Life in Italy Inspires a California Renovation

Beatriz Macias and her husband left their home in Southern California to live in Italy for a little while. When they returned, they found their home with fresh, European-influenced eyes and decided their kitchen had a makeover pronto. Their Cape Cod–style home was constructed in the 1980s, and it had been showing its age.

“I have always loved secondhand shops, saving the money and finding things which are different,” says Macias. “I found a lot of good deals on things for the kitchen renovation which I realized I had a knack for this.” She found a pleasure, like-minded community, and all of them help one another spot treasures employing the hashtag “thriftbreak” on Twitter. About a year ago, she decided to take her knack to Etsy and opened a shop, Mid Mod Mom.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Beatriz Macias, her husband and Fernando Gonzalez and their 15-year-old kid
Location: Mission Viejo, California
Size: 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms

Mid Mod Mother

“Italy inspired our renovation,” says Macias. “There’s so much great eating and cooking, and we found so many wonderful kitchens there.”

Tables topped with Cararra marble inspired the countertops. “This marble isn’t suitable for everybody; it chips and it stains, but I fell in love with the gorgeous patina it acquires,” she says. “Though I will admit that first blot hurt”

Pendants: West Elm (with Edison bulbs); cupboards: Ikea; range: Bertazzoni; fridge: Whirlpool; dishwasher: Maytag

Mid Mod Mother

“My husband and I had a lot of fun doing the work,” Macias says. “I did the tiling and set the cabinets together, along with my husband looked after the pipes and the appliances. We called in a friend to do the electric work.”

The tile is out of iconic California firm Heath Ceramics and goes with a nature-inspired color palette which Macias has always loved.

A number of her thrifted uncovers include a Neva Time Square clock, an Alessi Fruit Mama along with also an Alessi tea kettle.

Mid Mod Mother

Renovations in the kitchen spilled over to the living room, where the fireplace surround received a coordinating makeover with Heath Ceramics tile along with Carrara marble. “I used the very same stuff to wed the two spaces. I also carried the color palette through the family area along with the powder room,” says Macias. They also expanded the hardwood floors into the kitchen, which formerly had tile.

Mid Mod Mother

A couple favorite estate market discovers will not make it into Macias’ Etsy store, including this selection of midcentury glass. From left to right, there is an amber vase by Arthur Percy for Gullaskruf of Sweden, a green Empoli vase from Italy, a teal Blenko decanter by Winslow Anderson plus a Blenko sheared bowl by Wayne Husted. The mirror behind the collection visually doubles it.

Lamp: Artemide’s Nesso lamp, initially designed by Giancarlo Mattioli in 1967

Mid Mod Mother

This bench is adjacent to the entry. “We take off our shoes once we enter the house, so this bench is a fantastic spot to sit down and take off our shoes,” says Macias. There are baskets underneath for lace footwear.

The color palette was inspired by one leaf. “I adore all the fall colours,” says Macias. “I took a leaf I loved with greens, apples and pears inside into Home Depot and matched paint colours. I figured nature put them together to work collectively.”

Mid Mod Mother

Here is a view from the staircase to the living area. “I found the cowhide in Colombia, folded it up and brought it back into my suitcase,” says Macias. The Domino Mobler armchairs were an estate sale find, the sleeper sofa is from Crate & Barrel and the coffee table is Drexel Heritage. Prints by neighborhood artists and Macias herself make up the art wall.

“We Colombians often travel in hordes, thus we need the additional sleeping area supplied by the sleeper sofa,” says Macias, laughing.

Pendant mild: David Trubridge Coral Pendant

Mid Mod Mother

When folks are sleeping over, Macias and her husband turn off their dueling cuckoo clocks, but they’re totally utilized to hearing them cluck each hour. One of these is that a family heirloom, and the other is a more recent Craigslist find.

Mid Mod Mother

Lucite dining seats keep more visual space open and make the room appear bigger. The cloth on the table is a suzani in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. A granite bowl retains sea glass and pebbles the family has collected on beaches throughout their global travels.

Mid Mod Mother

The dresser was “my best find,” says Macias. While she initially had a credenza in head, when she came across this dresser she knew it was ideal and well priced, but she had a big voucher. Such is the thrill of thrifting.

Mid Mod Mother

The nature-inspired palette continues into the downstairs bathroom’s Marimekko ginkgo wallpaper.

I asked Macias if she has ever wished she had kept among those treasures she’s sold throughout the Etsy shop. “No regrets yet,” she explained. “I’m pleased to send them off to some fantastic new home.”

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