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California Cool Interiors – How To Get The Look In Your Home

If you’re looking for an aesthetic that epitomises effortlessness and style, you cannot go wrong with California Cool. Mixing up bohemian or vintage influences with modern, coastal clean lines your home will become a well-loved retreat.

Recently back from a styling stint in California, award-winning interior stylist Jessi Deakin spoke to us about how you can achieve this gorgeous look in your home. With a penchant for all things Cali-Cool and hailing from Sydney, Jessi is the founder of Jessi Eve Interior Styling and Marketplace, and works with a range of clients from across the globe.

Here’s what she shared with ele.

Q. What made you gravitate towards the Cali-Cool look? 

It’s all about the vibe and how these spaces make you feel. California Cool interiors are comfortable and relaxed yet refined and interesting. It’s a balance that feels effortless but evokes such a good mood.

I have always lived in areas close to the water and I think this has played a part in shaping my personal style and taste. The climate in Australia is similar to California so I think my relaxed, Aussie beach style transposes quite seamlessly into “California Cool”. 

I also take inspiration from the Palm Springs region of California. Despite being a fair distance from the coast, I feel there is some synergy between the styling in the coastal and desert areas of California. Colour palettes are often playful but still balanced by clean neutrals and natural materials.

Citizens of Style

Q. What would you say are the defining elements of the California Cool vibe? 

The overall feel is generally light and breezy. Lots of white and lighter timber tones with pops of colour in the styling for a bit of playful, sunshiney fun.

A nod to the Californian surf culture doesn’t go astray with a cool surfboard on display somewhere, and some lush indoor greenery in the way of palms and cacti, with natural textures such as sisal and rattan to complete the look.

The Design Villa

Q. Your top tips for people wanting to work this style into their own home: 

Start by defining your palette to achieve that light and airy canvas before selecting the key colours you’d like to introduce. I love using pops of muted or pastel tones.

Choose furniture and decor pieces that are relaxed in style, add life through indoor plants, and introduce materials that are natural in texture and not too heavy in tone.

Q. How can we get the look? Any stores or products you can recommend?

Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters are a couple of my favourites. They’re not available in Australia, unfortunately, but I certainly made up for that on my recent project in California!

The Family Love Tree in Australia offers some pretty amazing Cali-Cool pieces.

Q. What are your favourite pieces you’ve collected over the years that work with this style? 

My rattan coffee table is one of my most asked about pieces and was the first rattan item I ever purchased about seven years ago. Now my home is about 50% rattan because I just love the look of it so much!

The Palm Co
The Palm Co

Q. The most important elements for bedrooms? 

Statement bed heads in rattan, linen or timber. 100% or linen-blend bedding makes a huge impact on the feel of a bedroom, it gives a much more relaxed vibe than other bedding options.

Keeping any storage furniture stylish and in-line with the overall palette and using feature lighting in the way of pendants, wall lights or table lamps.

The Design Villa
The Palm Co

Q. How do you bring Cali-Cool into children’s bedrooms? 

Using the same elements as mentioned, you can add a new layer of fun with kids rooms through bold colour and pattern combos. Add wallpaper or decals, get creative with wall colours, artworks and rugs.

The Design Villa

Q. What type of artwork do you look for when styling with a West-Coast vibe? 

I tend to look for artworks that are reflective of the region such as coastal or ocean prints, palm trees and leaves, and desert landscapes, such as cacti and photography of Joshua Tree.

Palm Springs architecture and West-Coast nostalgia pieces, such as the iconic works of photographer Slim Aarons, are a perfect addition too.

The Palm Co

Q. What kind of homes or architecture suit this style best?

I think homes with a Mid-Century Modern influence or contemporary coastal vibe best suit this style.   

Q. When mixing patterns with colour, how do you pull this off so it’s more cool and less calamity? 

It’s all about balance. Deciding the “hero” or focal point and working back from that. Ensuring colours and patterns complement rather than clash. There is definitely an art to this and it takes a good eye to get a refined result.

The Design Villa
The Design Villa

Q. What are your signature elements when styling? 

My signature look is probably natural materials and textures paired with whites and neutrals as a base with pops of black for contrast and muted colours for some flavour!

Q. Have you got a favourite styling job? 

I love them all for different reasons, but my most recent project overseas in California was certainly a special experience!

Q. Tell us a bit more about the projects you worked on in California. 

I was in Cali recently for a few weeks working on a two-storey residential interior in West Hollywood, as well as a massive commercial office space for a fashion company.

The home was a more eclectic, cool, boho vibe whilst the office was a more Mid-Century, desert vibe. Still, both very California Cool in their own ways!

Q. Favourite place to visit in California? 

Malibu! I went there for the first time just a couple of weeks ago and I just felt so connected to the vibe. Despite being unique to anywhere else I’ve been before, it felt like home.

To add to that, The Surfrider Hotel in Malibu is one of my favourite interiors across the globe. Now, that place epitomises the concept of California Cool!

To see more of Jessi’s beautiful work visit her website here of follow her at Instagram here.

Want more on interior styling? Click here for tips on how to create a stunning coastal inspired home.