Home & Garden

The Rostermundt home in Arroyo Grande gets a sophisticated, beachy remodel

Pebbles surrounding the den fireplace are reminiscent of the ocean.
Pebbles surrounding the den fireplace are reminiscent of the ocean. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Shane and Christina Rostermundt liked the birds-eye ocean view from their Arroyo Grande home. They were also keen on its location: walking distance from their kids’ school, shopping, and entertainment.

The rest, they figured, they could tailor to their needs — and they did, with a seven-month remodel that wrapped up earlier this month.

The 2,000-square-foot, single-level home was built in 1989, and it looked its age. Pink tile graced the master bath, and cabinets were of the golden oak variety, popular in the 1980s. Still, the Rostermundts lived in the house six years before they set about updating it.

Meanwhile, Christina Rostermundt accumulated ideas and wishes. She grew up in a beach house and wanted that same “comfortable coastal vibe” in her Arroyo Grande house — but of the sophisticated, rather than kitschy, variety, she said.

Charles Quinn of CW Quinn Home was in charge of design, project management and cabinet installation. K & G Construction was the general contractor. According to Quinn, the couple wanted to collaborate with him on every design decision, so the team would meet on Tuesdays over coffee, samples and swatches. “I have been keeping a notebook of ideas for years,” said Rostermundt. “We went with what we liked and felt good to both my husband and I.”

Plans started modest — with a laundry room redesign in 2013. The bulk of the project got rolling earlier this year.

Although there were no structural changes, every room in the house was revamped. One of the family’s wishes was for more storage. So the team installed ample cabinetry, even in the dining room, where the simple white cabinets are dressed up with hand-crafted stained glass panels created by the renowned Judson Studios of Los Angeles. In the kitchen, cabinets extend to the ceiling, eliminating wasted space usually occupied by soffits.

With two kids and three dogs in the family, the team needed to balance sophistication with practical durability. One big challenge: how to get that beach house look of bleached wood floors without an eventual covering of stains and scratches. Quinn and the Rostermundts ran the dogs over several wood flooring samples — and the results weren’t good. Their scratch-free solution was wood-grain porcelain floors by Walker Zanger — a surprisingly realistic look. Best of all, Rostermundt said that “the light color hides dirt and dog hair.”

The family opted to create two distinct hangout spaces: a den for the kids, and a grown-up, more formal living room for the adults. The kids’ room has a desk for homework, ample storage, and cabinetry that conceals the television and gaming system.

In some cases, kid-friendly means being comfortable with age and patina. For instance, the family wanted Carrara marble kitchen countertops to go with other vintage farmhouse elements, such as their farmhouse sink and the rolling barn door that separates the den from the dining room. Though stunning, marble is easily stained and damaged. “Everyone is always afraid to use marble, but they should (use it), and not be afraid of letting it patina with age,” said Quinn. “After a while, it looks like an Italian grandmother’s kitchen.”

The family liked the classic look of marble so much, they used it on their bathroom floors.

As anticipated, within a week of installing the kitchen countertops, an impromptu lemonade-making session by the kids imparted the first etchings on the pristine, white surface. But Rostermundt is not fazed. “Each stain or pit is a sign that our family lives here,” she said.

Contributing to the beachy feel are subtle coastal influences, seen in the water-smoothed pebbles framing the fireplace, the crisp white of cabinets and wainscoting, grass cloth wallpaper in the dining room, and walls cloaked in hues evocative of water. The chandelier in the dining room, made of recycled soda bottles, reminds Rostermundt of sea glass.

As it turns out, coastal casual furniture is perfectly suited for a busy family. Some pieces are slipcovered in durable, washable fabrics. The couch in the family room is clad in an indoor-outdoor fabric to resist stains and fading. The distressed wood of the dining table will take dings and dents, and will only look better over time.

The family lived in the house during the remodel, which Rostermundt called challenging. But at the same time, she liked to stay close to the work, “because we could see all the changes happening and were able to make tweaks here or there,” she said.

The Rostermundts have taken on other projects with the entire family in mind, including equipping their backyard with a fire pit and a space to project movies. Their efforts to be all-inclusive have paid off. “The house is not complete, but so far it feels great,” said Rostermundt. “The whole family is enjoying it and that was my main goal.”

Design tips

Go faux Wood floors are beautiful, but may scratch if you have dogs or young kids. Consider, instead, a tile that closely resembles wood. Ceramic or porcelain tile floors resist stains, scratches and water damage. Tile, however, can be cold and hard, which may make it less comfortable to walk on for some.

Contain kid clutter Creating a space dedicated to kids’ games and activities makes it easy to entertain without kid clutter encroaching on living or dining room spaces. The Rostermundts’ den, which was formerly the living room, has a spot for doing homework, a custom cabinet to keep the television and gaming devices out of sight, and lots of storage. They took it a step further and installed a sliding barn-style door between the adult and kid spaces.

Family-friendly furniture The casual coastal look can be low-maintenance and family-friendly. Think slipcovered seating, durable indoor-outdoor fabrics, rattan, and weathered woods.