Home & Garden

‘Classic with a modern twist.’ How SLO County homeowners made new house their own

In their 35 years of marriage, Lynn and Paul Randelman have lived in eight different homes, but never a new one — until now.

They opted for a semi-custom home in Nipomo, which was cost effective yet still allowed them to select finishes and floor plans from “a limited menu of choices,” Lynn Randelman explained.

The exterior of the approximately 2,500-square-foot home has Mediterranean influences, but the interior was “a blank slate,” she said.

Randelman, who has a background in interior design, chose finishes with a clean, modern feel for a neutral backdrop that “gives homeowners the greatest possible leeway in their interior direction,” she said.

Randelman finds neutral hues calming, so most walls are painted in a gray-toned beige.

Cabinets are maple, painted in a sage glaze with gray undertones, while ceramic tile floors have the look of cream-hued limestone.

On top of these muted tones, Randelman layers in texture with natural-fiber rugs, baskets and natural fabrics such as wool, linen and cotton blends.

Works by Lynn Randelman, a botanical artist, can be found in select rooms of her Nipomo home. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Randelman calls her design style “classic with a modern twist.” She sprinkles in French elements and a handful of treasured family heirlooms for a finished product that is eclectic yet refined.

The toughest part of the design process was scaling back the Randelmans’ collection of furniture and accents.

“We’ve been steadily downsizing for many years,” Lynn Randelman said. “At our peak, we had a 5,000-square-foot house, back when we were raising our two kids.”

The couple adopted the philosophy of decluttering guru Marie Kondo and kept only things that gave them joy or were useful. With fewer overall pieces, special items shine.

For instance, an English secretary desk that belonged to Lynn Randelman’s father takes the spotlight in the great room. A mid-century modern kitchen table from her husband’s childhood home has a special place in the master bedroom, where it is used as a desk.

Lynn Randelman used paint and silver wax to help two mismatched pine nightstands blend with other furnishings in a guest room in her Nipomo home. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

The Randelmans purchased a few new pieces from San Luis Obispo’s Habitat Home & Garden, with the help of Habitat designer Jasminka Cupina-Eads.

New furniture for the guest bedrooms came from Marcela’s Home Store in Arroyo Grande.

Lynn Randelman is never afraid to add in cost-effective pieces such as storage units from Ikea and pendant lights from a hardware store.

“Design inspiration can come from anywhere and I like having hardware store or HomeGoods finds dwelling near the family heirlooms,” she said.

To keep the eclectic vibe looking intentional rather than random, Randelman creates groupings of items that share some common thread.

Nipomo homeowner Lynn Randelman is a botanical artist. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

She is a botanical artist, so she displays her works together in select rooms.

Furniture groupings always share a common feature, such as shape, leg style or wood tone — a technique that allowed her to combine an antique Louis XVI chair with her more modern bedroom furniture.

Paint is another solution for pulling together a vignette. “I discovered you can chalk paint virtually anything in about two hours with no prep work,” Randelman noted.

She used this technique with two mismatched pine nightstands in her guest room, finishing off the look with silver wax on the original hardware. Now, “they blend right in with the new pieces in the room,” she said.

The finishing touch on the house was landscaping the back yard, which was “nothing but sand and a fence” to begin with, she said.

Addison Landscape and Design of Arroyo Grande created outdoor living and dining spaces at Lynn and Paul Randelman’s Nipomo home. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Addison Landscape and Design of Arroyo Grande designed and installed all hardscape and plant material to create outdoor living and dining spaces.

Although the house was completed in 2017, Randelman still considers it a work in progress. She hasn’t found all the light fixtures she’s envisioned, the living room furniture needs to be replaced and she wants to add more color.

Still, the house has come a long way from the days when it was nothing more than an “empty box,” she said.

Randelman finds beauty in the process — flaws and all.

“It’s the imperfect things — the unfinished projects, the quirky, irregular things about a house that make it a home,” she said. “All the layers of your life and how you use it — that makes it personal.”

Like the rest of Lynn and Paul Randelman’s Nipomo home, the kitchen features neutral, calming hues. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com


Use some wood wisdom. Pull together different types of wood by making sure they have the same undertone — such as gray, yellow or red.

Spend wisely. When choosing features in a new home or remodel, invest more time and money on semi-permanent features, such as kitchen cabinets, doors and windows.

Rethink and repurpose. Be creative when placing furniture and accessories. A kitchen table might make a good desk, while end tables can become nightstands.

Related stories from San Luis Obispo Tribune