Meet Megan Papworth! She’s the co-founder of E. Interiors alongside her mom, Dawn, and the mastermind behind one of our new favorite remodels to date. We can’t wait for you to see the two-toned, half-white, half-blue (and all parts gorgeous) kitchen that Megan made-over for her clients, Erin and Michael. Scroll on to feast your eyes on every detail—including a peek at their bonus redesigned living space, too.
What training/schooling did you go through in order to reach your dreams to become an interior designer?
Interestingly enough, neither my mom nor I went to school for interior design. My mom, Dawn (the other half of E. Interiors), started more than 18 years ago when friends asked her to help decorate their homes based on her home. By word-of-mouth referrals, things picked up and she started staging homes for realtors. I jumped in at that point to help with her jobs, and developed a love for interior design as well. As the years have gone on, things have evolved to where we are now: Business partners and growing professionally at a rapid pace. Most of our clients are now taking on a major renovation or hire us to consult on their new builds. We juggle all types of interior design jobs—from e-designs to room makeovers—and love it all.
Tell us about your clients, Erin and Michael. How did you connect with them?
How did their design aesthetic compare with yours?
Erin and Michael were dream clients. Erin is a photographer and has a beautiful design aesthetic that is very similar to ours. She likes modern, clean lines and wasn’t afraid to make a few bold choices in her design, which we love. Part of growing and evolving as a designer is getting to work with clients that have all different types of design aesthetics, because that is what really pushes you to become better as a designer. That being said, it is really exciting and refreshing to work with someone who totally “gets” the look you are trying to achieve in a space, and who is completely on board.
When renovating, think about how to bring it all together with fixtures, lighting and paint. We really try to break down the details to make everything flow.
What were the original details in this kitchen makeover, if any, that you and your clients decided to keep?
The kitchen itself was actually a complete gut job, so there were no original elements that we kept in that particular space. However, we did incorporate a lot of existing elements in the overall re-design. The first was the gorgeous hardwood flooring. The floors in this house are original and beautiful. We re-finished the existing floors and then carried them throughout the new space.
One of the other statement pieces in this house that is original and so true to the architecture of the home is the fireplace. In order to make that a true showpiece of the space, we painted it (along with all the walls) white and then added a surround in our favorite black quartz to really make it pop against all the white.
While the beams that we added are not an original element of the home, they are so common in Spanish-style architecture, so we felt like they really helped enhance the Spanish feeling of the overall space. Lastly, we also re-did a bathroom and laundry room and we were able to bring in a cement tile with a really pretty design. Hand-painted or designed tile is such a hallmark of this style of home so it was fun to bring a modern twist to that traditional element.
Describe the overall feeling you created with this remodel in three words.
Modern, functional, dynamic.
What are your favorite things about living and working in Southern California?
My favorite part about living in Southern California is definitely the weather and the proximity to the beach. I am originally from Arizona, which is where my mom still lives and where a ton of our design projects are, so I am a warm-weather girl through and through. Having the beach close by is just total icing on the cake. What I love about designing in California is the prevalence of more laid-back, less traditional design. I love all things modern and mid-century with a boho twist, and that design aesthetic is so prevalent here in Southern California, in both the styles of the homes and the tastes of the clients we work with. It really makes for airy, beautiful spaces. And when you have the ocean as your backdrop, you can’t go wrong.
Can you share a few tips for how we can design our spaces to match the era and style of our homes’ architecture?
It is really important to us that as we do a partial renovation, everything new coming in aligns style-wise to what exists so that everything flows afterwards. The last thing you want is to be left with the space feeling compartmentalized and partially updated. In this space, we continued the original flooring throughout the renovation to not break up the rooms. Like we mentioned before, we added the reclaimed wood beams on the ceiling to bring a cohesiveness to the room as they already had wood beams in other parts of their home not included in our remodel. When renovating, think about how to bring it all together with fixtures, lighting and paint. We really try to break down the details to make everything flow.
Part of growing and evolving as a designer is getting to work with clients that have all different types of design aesthetics, because that is what really pushes you to become better as a designer.
Tell us the story behind that amazing ‘Hello Cocky!’ print from Minted!
The story behind the ‘Cocky’ print is so fun and is a great example of incorporating pieces that have meaning to the family into the home. Erin’s in-laws have a cockatoo that Erin is not especially fond of. Cockatoos are known to live very long lives, so there is a good chance Erin will inherit the cockatoo when her in-laws pass away. Erin jokes that this print is the closest a cockatoo is coming to her house!
What elements, fixtures and appliances did you work into this kitchen redesign to make it practical for a family of four?
Our absolute favorite element to this renovation was the super-functional, yet beautiful breakfast nook. We built in a bench for seating to save on space and it makes the dining situation more usable and kid-friendly. We also kept the furniture upholstery dark and the main elements simple and family-friendly. There is nothing in the space that is breakable. As a mom of three kiddos myself, I am very conscious in my designs when working with families because, through trial and error, I know personally what works and what doesn’t.
Got any tips for families going through an entire gut job renovation?
Going through a gut renovation while living in the space is difficult for any family, but it is especially difficult for families with very young children. Erin and Michael were complete troopers to live like this for almost a year! My main piece of advice is patience and mental preparation. I think that if you go into the process informed and aware of the process and what it involves, it makes it so much easier.
What are the easiest ways to function among the chaos?
When faced with the situation, it is best to take the rosé-colored glasses off and acknowledge that it will be tough, but totally worth it in the end. My other main tip is try to plan kitchen remodels in the summer. It is amazing what can be cooked on a grill (especially if you have one that has side burners), so it takes a little bit of the burden of food prep away. Oh, and buy lots and lots of disposable plates, cups and silverware!
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Now that the project is over, is there anything you wish you had done or thought of looking back on it? What lessons did you learn?
We definitely learn something new with every job. We’ve learned this before, but it was re-emphasized this go-around: Make sure you love your contractor on the job because it makes a world of difference for everyone involved.
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