A family’s Instagram search lands them the perfect designer to customize their home with contemporary and timeless details that match the view.

(Above) This Laguna Beach home offers sophistication and endless ocean views. Photographs by Lisa Romerein/OTTO 

When it came time for a Laguna Beach couple and their 19-year-old daughter to choose an interior designer for their home, they had a very specific strategy. Each would independently research and select an expert of their choice, and then they would take a vote. Ultimately, the daughter’s favorite, from Instagram—interior designer Ohara Davies-Gaetano of ODG Interiors in Los Angeles—was declared the winner. “I thought it was great how they each did their own research and decided together who would be the right fit for the family,” says Davies-Gaetano.

For the family, the view and feeling connected to the ocean was most important. They also wanted the home to be very well appointed, to be chic but also comfortable for entertaining and for gathering with extended family. From a design standpoint, Davies-Gaetano asked herself, “How can we curate the home so it feels layered and timeless within the context of the architecture?”

Since this was a spec house just in need of customization, much of the major structural work was already complete. Along with framing the view, Davies-Gaetano’s goal for the interiors was to implement a grounding palette with an element of coziness. “The home was very white, and although stunning, it lacked layering and depth,” explains Davies-Gaetano of the 5,000-square-foot residence. “We chose a palette of warm charcoal grays and brown [leather] mixed with blues and a few pink and lilac tones.” Contrasting different textures also came into play, like setting a velvet sofa atop a flat-weave rug.

The great room, awash in warm grays and light-violet hues, features a custom-designed sectional sofa by Davies-Gaetano upholstered in Dedar’s “Adamo & Eva” soft cotton velvet, with mauve accent pillows, also custom-designed by Davies-Gaetano, covered in Fabricut’s “Madison Heather” linen and trimmed with Samuel & Sons La Terre-printed border in birch. With its metallic gold-leafed finish and hammered texture, a Z-stool by Bliss Studio brings a bright accent to the room. 

“Knowing the family and how they interact and use the house, I just love the kitchen, great room, and dining area,” says Davies-Gaetano. 

The master bedroom is a serene retreat with a “Clayton” Jaipur rug, pendant lamps in blackened brass by Apparatus, and a Davies-Gaetano custom-designed bed with ebony-stained wood feet. “The view is amazing, so we wanted the room to be relatively quiet in tone and focus on the magic of the surrounding landscape,” says the designer. 

Critical to the project’s execution, the selection of art and accessories includes pieces culled from sources like Interlude, Arteriors, 1stDibs, and ODG Galerie. In the foyer, Davies-Gaetano placed an angula black wall sculpture, Untitled 2, by Stephen Somple, above a custom-designed settee, and commissioned her father, artist Nick Gaetano, to create a series of tiered, acrylic-on-canvas panels that hang in the stairwell. The library, defined by built-in shelving, a petrified-wood side table by Bernhardt, and a pair of brown-leather armchairs by Horst Brüning from the 1960s, showcases lacquered wall sculptures by Richard K. Schwartz and curios ranging from shagreen bookends to black-and-white framed family photographs. “In this bright, light-filled environment, there are graphic moments for your eyes to rest,” observes Davies-Gaetano. 

After a transformation that took just over a year, the final results far exceed what the family imagined. “When we look around our home, we feel so fulfilled. Every room has a unique quality, and we love them all,” says the wife. “We’re reminded every day of the thought and creativity that went into making our home a place to share [and make] beautiful memories with our family and friends.” 

Davies-Gaetano agrees: “It was such a wonderful reveal with them because it was even more incredible than what they anticipated. For me, that’s the biggest joy.” 

For more information, visit odg-interiors.com/contact