As soon as you arrive at the front door of the Figlewicz family’s cottage, you realize that this is a special home. The exterior of the 1915 house, a unique blend of Victorian and Craftsman architecture, is trimmed with a bright seafoam green, hinting at both the surfside appeal and the family’s creative style. Inside, the décor is colorful and cozy, blending the best of beach and farmhouse elements into one comfortable and interesting home.
When they moved in, Andrea and her husband, Casey, modified their two bedroom home to suit their lifestyle, with adjustments like a custom-made triple bunk bed for their three children and converting the garage into an office for the photography business they run together. Andrea sought every opportunity to creatively showcase her collections and reinvent her vintage pieces while surrounding her family with special things that speak to their legacy and lifestyle.
“Don’t be afraid to change things around. Every time I rearrange, new ideas pop into my head.”
“As a collector, I enjoy putting things to good use and reusing old pieces,” Andrea says. In addition to family heirlooms, flea markets and estate sales have been key sources for finding well-loved objects with a unique story to tell. “I go to a lot of estate sales. I also rummage during large-trash weeks! I have found many treasures that way,” she says with a laugh.
Andrea’s largest collection is vintage books, and she uses them in eye-catching vignettes throughout the house. Making a similar impact is her display of vintage mason jars on the fireplace mantel, which houses a collection of sea glass and shells, each labeled with one of
the various places the family has traveled, from Morocco to Mexico, Nicaragua, Oahu, Tavarua and Namotu to their local beaches in the South Bay of Los Angeles. “Every time we go to a new beach, I hope to find sea glass!” Andrea says.
The Figlewicz’s beach cottage dons plenty of ocean inspired colors. Andrea also uses color to update and curate special parts of her décor. For example, the weathered spines of Andrea’s vintage books help to balance the bright colors in the room. Among her favorites: a 1913 edition of Les Miserables and her great-great grandfather’s Swedish bible.
In the dining room, mismatched chairs are painted bright-turquoise and cheerful mint-green, not only to make them more of a cohesive set but to help make the dining room appear light and airy.
In order to give purpose to her collections and finds, Andrea frequently reworks and reinvents many of the well-loved pieces in her home. Whether it’s an old bench that easily moves from room to room for extra seating or a vintage toolbox she uses to hold candles, Andrea is keen to find multiple uses for a single item.
The bedroom displays more creative solutions, with customized rag draperies that Andrea made from a top sheet covering the closet and an antique coat rack turned jewelry display hanging on the wall above the dresser. Andrea’s open-minded approach to styling her home has allowed her to bring a cohesive look to various unique pieces collected over time. By embracing change rather than shying away from it, she’s discovered how to make all of the
pieces she treasures blend together. “Don’t be afraid to change things around. Every time I rearrange, new ideas pop into my head. And always pick up treasures!” she says.
Treasures inherited and passed down from relatives fill personalized nooks and corners throughout the cottage, enhancing its comforts. Both of the home’s bedrooms include sentimental touches, such as the vintage suitcase next to Andrea’s bed that stands in for a nightstand. The floral purple trunk was her great-grandmother’s, its bright hue a testament to the family matriarch’s unabashed devotion to the color.
In order to give purpose to her collections and findings, Andrea frequently reworks and reinvents many of the well-loved pieces in her home.
Even Andrea’s proudest DIY triumphs incorporate family, such as the custom triple bunk bed in the kids’ room handmade by her dad, along with Andrea’s own beloved dollhouse, which she passed down to her girls. One of the quilts in the children’s room was handmade by her mother, who stitched it together from her childhood clothing.
Finally, an art piece Andrea made from old Beach Boys records inherited from her husband’s family makes an eye-catching, graphic statement in the dining room—very fitting in a well-loved home near the coast.
Want to see more of Andrea’s creative reuse ideas? Click here!