California Modern Interior Design Service – North & West Vancouver

California Modern is an interior design style that has been popular in homes since the post-World War II baby boom.

For good reason, too: the casual, Mediterranean-inspired features evoke a sense of cool West Coast relaxation, making them a now-classic decor and furnishing style.

While different architects and designers will put their spin on California Modern, its effortless approach is really what sets this design aesthetic apart.


Here’s what we discuss on this page about our California Modern style service:

=> What California Modern interior design means

=> Common features of interior design in the California style

=> What to expect from a Vancouver West Coast interior design service

=> How to implement the California Style aesthetic in your home.

Let’s get started!

California Modern Living Room Example

What Is California Modern Design?

California Modern design has its roots in Mid-Century Modern. Charles and Ray Eames made the design style popular between the thirties and sixties. The Mid-Century design look is characterized by clean lines, as well as the smooth integration of the outside of the home into the interior. 

Mixing manmade materials with natural ones is a huge focus in individual decor pieces, while neutral tones dominate the palette (with the occasional pop of color). It evolved from this popular style as more and more homes across California adopted the Mid-Century Modern aesthetic. The architecture combines both the California Bungalow and Spanish Colonial Revival styles.

This means open-plan homes with large windows and glass doors, often looking out over picturesque gardens and complete with palm or cypress trees. The effect is as if looking at a framed painting.

As for the interior, this emphasis on indoor-outdoor flow is also reflected in the design with large wooden beams, high ceilings, and arches (so many arches!). Think Spanish-style features — pulled from the Spanish Colonial Revival style — as well as mixed natural elements offset by plenty of natural, warm-toned wood.

Bedroom with dark wooden furniture and brown striped curtains

Similarities and Differences Between Scandinavian and California-Style Interiors

In essence, California Cool and Scandinavian styles both use bright neutral bases and high-quality furnishings for an airy, minimalist look. However, California cool infuses more warmth through the selective addition of colours, prints, and textures while keeping the lines clean. 

Knowing their similarities and differences can help you narrow your choices when choosing elements for a California casual decorating style.


  • Both favor neutral, color palettes
  • Simple textures and clean lines
  • High quality over quantity
  • Aiming for simple luxury


  • True Scandinavian is very monochromatic, whereas California Cool incorporates more color and prints
  • California Cool maintains a clean aesthetic yet is overall warmer from added colors or patterns
  • Scandinavian can sometimes seem stark, whereas California Cool has more warmth, even with simple luxury
California modern style living room

Quick Checklist for California Modern Interiors

Here are some key points to help you achieve a California-style interior design.

  • Upholstery and rugs in de-saturated colors
  • Textured and patterned throw pillows and bedding
  • Oversized furniture with neutral upholstery and light wood
  • Woven pendants mixed with mid-century lighting
  • Brass accents used throughout
  • Fabrics and rugs with stripes
  • Real or faux plants and branches
  • Aesthetic between minimalism and maximalism
California Modern living room and kitchen

Common Characteristics of California Modern Style Interior Design

The California style evolves constantly. Think of California Cool, which has a more coastal and beach vibe. 

California Casual borrows from California Modern, creating a more lived-in and laid-back interior design. However, there are various shared features that you’ll find across this particular style:

1. Lighting

This design style favors furnishings and fixtures enjoyed best in natural light.

However, when evening comes, you’ll see low, warm lighting – imitating the dusky-orange hues of California.

2. Wood Features

In addition to the ever-present wooden ceiling beams already discussed, you’ll find arched doors and polished furniture combined with carved wood elements and decor pieces.

Unlike California Cool, you won’t find raw wood here! It’s more likely you’ll see warm-toned, carefully curated pieces with natural textures.

3. Natural Stucco Walls

Perhaps the most distinctive nod to this design style is the natural white stucco walls.

This brings texture into the home while maintaining a slick, clean look in any decor.

4. Wrought Iron

In contrast to the white walls, black wrought iron features — such as banisters, door handles, or window grills — are typical of this style. They help bring dramatic contrast and texture to a California casual space.

5. Spanish-Style Tiles

A nod to the Spanish Colonial Revival style, you’ll often find painted Spanish or Mexican tiles around the home. This is the perfect example of bringing a pop of decor color to the entranceway, kitchen backsplash, or walls of a bathroom.

6. Terracotta Pots

Again, as so much of this design style is white, terracotta pots bring much-needed warmth and color into (and around) the space.

7. Mid-Century Modern With a Touch of Boho

While Mid-Century design is at the heart of this style, touches of boho Mediterranean-inspired accents are what make this design style so cool.

While you may find more wood furniture and decor, this is offset by a touch of Retro Futurist and boho statement pieces.

Two California Modern style living rooms - JD Elite interiors

Top Tips for California Casual Decorating Style

Here are some inspiration ideas to see the natural beauty and timeless apparel of California-style interiors in your layout, home decor, colors, and furniture pieces.

