House Tour: A Vintage White Haven Where Angels Dream

Living room with white sofa and chair and vintage furniture
Beams of light illuminate this dreamy, white living room that balances modern comfort with vintage flair. Antiques tables and wall decor have been painted white, but the chippy details add texture to the space to keep it from feeling flat and uninteresting. The chairs and sofa are from Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic line.

Ika and Greg have always loved to collect angels and keep them on display throughout their home – from an aged sculpture on a tabletop to lacy pillowcase cupids in the masterbedroom to watchful figures in the garden, they are nearly everywhere you look. It’s not surprising, then, that when it came time to decorate their home they sought to create a haven worthy of their collection.

Vintage fireplace mantel in white
When Greg and Ika moved in, the fireplace was a great, boxy thing surrounded by river rock. When they found this vintage mantelpiece at a local flea market, they rebuilt the fireplace to accommodate it. Ika’s been dreaming of something like this since she saw a similar picture in a magazine years before.

Inspired by the decor of photographer Lu Tapp, a friend of their daughter, they choose to transform their suburban California home with vintage treasures and an otherworldly palette of creamy, dreamy whites. In fact, Lu became a personal angel to them during the redecorating process, helping them with everything along the way, including planning renovations, choosing colors and finding vintage accessories.

White armchairs and a toile covered ottoman
The clock in this small sitting area is an antique find. “My dad loved clocks,” says Ika, “so this clock is one of the first things that I bought. When my dad came to visit the last time, it wasn’t working and he fixed it. We painted it white and distressed it.” The antique chairs were lucky finds at $150 each, reupholstered and paired with a toile covered ottoman.

The house, built in 1976, was ready for a refresh when the couple moved in. They replaced the tired carpeting with new hardwood floors, opened windows and archways in the dining room and increased the size of the master bedroom by one-third with an addition to the building.

White kitchen with cane back chairs
The tile floor in the kitchen suited the new decor perfectly and didn’t need to be changed. Everything else, from the kitchen island to the paint on the cabinets, is new.

In the kitchen, they installed a new kitchen island for needed working space, and replaced the black countertops with white Carerra marble. The cabinets were updated with white paint. “It doesn’t look like it was painted,” Ika says, praising the contractors who did the work. “The quality is so good it looks like it’s the original color, and it’s really easy to clean.” The kitchen’s tile floor, however, was a good fit for their new look and did not need to be replaced.

White kitchen decor
Behind the stove, a round mirror serves as a backsplash, another potential cleaning troublespot. But Ika says with no kids in the house, it’s easy to keep both the mirror and the white marble counters in pristine conditions.

Throughout the house, Ika choose furnishings that are a mix of new and vintage, blended to provide a balance of vintage charm and modern comfort.

“Every weekend,” says Ika, “Lu would head out to the flea markets. She’d start sending me pictures at seven in the morning and I’d text back, ‘Yes, yes, yes!’ She’d come back with a van full of goodies. It was so much fun.”

White dining room with full length windows
When Greg and Ika moved in, the dining room only had two windows – they added the one on the far right for a greater sense of symmetry. Silk dupioni drapes from Pottery Barn frame the windows and cast the light with a dreamy glow. They reupholstered the seats of the dining chairs with white fabric, but left the stained wood unpainted – the darker color anchors the light-filled space.

Most of the vintage pieces were repainted creamy shades of white to create the light-filled atmosphere that the homeowners dreamed of. Learning to paint furniture was a fun challenge, says Ika.

Foyer with French recamier chaise
There are at least 10 chandeliers in the house.

Both Ika and Greg love white, cream, soft colors and roses, so choosing the color scheme for their home was an easy decision.

All white master bedroom decorating ideas
The master bedroom is now larger and features French doors that look out over the garden and provide a view of the mountains nearby. Ika and Greg are early rises and love the early morning light.
Filet crochet lace pillow with angels
Ika and Greg’s daughter found this lace pillow in France, and brought it home for her parents, the perfect finishing touch for their angel-filled home.
Angle sculpture watching over a tranquil garden
Greg and Ika can see this guardian angel from their bedroom window.

White bedroom with garden view and tapestry pillowThough the decorating is mostly finished, Ika admits it’s never really done. “There’s always something new,” she says. And with their guiding angel Lu to help, the Tafts can be sure their home will always be a perfect haven.

Garden grotto with white wicker chairs and table
The gazebo in the garden faces the mountains in the distance and shelters another collection of cherished angels. It’s draped with a combination of wisteria, bougainvillea and white roses. A candelabra overhead lets the couple relax by candlelight on warm summer evenings.

Photography by Lu Tapp.

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