Bold Colors and Collected Decor Fill This Los Angeles Home with Worldly Character

Designer and blogger Dabito thinks of home as a living scrapbook of where you've been and where you're going. See how his 1950s Los Angeles home tells his story.

Dabito says he's a homebody at heart, and in his many travels seeking design inspiration—beaches near Bangkok, glaciers in Iceland, the French Quarter in New Orleans—he always feels the call of home. Details throughout his Los Angeles house catalog places he's been. Arched doorways, built by Dabito and his father, are inspired by Spain and the work of architect Álvaro Carrillo Eguilaz. New herringbone bamboo floors are a nod to Parisian parlors. And the wood bar-turned-media-cabinet in the living room and Moroccan rug in the office are treasured vintage finds.

"I always wanted to have my own space and make it beautiful so I could spend the rest of my life there," says Dabito, the design brain behind creative studio Old Brand New. Since scooping up this 1950s house near his childhood neighborhood, he's made a character-filled place to land between trips. Browse rooms as you would a photo album: with care and the curiosity to stop and hear a story or two.

wallpapered breakfast nook with wrap around couch
David Tsay

Dabito's house has an open floor plan, so he uses color and pattern to define "moments." Tropical wallpaper anchors the dining space, which is adjacent to the kitchen and living room. A plush banquette upholstered in stain-resistant acrylic fabric maximizes seating space in the corner nook. Stools pull up for extra seating when necessary.

Related: Tips for Designing a Banquette That Fits Your Space and Family

blue, white, and yellow living room with modern touches
David Tsay

Dabito's living room includes all his decor must-haves. A carved wood table, caning, bouclé upholstery, and embellished pillows add warmth and a handmade quality. He balances warm and cool tones in a palette of orange, green, yellow, pink, and purple. Power sofas in bold, bright colors, like this turmeric yellow, feel extra luxurious in velvet. Large, sculptural plants like fan palms have a bigger impact than lots of little houseplants.

Related: How to Decorate with Jewel Tones for a Bold, Colorful Home

"A lot of things find me," Dabito says—like a vintage-look rug he stumbled upon on Overstock, and items from Etsy (his go-to for vintage). Items like paintings he made himself and an abacus from an aunt aren't just decor. He says, "They make your own gallery, your own soundtrack."

Designer and homeowner dabito

I hang art I've made over the years to remind me of my trajectory in life and how I've grown. It reminds me where I've been.

— Designer and homeowner dabito
eclectic sitting room with modern art and pattern rug
David Tsay

Dabito converted a spare bedroom into a library and home office. It's hardworking but swanky, with a 1970s aura thanks to chartreuse palm wallpaper, velvet accent chairs, and funky art displayed on a Samsung Frame TV.

Related:'70s Design Is Back: 5 Ways to Make the Retro Style Feel Fresh

man holding cat standing in entryway
David Tsay

Indoor trees and large-scale art make rooms more impactful and cozy for Dabito, his partner, and their cat and two pups.

green kitchen with colorful modern art features
David Tsay

A monochrome kitchen feels bold but not overwhelming with cabinetry and walls in a cool, organic color. Going monochromatic might feel like a bold move, but Dabito likes the way it envelops a room for a calming effect. In the kitchen, cabinets, walls, and the range hood are painted with Behr Royal Orchard semi-gloss enamel. "Green is such a neutral color for me," he says. A vintage rug and walnut shelves balance all the cool green with warmer colors.

bathroom with wooden vanity and rounded arch into bedroom
David Tsay

The en suite bath was an exercise in planning. A vanity with a trough sink and open shelf provides the perks of a double vanity in just 48 inches. The arched doorway connects the suite; for privacy, Dabito added a water closet with a pocket door (not shown).

Colorful flooring energizes small spaces. This ceramic tile's imperfect edges and color variations add a handmade touch.

white shelf with plants, books, and decorations
David Tsay

Built-in shelving was a must for creating architectural charm and display space. Shelves flanking the entry to the bath hold Dabito's souvenirs from around the world, as well as family heirlooms.

Related: 18 Effortless Ways to Style Bookshelf Decor

cozy bedroom with teal bed and hanging light
David Tsay

The biggest renovation turned two small bedrooms into one large suite. New windows act as a headboard and frame views of fig and bougainvillea trees.

Updated by
Liz Strong

Liz Strong is a Los Angeles-based photographer and interior designer.

She has worked as a decor and home editor for Coastal Living, producing and styling content as well as art directing projects from start to finish.

Liz is the founder of her eponymous company, Liz Strong Style, where she often collaborates with clients and publications, including Better Homes & Gardens, for editorial and advertorial features.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles