How do you take a dark, cramped and unusually designed room and turn it into something functional, airy, and polished? For Southern California-based interior designer Casey Mason, a 1960s ranch-style home in Ventura posed quite the challenge. The clients, a couple who live close to Mason and her own family, connected with the designer through Instagram and were hoping to transform their dated laundry/mud room into a cheery home office.
“Like most people during COVID, they realized they needed to make optimal usage out of the spaces in their home,” says Mason, who was initially hired for the project in September 2020.
The room, which lies off the garage, had a washer and dryer on one side, while hard-to-reach cabinetry, muddy blue walls and dark tile made the 20-by-5-foot floor plan feel even more compact.
Mason first brightened up the room by going for 8-inch tongue-and-groove white paneling. “I love the texture it adds,” she says. “We wanted the walls to be white but adding subtle paneling brings depth and dimension to the space you otherwise wouldn’t get.”
Aesthetically, Mason and her clients were on the same page, aiming for a light, textured room with pops of color. “I feel like my aesthetic is ever evolving,” remarks the designer who has worked for a residential firm for the last decade. “It’s not too traditional, not too bohemian or midcentury and always includes texture and natural elements. This room captures it perfectly.”
A patterned blue tile floor complements white cabinetry, brass hardware, and slightly beachy accents like the rattan light fixtures, all which work together in the newly refreshed space. To make the most of the awkward layout, Mason chose an L-shaped built-in desk with plenty of cabinetry to maximize storage while keeping it open.
“We consolidated storage into the new cabinets and drawers from Semihandmade which made organization super easy,” she says. The original out-of-the-way upper cabinetry was replaced with Semihandmade’s SSS White Quarterline fonts paired with butcher block countertops and Askel White Oak floating shelves from Shelfology.
“The layout was a huge challenge, but I always love a challenge,” she says. “It stretched me, pushed me, and ended up working out so well. This was my first time using Semihandmade in a project and I could not be happier with the way it came together.”
“As the client’s main request was a desk, it made the most sense to create a long L-shaped counter,” she says. To get more drawer space underneath, Mason also opted for 36-inch counters (desks are typically 30-inhches high) and went for a bar stool, the Greely Counter Stool from McGee and Co., instead of a desk chair.
On the other side of the room which stretches to eight feet in width, Mason concealed the washer and dryer and added upper cabinetry. A vintage bench, which the homeowners already had, was reupholstered with a navy fabric purchased from Etsy to add a collected, lived-in appeal to the remodel.
“I was able to turn lemons into lemonade,” Mason remarks. “It’s now the cutest room in their home and before it was the biggest eyesore.”