Mexi-Cali Magic

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A vacation rental offers a lesson in color

When interior designer Lily Brown entered her client’s new build in the heart of downtown, she knew it was no traditional Savannah vacation rental. With clean lines and exposed wooden beams, the three-bedroom abode had an airy openness reminiscent of modern boutique hotels in Texas and California. 

Photo by Jeremiah Hull

“There are so many beautiful historic properties in old houses in Savannah, and we wanted to create something unusual and different for the area,” Brown explains. “The new construction and exposed beams were a natural fit with the homeowner’s vision for a bright, Southwest-inspired interior.” 

Brown selected furniture built to withstand bachelor parties and family vacations, like powder-coated metal dining chairs in a vibrant berry shade. Crisp white walls make the playful accessories and art, including an original Juliana Lupacchino painting and a triptych of framed graphic Harlequin wallpaper, truly pop. 

Photo by Jeremiah Hull

“It’s important to keep key pieces neutral for color to feel dramatic,” Brown advises. 

The kitchen’s exposed wooden beams embodied the intended aesthetic and inspired the designer to enliven the space with natural fiber pendant lamps in the kitchen and a wealth of wood in varying shades and  grain patterns. Knowing that guests are likely to gravitate toward the kitchen at any party, Brown created a keeping area where vacationers can commune. Mere steps away is a sun-filled patio with electric-yellow, egg-shaped rocking chairs, a dining area and two cornhole boards just waiting for the next round. Throughout the home, joyful shades and dynamic layout in every corner invite visitors to escape the hustle for a little while.

Photo by Jeremiah Hull

“Approaching a vacation rental is different than a home, and it was refreshing to approach this with a little less seriousness,” Brown says. “When you work with clients on their own homes, it’s a reflection of them. Here, we created an experience for the guests.”