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Enchanted Cottage Embodies the Charm of Vintage Venice

Design Trends

The charm of a storybook cottage is evident the moment you enter, as it feels as like you’ve been transported to a world full of whimsy. We are pleased to showcase a recent design project by Claire Thomas — design maven, curator of color and all-around creative. When viewing her latest creation, located in Venice, Calif., we noted how the lush and fun color palette brought this magical inspiration to life. Read more of our interview here:


Please describe the Venice Cottage project and how you were brought in to design the home's guest house.
Lacey Uhlemeyer and I first met via FaceTime as her husband attempted to break his way into The Kitchy Cabin — my vacation rental Big Bear — because of a misplaced lockbox. Once they made it inside, Lacey loved that I wasn’t afraid to play with color and how it created this fantastic and fun aesthetic. When thinking of translating that to the Venice Cottage, the inspiration stemmed from her travels around the world, as well as the property itself.


Please describe your inspiration for the design.
When I first went over to see the guest house at their home, I was struck by the beautiful ceiling and roofline, as well as the space’s potential. The main house is this beautiful 1927 cottage that has many charming, original touches, without being a full-blown storybook house. We wanted to bring that same feel from the main house into what we call the guest suite — a hotel-like retreat for guests to stay.



Immediately, a few things came to mind — the first being the wainscotting. We wanted to create a bit of structure, as well as break up the amount of wall, as the ceiling line is very high due to the high ceiling line. If left blank, it could feel like a cavernous white studio but — if painted all one color — could be overwhelming.

You chose a beautiful blue of ours San Miguel Blue (DET569). What drew you to this color as part of
the design?

We wanted something bold to bring some liveliness into the blank slate. We sifted through a bunch of swatches and finally landed on San Miguel Blue (DET569) from Dunn-Edwards — an absolutely perfect blue, which was really hard to find. We loved the tone so much, and it became the hero color of the cottage in
virtually every space. In the bedroom, we even painted Lacey’s old dresser, which completely modernized it and made it part of the architecture.



You enjoy the use of color throughout your design projects. What inspires you overall
when looking at color and design for your projects?

What’s so cool about Dunn-Edwards isn’t just that you have an incredible assortment of colors but that
it introduced an app that allows you to take a photo of something like wallpaper and pull out different paint colors you can make to perfectly coordinate everything. All with something as simple, yet impactful, as paint.



All images courtesy of Claire Thomas