Today we are super excited to share Kimi Encarnacion’s amazing home with you guys! We found Kimi on Instagram and were instantly obsessed with her space. It’s SO fun and colorful, and a vintage-lovers dream! Her personality really shines through. Ready to see more?
“We lucked out when we found this little stucco beauty in San Clemente, CA. You can see the ocean out the front windows. It’s pretty sweet. It was in original condition and just minutes from our favorite surf break. I knew it was our house before we walked through the front door. We weren’t looking for an investment, we wanted a place we could live in forever. We got it from the original owners who came from Chicago to live the California dream in 1965 and spent the rest of their lives here. We got to keep a lot of their furniture and kitchen items. They must have thought the world of this place cuz you can still feel the love within these walls.
“Everything in the house is vintage. Well, except for the sofas. I had awesome 1950s couches for years that got voted out of the house by my menfolk due to comfort issues. You have to understand, my guys never speak up like that about any of my crazy ideas, so I finally gave in. Ended up being a huge win win! We had the pink and green couches custom made, patterned after classic styles, only made bigger and way more comfy. I love how they turned out.
“I collected furniture and tchotchke for years waiting for the day I could turn it all loose in my very own home. It’s all junk! Stuff people throw out that I happen to find. I’ve had a weekly habit of combing thrift shops since I was in high school, so I got in on the glory days of thrifting. Sometimes people just show up with the coolest stuff saying how I’m the only one they know who would appreciate it. The brown plycraft style chair in the front room was from a yard sale. It wasn’t even for sale. I just saw it and made an offer. It belonged to the woman’s grandma. It came with her from Sweden to the US and stayed with her till she passed away. I also have a favorite junk shop that is stuffed to the ceiling with furniture. They buy up estates, and I have found some awesome stuff there. It’s just a matter of looking, really. If you have a strong sense of personal style, it’s not hard to keep your eyes open for the best goodies.
“I have a big thing for kitschy oriental decor, gnomes, pixies and Christmas stuff. I’m always changing or adding something to the mix. Each time I bring a new piece into the place, it causes this decorating domino effect that ripples thru the entire house. My family says they can never find things. They go to sit in a chair and it’s gone! I love change, but I won’t bring just anything in. I have to absolutely love it. It has to feel really good.
“About that kitchen floor. The house came with it’s original linoleum floors. They looked kind of like yellow spam with lot’s of stains and fading. I ended up painting them instead of replacing them. It was way cheaper, plus I’m a small menu kinda girl and floor options tend to blow my mind. And there’s that thing how I like everything done as soon as I think of it. I lightly sanded and primed them first. Next, I laid down two coats of flat interior wall paint. Then I filled a spray bottle with watered-down paint and adjusted the nozzle til the paint landed on the floor just right. It’s kind of a process. You start in one corner and work your way across. After it’s good and dry, top with three coats of water-based polyurethane. This is key and you have to do all three to get it to cover evenly. These floors wear great. I just redid the kitchen after about 8 years of use.
“I’m a total junkie for the way color looks against color. I think all color goes together. For me it’s a matter of putting together the right lightness and brightness, using the properties of color to mix and match rather than following color rules. I got on a green and red kick early in life that hasn’t seemed to fade. Big, bold color doesn’t scare me at all. I’ve since added gold, peacock blue, a little orange and a lot of pink to my beloved red and green and it is totally working for me. I’ve only had the white walls in the front of the house for a few months. The airy feel they have in the daylight and the way the colors pop is fantastic. I’m not crazy at all about the way it looks at night though. While I am digging it for now, I can’t promise it will last. I’m a color junkie at heart.
“I won’t even begin to pick a favorite room. I love it all. The place is like a time warp. Friends say they get sucked in and can’t leave. There’s almost always music of some kind. I think there’s a guitar in every room and we have big speakers set up in the front and back so you never miss out on the tunes. We’ve raised our boys here. It’s the only house they’ve ever known. I guess we were serious when we said we wanted a place we could live in forever. This is home.”
Credits// Author and Photography: Kimi Encarnacion.