  1. Paint walls white for a light and airy, open feel
  2. Use black or caramel leather furniture for a casual look
  3. Mix soft and hard textures like wood, leather, wool, linen
  4. Add coastal accents like weathered wood, woven textiles, stone
  5. Balance modern and rustic elements
  6. Incorporate indoor plants and organic textiles
  7. Use linen bedding for a relaxed, coastal vibe
  8. Show personality through artwork and decor
  9. Use warm wood tones like sandy floors and cabinetry
  10. Choose comfortable, casual furniture with clean lines
  11. Use a neutral color scheme with occasional bright accent pieces
  12. Invest in quality furnishings with some lived-in vintage pieces
California modern style kitchen and living room

Bring the California Vibe to Your Home with Our Modern Interior Design Services

Ideally, an interior design service should be able to handle all of the hard work for you. Then, when it comes to the big reveal, you can be free to take it all in – stress-free.

After all, that’s what we do at JD Elite Interiors! Here’s what you can expect:

Execute the Idea You Want

Your initial consultation with your new interior designer should lay out what you’re hoping to achieve, your budget, and any design must-haves.

That way, your designer can put together ideas and inspiration for your design plan, which you’ll then be able to review and approve the interior design.

Research and Sourcing of Ideal Furniture

As California casual blends Mid-Century Modern pieces with eclectic boho, these pieces can be time-consuming to find (and pricey!).

Is real Mid-Century Modern furniture out of your budget? Perhaps a piece with a nod to the style will be closer to your price point.

An interior design service will be able to do all of the research and sourcing of unique pieces while staying within your means.

Custom Lighting Design to Highlight Statement Pieces and Create a Cozy Atmosphere

As California casual is all about lighting, you’ll want a custom lighting design plan in place, particularly if you don’t have enough windows for natural light.

Your lighting design will want to mimic the bright daylight vital for the California style, as well as cozy evening hues.

Talk to your designer about the limitations of your space so that they can better work with you to get the results you desire.

Expert Guidance

When you choose an interior design team, you’re putting yourself in the hands of experts who can guide you every step of the way.

At JD Elite Interiors, we have over 50 years of experience helping thousands upon thousands of clients. We’ve seen and designed it all, so you can trust us with your every need.

A room with white walls, black chair, center table, and fireplace

California Style Interior Design Style Examples

In a nutshell, a California-style interior design balances modern and natural decor. It’s common to see white walls or floors to create a bright, fresh backdrop. Warm wood contrasts with light textures and coastal vibes seen as nature-inspired accents create an inviting, livable space for relaxing.

Our portfolio showcases projects that capture the allure of the Pacific coastline, embodying the spirit of Dundarave West Vancouver in every carefully curated detail.

California-Styled Bedroom

For bedrooms with a California-style interior design, choose furniture and a vintage rug with white and light earth tones. Dining chairs can be minimalist with beachy accents. Follow a color palette of whites, beiges, tans, and touches of wood with a matte finish for a laid-back aesthetic.

California-Styled Living Room

Bring a California-style design to your living room using white walls, floors, and furniture. Add natural materials and stone texture. Accessorize using linens and velvets for softness.

California-Styled Bathroom

Let your bathroom radiate a California coastal design using white tiles and marble counters. Use neutral cabinetry and natural textures for an inviting ambiance. A soft color of white paint and accents of neutral colors will create a sense of space.

California-Styled Kitchen and Dining Room

Have a Cali cool aesthetic in your kitchen and dining room using neutral colors like cream and beige for a relaxed, coastal vibe. When creating a balance between Bohemian and California casual, you can use woven baskets, green or ivory dishware, and natural materials.

California-Styled Patio

Even if you don’t live near the beach, you can make your outdoor living California cool-inspired using worn terracotta floors or neutral colors. Lean towards decor inspired by nature, like plants serving as the visual interest. Create depth and warmth using Bohemian decors and wooden materials for a timeless appeal.

California Modern Living Room Example


Looking for an interior design service isn’t just about the finished product. It’s also about your precious time! In the realm of California Modern Interior Design, our creative vision is enriched by the charm and character of diverse influences, reflecting the essence of Edgemont North Vancouver design.

Designing, researching, sourcing, constructing, and installing all take time time that you don’t necessarily have in your busy life.

When you book with us, everything’s taken care of once we’ve conducted your free home interior design consultation.

We’ll pull together your detailed design plan, leaving you with more freedom to do the things you need — and want — to do.

California Modern Living Room Example

Get the Perfect California Modern Design with JD Elite Interiors

If you’re looking for a California Modern interior design for your home, we can help you here at JD Elite Interiors!

Book your free 15-minute phone consultation today, discuss your project with our lead designer Keely, and start your journey towards your West Coast Californian dream home.