California Eclectic

By Katie Faulkner
Photography by Philip Slowiak


In an expansive renovation project, Jimmy Adams and Jay Floyd of Nell’s Home, Gifts, & Interior Design took advantage of this home’s great bones. They updated the home to a contemporary, artful, and eclectic aesthetic with influences of California living incorporated throughout.


Interior designer: Jimmy Adams, Nell’s Home, Gifts, & Interior Design
Builder: Floyd Russell, Russell Company Construction

On the Bright Side

The formal living room opens up immediately after entering the marble-clad foyer. Its tall vaulted ceiling is a dramatic focal point with medium-brown stained wood planking and decorative trusses. The ornate nature of the ceiling is complemented by contemporary dropped globe-cluster light fixtures. A darkly stained parquet floor adds visual interest in a grounding color. The warm and inviting bright neutral wall color nicely balances the dark wood features in this room. The brightening effect receives a boost from the light-colored furniture and natural light pouring in through the enormous arched window. “This house was very dark when we first began. The walls were paneled in dark-stained wood; it was basically solid wood throughout. So we knew we wanted to add a lot of white. We also opened up all of the doorways, making them wider, to enhance the brightening effect throughout,” Adams explains. Another cheerful addition are the jewel-tone throw pillows and thoughtfully eclectic arrangements found on the cocktail table and in the chevron-patterned backed bookshelves.

To see more from Nell’s Home, Gifts, & Interior Design, visit


california inspired living room with exposed beams on ceiling in chattanooga home designed by nell's

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A spacious floor plan allowed for a full-size sitting room beside the master bedroom. In here, lovely clean-lined chaise lounges create an intimate seating area facing a fireplace and some of the home’s more classic artwork. Pops of teal in the geometric cut velvet throw pillows and urns atop the mantle bring in a hint of jewel tone to set off the neutral palette. Meanwhile, patio doors lead to the pool courtyard from this side of the home as well – a California-style feature. “The homeowners really loved the layout of this home because it is centered around the pool, which is very typical of homes in California – where they’re from,” Adams shares.

A large bay window soaks the master bedroom in sunlight. The palette in this room retains a very serene wash of warm neutrals from the walls to the drapes to the furniture. A tufted platform bed is neatly tucked with tan linens, and only the throw pillows and artwork bring in some light touches of rich colors like blues, golds, eggplant, and teal.

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With pale gray perimeter cabinets that reach to the ceiling and an expansive marble-topped center island, this kitchen is the epitome of elegant.

Soft tones on the cabinets are never interrupted by appliance finishes, as most are hidden behind cabinetry-style doors. The main kitchen sink looks out to the stunning surrounding neighborhood, and the countertops around the perimeter are also marble, keeping this room light and airy.

“I know that marble can show wear over time, but that’s one of the things I like about it. It feels so natural,” Adams says of the two-inch slab island countertop and perimeter countertops. Seating to one end of the spacious island doesn’t impede on the room’s workflow. On the opposite end of the island, a prep sink and cooktop are stationed at the heart of the work space.


Countertops: Stone Source, Inc.
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Walking through a hallway from the kitchen, the formal dining room is accessible. In here, a rich dark gray color washes the walls, while vibrant, large art is displayed on every wall. The dramatic wall color allows some of the home’s larger pieces of art to pop against the dark background. Tufted parsons chairs in a matching charcoal gray create a semi-monochromatic background color effect. The table is arranged with various silver taper candle holders and flowing white orchids, while a beautiful chandelier, original to the home, retains a hint of traditional elegance.

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The home’s family room has a more casual California vibe, with a plush, tan sectional, two dark gray velvet accent chairs, and a leather ottoman for plenty of comfortable seating. The room’s high ceilings and large windows looking out to the pool make this the perfect place to spend time inside during any of the homeowners’ many pool days. Even the artwork in this room reflects a pool theme.

Another thoughtful arrangement features blue and white china vases on an 18th century baker’s table. This vignette reinforces the eclectic styling of the home. Artful arrangements such as these pair with the contemporary lines found in the furniture, the light neutral colors and jewel tones used throughout, and smartly updated features to fully support the diverse interior design.

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From one of several outdoor seating areas, the pool, unique roofline, and multiple sections of the house are all in sight. A comfortable sitting area for friends to enjoy being outside, this space is tucked in nicely to the pool’s surroundings. Walking around the pool, other seating areas are arranged, some for lounging in the sun and others for dining.

The unique layout of the home lends itself to captivating entertaining options, centered around the pool in California-living style. With a multitude of spaces to enjoy company or relax alone, this home employs a tasteful yet invigorating interior design style and artwork to create a unique abode.

Stone and tile: Stone Source, Inc.
Other Suppliers:
Cabinetry: Michael Smith Designs
Fireplaces: American Hearth & Patio Warehouse
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