towel:
Spider Rock by Pendleton

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