It’s no secret we’re fans of the chic modern spaces that capture the calm, collected California casual look. It’s a style we currently can’t get enough of – think blissful rooms with comfy furnishings, a blend of natural textures, and soft neutral hues.

With all that inspo in the air and summer just around the corner, our design team couldn’t help but imagine what our perfect California home would look like. So, we got to work designing this dream home to showcase that laid-back, West Coast style we just can’t get enough of.

Get ready to see lots of relaxed designs, a mix of classic and rustic elements, layers of textures, and lots of eclectic accents. We’ve thoughtfully curated every room to reflect our idea of the perfect California casual home, with pieces that you can find directly through us to recreate the exact look and feel in your own space.

Come along for a room-by-room tour of the home along with all the design tips and key design elements you’ll need to bring the look home.

The Entry

california casualSetting an Airy Tone

The entry introduces the overall laid-back vibe in the home. To make it truly inviting, a bit of symmetry can go a long way. Bring in a statement piece, such as a modern credenza, to anchor the focus, then round it out with classic designs for stylistic contrast. To polish it off, layer in lots of woven details and accents. It really is as simple as it sounds!

california casualThe Key Entryway Elements

Start with a showpiece. The contemporary credenza has a woven leather front that adds both texture and intrigue. A big piece like this is also great if you need to define a pass-through space, which flows into the living and dining rooms.

Mix in classic design notes. This look is all about playing with contrast. And nothing makes modern pieces stand out more than being surrounded by Old World-inspired designs, like this classic-shaped mirror and traditional patterned rug with European influence.

Natural textures are your friend. Natural woven elements and details help play up the California casual feel, so don’t be afraid to go big. We flanked our console with a woven accent chair and a basket planter, and we also brought in a woven pendant light to top it all off. These pieces not only help frame the space but also offer balance. Another note: Don’t hesitate to add a natural-fiber rug for even more texture.

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The Living Room

california casualLead With Comfort

For the living room, we envisioned a welcoming gathering spot with an open layout that’s unfussy, rooted in comfort, and suffused with light. We also worked in beachy accents, organic touches, and rustic elements that emphasize relaxed living (think seagrass-wrapped chairs, stone tables, and a hefty chandelier).

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california casualThe Key Living Room Elements

Foundational pieces first. It’s always good to start with furnishings grounded in comfort, such as a big sofa in a dark gray that is both livable and durable. Likewise, the cushioned armchairs and benches offer practical extra seating. Once you’ve settled on your main comfort pieces, you’ll find it easier to mix and match designs to go with them.

Play up vintage vibes. A little Old-World rusticity pairs nicely with foundational furnishings, be they a washed-out rug that adds soft color or a European-style chandelier that brings an antique element. Looking to start small? Try a dark-wood mirror or a vintage wood side table.

Keep hues easy on the eyes. Neutrals and nature-inspired hues are at the center of rooms with a relaxed style. Opt for contrasting warm and cool neutrals for a palette that calms and eases the senses. Think a gray sofa grouped with crisp white fabrics, light woods, and natural fiber tones.

california casual

Marry function and beauty. Livable design also means maximizing your storage. Whether that takes the form of baskets and bins, a credenza, or built-in shelving is up to you! These pieces offer both smart storage and style, and they’re part of what gives the California casual home its charm.

Get beachy. You can’t have a beach-inspired home without textures that recall the coast, right? From the rattan floor lamps and seagrass-wrapped chairs to the woven benches and patterns on the pillows, we didn’t skimp on materials that bring elements of the beach indoors – and you shouldn’t either!

Nod to Nature. Keep to natural materials to add texture with minimal color impact. Designs like the stone-inlay table, woven rattan lighting, and natural-fiber details on the credenza facade, can help unify different furnishings in a room given their organic appeal. Similarly, stick to art that brings the outdoors in, such as botanical and fish prints.

The Office Corner

california casualPutting Style to Work

Home offices are great, but if you’re tight on space a vignette within a larger room can be just as effective. In large living rooms a small nook or corner dedicated to work not only expands your room’s function, but it also offers an unexpected focus area.

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california casualThe Key Office Elements

Lean traditional. Unless you’ve decided on a contemporary look, traditional furnishings, like a classic-style desk, a spindle bench, or a faded rug, perfectly complement comfy foundational pieces. A good rule of thumb? Pair a classic-style desk with a modern chair for an old-meets-new approach that is practically always a win-win.

Take note of gold. Accents in gold and brass are great buffers for adding a glint of polish and warmth to neutral spaces. A work desk is a great opportunity for layering in these shiny touches. This can take the form of a task lamp, a picture frame, or the hardware on the drawers.

Go for height. Distinguish your workspace by optimizing the vertical space surrounding it. Hang a large painting – we chose an abstract piece with undulating lines that recalls the beach – and pull in a streamlined bookcase that helps to play up a vignette and give it elevated focus without distracting from the rest of the room.

The Dining Area

california casualMixing It Up

Like the living room, the California casual dining space is anchored in comfort, so we imagined a room that combines a wide range of furnishings and styles that emphasize ease. A large table in light wood keeps the space from feeling cramped, while cane dining chairs make for casual and stylish companions.

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california casualThe Key Dining Room Elements

Get high-contrast. A collected dining space is all about uniting contrasting elements in a harmonious design. In addition to the light table and dark chairs, we opted for a dark metal sideboard and a dark wood cabinet to further anchor the space. The key is to layer in various materials and design styles that add warmth and personality to a space that’s normally considered for functional use only.

Think industrial. Since the centerpiece of any dining room is a large table, pulling in industrial pieces can provide good heft. Not to mention, industrial accents with worn finishes can add that Old-World touch – an element you’ll find in every room of this dream home – and balance out more coastal-inspired pieces.

Liven things up. It’s rare to find a room without plants or some sort of foliage in homes nowadays, and the dining space is no exception. It’s also a great place to try out trees and greenery with branches that can bring a little height and dimension to the space.

The Bedroom

california casualCreating a Serene Oasis

To conjure up the casual elegance that’s often found in California bedrooms, we created a space that’s enveloped in luxurious neutrals and textures. To get the look, consider plush seating, nubby textures, and a bed so comfortable you never want to leave. 

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california casualThe Key Bedroom Elements

Find calm in multiples. A balanced bedroom is a comfortable bedroom. You can achieve a calming look and feel with furniture and accents in pairs and multiples. Matching nightstands, table lamps, and artwork create symmetry that will bring a sense of order and serenity.

Opt for plush pieces. If we’re talking luxurious comfort, nothing beats an upholstered bed with a tall headboard, which grounds this bedroom. Extend that sumptuous look and feel by adding a sophisticated bench or armchair for extra seating that’s inviting and practical.

Texture, texture, and more texture. Whether it’s piles of pillows, a cozy throw, or a soft jute rug, the more fluffy, tactile accents you bring into the space, the more warm and welcoming it will feel. If you’re looking to give your bedroom a quick spruce up with big impact, start here.


Want to Bring the California Casual Look to Your Home?

Shop everything in this home in our California Casual design studio. Or start your own Modsy project and see the look styled in your exact room in magical 3D!

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4 replies
    • Modsy says:

      Thanks for asking! The Entryway, Living Room, and Office’s paint color is “Gray Mist” by Benjamin Moore, and the Dining Room and Bedroom’s color is “Jute” by Benjamin Moore. Just remember that lighting and decor in your space can alter the way wall color looks, so it’s always smart to start with a sample swatch on your walls to see how you like it.


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