A California couple was looking to upgrade from their one-bedroom apartment when the husband stumbled upon a neighborhood of mobile homes after a day of surfing; they were soon smitten. They decided to invest in a 1970s double-wide and quickly went to work gutting and transforming it with the help of designer Frances Merrill of Reath Design.
Their first feat was to create an open floor plan and a strong indoor-outdoor connection that would make the two-bedroom, two-bath home feel as large as possible. Merrill designed the sectional with two cushions the size of twin mattresses, so the homeowners can slip on fitted sheets to transform the living room into a second guest room. Open shelves circle the living room and continue into the kitchen, creating much needed storage without taking up precious floor space.
Cladding the dated fireplace in slate gave it a much-deserved facelift. It delineates the living and dining areas from the kitchen and warms both spaces. Consistent materials -- wood, slate, and natural textiles -- make the house feel unified and create easy flow.
A built-in bench turns the entry into a mudroom where guests can kick off their shoes after a walk on the beach.
The same slate that was used on the double-sided fireplace was used again on the countertops in the kitchen. White cabinetry keeps the look airy.
A built-in office nook adds function and storage to a sliver of space. Warmly stained cabinetry mimics the look of the paneling in the entry and master bedroom.
An airy dining table and chairs make the space feel bigger. Vertical paneling, painted white, lifts the eye so the ceilings appear higher. A dramatic light fixture provides impact without occupying too much physical space.
Merrill encouraged the couple to embrace the trailer park vibe by incorporating quirky design elements like the wood paneling in the mudroom and master bedroom. They also kept to a consistent color palette of creamy oatmeal and warm gray for an effortless transition throughout the 1,500-square-foot space. Here, the color palette plays out in the form of an upholstered bed and window treatments. Red accents add personality.
As is elsewhere in the house, warm woods and bright whites take center stage in the master bathroom. Plenty of reflective surfaces help to visually expand the small space.
The guest bedroom repeats the vertical white paneling used in the living spaces. Plenty of fun accents dot the restful room, creating a space that is relaxing and inviting.
The homeowners considered adding a third bedroom, but instead built a deck where they could entertain. Bougainvillea has started to climb up the deck slates, and the goal is to have it eventually grow across all the slates so the deck feels like its own enclosed room.
In the yard, an outdoor living room is anchored by a fire pit on a decomposed granite patio. It's a favorite place to gather in the evenings.
With just 1,500 square feet, the home feels a lot bigger thanks to an open floor plan and plenty of space-expanding design tricks.