When Rebecca Bellingham + Benjamin Saltman, along with their 6-year-old twins Annie + Ezra made the big move from Brooklyn, New York to San Diego, California, trucking a lot of furniture across the country just wasn’t in the picture. The family was moving into a 3,300-sq. foot home in the historic Mission Hills District in San Diego. Built in 1936, this two-story Craftsman style home featured a combination of original characteristics and updated design details. Unlike their cozy Brooklyn Brownstone, they had much more interior space to enjoy, along with a new Southern Californian design aesthetic.

“I love the modern simplicity, clean lines, and fresh look of west elm furniture. I would always walk in and think – I wish my living room could look like this!” mentions Rebecca.

Enter the west elm San Diego Design Crew. Starting in the summer of 2016, Kira Young + Kathleen Griffin, both in-home stylists at the San Diego location began partnering with Rebecca on the project, helping to pick out various furniture options, placement, as well as detail styling in multiple rooms of the home. “Best part about using west elm’s Design Crew was how they tied together all the spaces and rooms with some key west elm pieces. Even just one accent piece helped make the room feel complete. And the way they designed my book shelves was incredible – they looked so pulled together and perfect!” Rebecca goes on to say.

“The family had a big move from Brooklyn, so the goal was to create a comfortable space for everyone. We wanted to create a kid-friendly place that inspired creativity + laughter, but also a sophisticated retreat for Benjamin + Rebecca,” says Kira.

Tour this stunning San Diego home below and hear more about the design inspiration and product selections made by the Design Crew, and how this house become a home.

Book a west elm Design Crew appointment today!

Family Room –

We absolutely love the family room – it’s literally where everyone hangs out. The Lars Mid-Century Storage Coffee Table helps the room stay uncluttered. It is also big enough for the kids to build their LEGOS. We added pillows with different textures and colors, as well as the Basketweave Throw in Horseradish helping create a cozy, home-like feel. The piano room just off the family room has a Sutton Sofette with a round Marble-Topped Pedestal Coffee Table. It’s the perfect pairing with the high-gloss shine of the piano.

Living room –

There are a lot of wood elements that are iconic with the Craftsman style of home in the front living room, so to brighten it up we used a neutral fabric color on the Finn Sofa. This created an important background piece and additional colors could compliment seamlessly. We also used a mixture of glass + wood with brass as an accent color to create a sophisticated yet informal room. The Sweater Wool Rug in Oatmeal was the last layer to bring the space together and add the cozy factor this room needed.

Dining room –

For the dining room, we wanted to create an intimate space that would invite passionate dinner conversations. The custom Parsons style dining table accommodates 8 Mid-Century Upholstered Dining Chairs in Lagoon comfortably. I love the way the deep blue of the chairs contrasts with the white lacquer table – almost makes the white tone a pop of color in itself. I suggested Rebecca replace the one chandelier with two Floral Burst Chandeliers to elevate the room and create a sense of balance. The Distressed Arabesque Wool Rug in Midnight was chosen carefully and perfectly ties the room together, as well as the blue tones in the other rooms. The antique, lived-in feeling it creates is sophisticated and interesting without being overly formal.

Kitchen –

When Rebecca + Benjamin moved into the home, they were instantly drawn to the kitchen space. The only thing that was changed was simply painting the cabinets a crisp white. The natural light that comes in through the backside of the home really brings this space to life.

Office –

Rebecca is a writer, a teacher and a literacy consultant, so it was fitting to turn the one downstairs bedroom into her office space. The light-filled room has beautiful corner windows overlooking the garden, so we wanted to ensure nothing would obstruct the view. To allow the space to feel open and airy, we went with the Jensen Glass-Top Desk. It gives her a large working space to spread out if need be, but the glass streamlines the look. The Slope Leather Office Chair was paired with the desk and adds a twist to the space. She has a lot of books and the room did not have built-in storage. To counteract this, we added the Parsons Tower so that her collection has a place – and it accommodates almost all of Rebecca’s books in an artistic way.

Guest Bedroom –

Instead of putting the bed against the corner set of windows, we turned the Mid-Century Bed to face the natural light source and let the loveseat become the focal point of the room. The guest bedroom is positioned at the top of the main stairs and features an interior window with an intricate stain glass panel – the colors did help to inspire the accent hues in the room – most notably the pillow selection on the bed. Overall, we created an aspirational guest retreat that lets the California sunshine flow in.

Above: Kira Young + Kathleen Griffin, Home Stylists – west elm San Diego

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January 5, 2018

So blown away by this gorgeous home makeover. Everything from the layout, furniture, colors and more is so flawless. West Elm never fails to create sophisticated spaces and this might be my favorite. Great work!


January 6, 2018

Well done Design Team! The home maintains a visual sophistication yet avoids the don’t-touch-me aesthetic that sometimes happens when styling a home with such good bones. May the new homeowners create many happy new memories here!


February 16, 2018

Beautiful! Love so many parts of this home. What stain was used on the wood trim? Thanks!


February 18, 2018

This is beautifully done. Can you tell
Me from where the glass coffee table in the living room came?

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