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Balboa Media Room: Before, During & After

I am excited to share with you one of our favorite rooms in our house -- our den, or media room. David and I spend alot of time in here!

Can you spot the portrait of Harley? It was painted my good friend, Leslie Devito -- she does fabulous commissioned pet portraits.

We bought our new home, our #foreverhomefixer, in the summer of 2020 -- during the most uncertain times of the pandemic.

The home itself is 3160 square feet and built in 1978. It had 3 bedrooms and 3 baths when we purchased it. We added a powder room half bath. It is on the golf course in the historic Indian Canyons neighborhood of Palm Springs, which was first developed in the 1960s and boasts the first 18-hole golf course in Palm Springs.


Before: A Guest Bedroom

David and I prefer to have a separate family room / den (my terminology preferences) or media room (his preferred name for the room) so as to not have a television in our formal living room.

The home was not originally architecturally designed with such a space, so we decided to use one of the home's two guest bedrooms as our media room.

Apparently, neither of us took a good photo of the room "before" as we first saw it. It was mostly empty, with two stinky rolled-up old area rugs being stored inside.

Above: The niche shown at left was at one the bedroom's closet. We moved the doorway to the room to the blank wall shown at upper left left.

You have probably heard the story of how David and I moved into the home before we actually closed escrow (escrow took about 7 months) -- during which time we absolutely did not want to make any capital improvements to the home.

We immediately started using this room as our TV room, with some makeshift furniture we had in storage.

Ahh, those were interesting days. 6 months, actually. Yes, that is an antenna mounted to the wall. We had not yet turned on cable in our name -- and the cable wiring itself needed updating.

Once the house was officially ours, work began!

Above, you can see a vestibule that was just outside the guest room. A coat closet is being demolished at left and was incorporated into the media room. The doorway to the right is a full bath that is now inside the media room. The large doorway just past the carpenter is now solid wall and has our television on it. The empty space beyond is now our powder room.


The Plan - Before

Bedroom 3 became our media room. You can see how Bath 3 served as both the home's powder room and a full bathroom for the adjacent bedroom.


The Plan - After

Bedroom 3 is now reimagined as our media room and the redundant hallway outside the room has become our powder room. The previous laundry room has become the entrance to our kitchen, and also serves as a butler's pantry and wine room.

We sealed off the doorway to Bedroom 2, which is now accessible only from outside. In Palm Springs, we call that an "attached casita" -- it affords guests extra privacy.

The lighter grey walls are new walls; black walls are existing.


After: Our Media Room

In our mostly light-and-bright house, we wanted our media room to be a cozy sanctuary.

In keeping with the 1970s era of the house, we chose to wrap the room in warm chocolate brown. It's also an homage to the paneled den that I grew up with. Instead of the old school paneling, we sheathed our walls in theatre-grade acoustical textile wallcovering from York called "Quiet Wall" -- adding an extra layer of coziness and sound control. (It's actually made from recycled water bottles!) Yes, you could say that we spend much of our time in a padded room, and it is very comforting indeed.

To make the room really personal, we created a "salon wall" with artwork that David and I have collected in our 20+ years together, with some of my drawings from architecture school mixed in.

When it came to the textiles, I turned to one of my favorite fabric brands, Marcus William.

The pillows and ottoman are done in textiles by Marcus William.

The coffee tables were designed by my pal Bobby Berk, whose talents are on full display on the new Queer Eye show.

I knew David would love this room so much that I encouraged to set up a desk in here...


David's Office Nook

There is a small vestibule in the corner of the room, with a large sliding glass door that leads to our front entry colonnade and pool. This little niche was the perfect spot for David's beloved vintage steamer desk.

David's office nook has lovely natural light and a great view of our pool area. David has a comfortable office at our design studio, but it is nice for him to have the option to work from home.

The gorgeous drapery fabric covering the sliding glass is Palmosala in Turquoise by Marcus William.

The Baroque monkey was one of the "treasures" that the seller left with the house. David finds it hilarious and is a nice reminder of our home's story.


Let Artwork Tell Your Story

The artwork and mementos that surround us in our cozy media room bring me so much joy and comfort. Each one has a memory and a story. Our wedding invitation is framed and is just above the blue pillow on the left. "Lunch at Tiffany's" (to the left) is by our good friend, Trevor Wayne.

The "Godspell" record was my mom's. She listed to it every Sunday morning while she cleaned the house, in the 1970s in San Francisco, where I was born.


I hope you enjoyed this tour of our media room.




Photography: Public 311 Design

Styling: Keith Fortner

Pillow and Drapery Fabric: Marcus William

Sofa: Through Christopher Kennedy

Coffee Tables: Bobby Berk for ART Furniture




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