An effortless blend of coastal, cottage and contemporary with mid-century accents, it’s no surprise that classic Californian style is an enduring favourite. Combining modern and traditional design with an undone elegance, this timeless look is characterised by rich texture, calming neutrals and natural materials, drawing inspiration from the culture, architecture and lifestyle of the West Coast to create a unique and adaptable aesthetic that exudes comfort, personality and heritage.
Many hallmarks of classic Californian style as we know it today arose from the Mission Revival Style of the late 19th century, which mimicked the Spanish missions built a century earlier. Harking back to simpler times, the white stucco walls, clay tile roofs, large, curved windows and sun-drenched patios became a significant inspiration for Californian architecture long after, with ornamental detailing largely eschewed for clean lines and solid, exposed rafters.
1936 Spanish Mission style Sydney home by architect Allan Edgecliff Stafford revamped by Studio Kate.
When the Art Deco movement began to flourish in the 1920s, decorative accents became more prevalent – rich, bold colour and lush texture – which were later tempered by the subtle restraint of mid-century modernist design and its emphasis on function. The result was a backdrop centred on organic shapes, natural materials and rich tactility that set the mood for unique yet timeless furnishings – from eclectic vintage finds to handcrafted statement pieces – that tell a story.
Photography by Ricardo Labougle. via Architectural digest
A hybrid of several popular styles, classic Californian style is highly versatile and lends itself to contemporary, light-filled spaces as much as a bold, moody bungalow of blues and greens, as observed in this decadent yet lived-in Ojai residence. Designer by Nickey Kehoe balances plush and playful while maintaining a traditional edge, featuring our Flocca Linen Duvet in Carmel in the bedroom to imbue warmth to earthy greens and greys. Complete the look with Brun, Nox and Mare to create a sumptuous sleep haven at home, while benefiting from the softness, breathability and year-round comfort of pure linen bedding.
Featuring: Flocca Linen Duvet in Carmel.
The traditional elements of classic Californian style reference a cottage look synonymous with tranquil beach houses dotted along the west coast, a wholesome, handcrafted approach that surged in popularity during the pandemic. More time spent at home saw a shift away from wild patterns and bold trends and a move towards comforting, classic interiors that evoke a sense of connection to people and place, with a high/low mix of antiques, mid-century statement pieces and modern luxuries achieving a worldly yet cosy feel.
This contemporary retreat by interior designer Vanessa Alexander exudes classic Californian style with a strong cottage influence, from the fresh white palette to the thoughtful blend of vintage and modern furnishings. In the sun-dappled bedroom, a feminine, earthy scheme creates the perfect balance of lightness and texture, with our Flocca Linen Body Pillow featured in Floss. The hand-tufted edges of our Flocca range are a nod to a traditional cottage style, their understated detail offering a handcrafted accent that delights in its simplicity. Complete the look with soothing Petra and our warming Basix Stripe Linen pillowcase in Carmel/Tempest.
Featuring: Flocca Linen Blanket in Sable.
This stunning space by Amber Interiors ticks all the boxes when it comes to quintessential Californian style – calming, neutral hues enriched with texture, coupled with a thoughtful curation of statement pieces and timeless accents that blur the lines between modern and traditional. Our Flocca Linen Blanket in light and sandy Sable is the ideal accompaniment to this elegant bedroom, with tan leather, timber and ceramics adding further layers of textural interest. Complete the look with Kali, Carmel and Russo to enrich a pared-back palette with warm, earthy tones.