The Lakeshore Home: Infusing Personality into Cookie-Cutter Spaces

This young couple in Oakland’s Lakeshore neighborhood called us for help furnishing and personalizing their new-to-them home. Although it’s unusual for us to work on a home that doesn’t require a renovation, we knew this project spelled FUN. 

Our task? To update the entryway, living room, and dining room to reflect their personal taste and stand up to life with their puppies. Spoiler: The finished result has gotten so much attention on IG that it’s practically gone viral. You’ll see why. But first, the “before” photos, of course.

Before: Solid Spaces but Lacking Interest

While there was nothing wrong with the rooms in this home, it was pretty basic. And more importantly, the aesthetic didn’t inspire our clients or fit their personalities. On top of that, from a space planning perspective, the rooms lacked clear function, flow, and necessary storage solutions.

The upside? A fireplace with character and these large windows. But…those wooden plantation shutters are blocking way too much natural light, right? With no firm guidelines in mind, we got to know our clients’ style, returned to our studio to get creative, and developed a plan. Fast forward past the actual implementation of that plan (you don’t want to see spreadsheets, purchase orders, and email threads anyway), and it was ready. Come on in…

After: Comfortable and Welcoming Entryway

Much better. This entryway is small but mighty. We swapped the original Spanish-style light fixture for a more modernized pendant and installed a super cool round mirror that protrudes from the wall. But my favorite feature in this space? Definitely the bench.

Practical, functional, and packed with personality. This comfortable, low-profile bench is covered in a cheerful floral fabric that instantly brightens the space. The perfect spot for kicking off your shoes or taking a short reprieve where no one will think to look. Now, let’s step through the hallway and into the kitchen…

Cozy and Happy Breakfast Nook

Before we arrived, this breakfast nook felt bare and anything but cozy. Not on our watch. With a new light fixture and a custom storage bench layered with comfortable textures, this space is now a delightful spot to enjoy a morning cup of coffee, breakfast, or happy hour special. 

We also utilized the dead space next to the table and designed a built-in cabinet for much-needed extra storage. Believe me, no one says no to extra storage. Oh, and did you notice…

…this wallpaper?! We traded the dark gray walls for super cool wallcoverings. Close up, it’s like being showered with confetti (but without finding it in weird places for the next 2 months). Far away, it feels subtle and understated, adding visual interest without overwhelming the space. Yep, definitely a happy hour spot.

Moving through the kitchen, we’ll now head into the living room…

Bright and Updated Living Room

SO much better. It actually didn’t take much magic to transform this area into a bright and comfortable atmosphere. This room began as a blank canvas with good bones, so to maximize the space, we added this cobalt blue ottoman to help the space feel larger, and then we layered neutral furnishings throughout.

I know what you’re thinking, “I thought Joy Street Design doesn’t do neutral?” Fair point. But trust me, it doesn’t feel neutral when you’re in the center of it all and kicking your feet up on the navy leather ottoman. The touches of orange and dark blue bring out the warmth of the fireplace, while plants and accessories add the personality our clients craved. 

To keep the space open, we chose a gray sofa that acts as a perfect foundational piece. Since it blends in, it gave us the opportunity to punch up the color with throw pillows, extra ottomans, and decor. Our clients’ main desire was a comfortable space to enjoy cuddles with their puppies. Needless to say, we succeeded. And last but not least, the room that started it all…

Warm and Sophisticated Ombré Dining Room

THIS is the room that gets more attention than any other project photo we post online. It’s easy to see why, right? Bold color, sumptuous texture, and ombré walls that highlight the view. I wish I had a formal dining room like this! (Stay tuned for the Lake House Remodel.) Oh, and goodbye, plantation shutters.

As soon as we saw this space, we knew it was made for a round table – and I LOVE a good round table. So we used this as a jumping-off point to get the design in motion and continued layering stand-out design elements, like that amazing light fixture. It’s the perfect funky fit for this space.

These gorgeous ombré walls, going from shades of blue to ivory? Wallpaper. Who knew? It provides the room with a level of sophistication and warmth that it didn’t have before. Another notable feature in this space are these custom-made chairs upholstered in luxurious navy velvet that pops against the walls. And you know we love a good pattern.

This beautifully carved wooden sideboard is an unsung hero in this room. I know you can’t really see it in all its glory, but it is absolutely stunning. It balances the texture in this space while adding some more movement and fun with the patterns. Meanwhile, the pedestal table (pictured right) features a gorgeous natural wood grain that pulls out some of the golden tones in the flooring and accent mirror. Everything is intentional.

What a room! If you can’t tell, this is one of my favorite rooms to date. Each element pops in a way that is so special and unique, and every detail is perfectly on purpose. That is the beauty of great design. And also proof that sometimes home furnishing projects are the only transformation you need.

If you’re feeling inspired and ready for your own home remodel or furnishing project, you know where to find us.

– Kelly

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