Ocean Avenue Penthouse: Contemporary Guest Room

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This Ocean Avenue penthouse would not be complete without a custom designed guest bedroom retreat. Vintage rattan coffee table ottomans pair perfectly with a sleeper sofa and lightweight linen sheer drapery. The sleeper sofa is not only compact but comfortable and versatile. An organic wool toss blanket adds warmth and visual interest. Handcrafted paper wings by fine artist Susan Hannon complete the space.

Active design elements like natural woods, raw textiles and plant life are incorporated throughout the space. Salvaged "live edge" wood was used to fabricate custom bookshelves displaying a collection of the homeowners' favorite books, fossil and mineral specimens. A handmade wooden bowl in the shape of a seashell is the perfect home to a potted plant adding life to the entertainment center.

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Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Brad Nicol

Ocean Avenue Penthouse: Contemporary Living Room

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An Ocean Avenue penthouse with a bird's eye view of Santa Monica's coastline is outfitted with eco-friendly furnishings, natural textiles and organic rugs to create a perfect Zen retreat. White fabric poufs provide extra seating for guests and are low enough to preserve the ocean view. A natural driftwood sculpture compliments a collection of organic objects as the centerpiece to this biophilic design.

Fine art can become a unique design element within a room. This one of a kind artwork fashioned from hand-thrown clay disks explicitly created for the living room captures the calming energy of the ocean air. The installation's delicate minimalism and organic formations add dimension and complement the room's natural textures.

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Sustainably sourced organic textiles and fabrics adorn this custom sectional with natural latex cushions, a perfect companion to the organic wool rug and toss blanket. A modern white metal side table with a fun organic shape adds interest.

This modern design preserves the expansive coastline view while utilizing a wall of mirrors to extend the entertaining area visually. The integrated dining area features a custom table of chrome and maple perfectly sized for this compact space.

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A collection of eco-friendly materials, organic textiles, and vintage accoutrements make this Ocean Avenue penthouse the ultimate beach retreat. The delicate chandelier made up of tiny light bulbs, and wire reminds us of stars strung together in the sky. Tillandsia plants make a perfect centerpiece for beachfront dining. 

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Brad Nicol

Houzz Pro Spotlight: How to Design a Healthy, Happy Home

Who: Sarah Barnard

Where: Santa Monica, California

In her own words: “The more informed we are and the better choices we make, the cleaner and healthier our homes can be.”

When furnishing your space, it is essential to consider how your choices will affect your family. “We need to create high-functioning, natural and nontoxic environments that endure over time,” interior designer Sarah Barnard says. The principal at Sarah Barnard Design in Santa Monica, she believes in “optimizing the health and happiness of the people within a home.”

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Passion for the arts. Barnard studied interior architecture and fine art before starting her own company. “I’ve always been interested in history, architecture and the environment,” she says. “They all inform my practice.” She also enjoys the fashion aspect: “We are always influenced by trends like new colors, patterns, and fibers. Design is a balance of old and new.”

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A green philosophy. Barnard, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited professional, believes sustainable design is no longer a specialty area. “I wouldn’t be taking good care of my clients if I designed spaces any other way,” she says. In addition to her usual clients, Barnard does pro bono design work for nonprofits so they too can enjoy healthy, natural spaces.

Read Barnard’s tips below to create a home that benefits the mind, body, and soul.

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1. Utilize Universal Design

Barnard recommends designing a home that will endure all of your family’s life stages. “Strategize early in the design phase,” she says. “When you get older, or someone faces a disability, the last thing you want to do is tear apart your home.”

One way to incorporate universal design is to use a wall-hung cabinet in your bathroom, such as the one Barnard installed in this Pacific Palisades home. It provides not only a clean aesthetic but also ample toe space for maneuvering in a wheelchair. She also added plentiful overhead, undercabinet and wall-sconce lighting. “People can adjust the lighting to suit their needs,” she says.

See more of this project

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2. Choose Eco-Friendly Materials

Natural and organic textiles can improve indoor air quality. “Most home products have been tested, but not in conjunction with other items,” Barnard says. “Combining products that each release a small amount of toxic vapor creates a polluted environment.” Alternatively, she recommends using pieces that are at least 20 years old, as they’ve long since finished off-gassing.

Barnard sourced eco-friendly materials, such as natural latex cushions and an organic wool rug, to create this healthy oasis for Santa Monica clients. “The coffee table was solid lumber finished with natural linseed oil; no toxic adhesives were used,” she says.

See more of this project

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3. Reinvent What You Have

You don’t necessarily have to expand your home to achieve your desired layout. “You can modernize and increase comfort without adding on by rearranging what you have,” Barnard says.

West Hollywood clients wanted more space but didn’t want to modify the structure of their 1918 Craftsman bungalow. “We moved interior walls to increase functionality,” Barnard says. She stole a bit of space from one bathroom to make another one more substantial and used space from the coat closet to make room for a shower in the shrunken bathroom.

See more of this project

More: For more information on Sarah Barnard and examples of her work, visit Sarah Barnard Design’s Houzz profile.

This story was written by the Houzz Sponsored Content team.

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.