Modern Rustic #16

At first glance, this Californian home looks drop-dead designer-gorgeous, but a closer look reveals quirky ideas that add an eclectic touch to the West Coast cool...


A Twenties house in Altadena, California. The ground floor has a living room, dining room, kitchen, breakfast room, sun room, three bedrooms, a bathroom and WC. Upstairs is the master bedroom suite with an office, den and media room.

When Tamara Honey and her husband Ryan first saw the house, it had been pretty much ignored for decades, but Tamara is drawn to renovation projects that are ‘the worse, the better’. Tamara, an interior designer has clients who range from award-winning restaurants to the chic Beverly Hills set. She loved how the exterior of the property reminded her of a traditional cosy cottage, while inside it’s surprisingly open and bright.

breakfast room

On first appearance, the completed, über-glamorous, art-filled house might not seem particularly playful, but look closer and you’ll spot witty touches throughout, from the milk bottle pendant hanging over the dining table to the faux-library wallpaper in the den, now carved out from the enormous, under-used loft.

Get the look The table is a Herman Miller conference model. Find similar at The wire dining chair is from Modernica. The banquette was custom built. Davison Highley specialises in similar seating. The Milk Bottle lamp is by Droog. The vase is by American potter Robert Maxwell. Jonathan Adler sells similar ceramics.


Tamara and Ryan opened up the space by knocking together the original kitchen and a bedroom, then replicated the arched windows from the front of the house. This room has become the heart of the home and where the family spend most of their time.

Get the look The island is clad in Calacatta Gold marble. Find similar at StoneWorks. This is Ikea cabinetry. The bar stools are from Modernica.


The couple have collected many mid-century pieces over the years, such as this sideboard, which they like to juxtapose in the property’s traditional setting.

Get the look The sideboard is mid-century Danish – find similar at The Modern Warehouse. The painting is a Margaret Keane-inspired vintage piece. Posters of the Keane originals are available at Tamara’s ceramic collection contains many pieces by Jonathan Adler.


One of the attractions was the vast, unconverted loft space. Tamara originally wanted this space to be the library, but the engineer said the floor couldn’t take the weight of the books, so the wallpaper does the trick instead.

Get the look The Genuine Fake Bookshelf wallpaper is by Deborah Bowness. Find similar Chesterfield sofas at The Fornasetti Louis XV-style armchair and the Piecrust coffee table are by House of Honey.


The couple’s bed and headboard were custom made, as the pitch of the roof made it too difficult to fit in regular designs.

Get the look Get a custom-made leather headboard like this one from The Headboard Workshop. Find other versions of this Traccia Bird Leg side table by Meret Oppenheim at 1stdibs. com. The large reproduction of a vintage sheep’s head painting is by The Dutch Touch Art Company.


The attic space is pretty decadent. Tamara likes to joke that it’s the same size as her first apartment back in New York.

Get the look The Napoli bath is by Victoria + Albert. The brassware is from Waterworks. The Danish chair was bought from Organic Modernism in Brooklyn. Check out the Midcentury Modern show at Dulwich College for similar. For a Sputnik light fitting like this one, try The Old Cinema.

See more of Tamara’s work at House of Honey.

Photography / Richard Powers

More Modern Houses