We asked the interior designer how she’d give her Napa Valley bedroom a summer refresh. The results will have you dreaming you can check-in.
Designer Grace Lee-Lim’s style is refreshingly inspired. Clean, yet comforting. California cool meets richly layered. It’s impossible not to envy her perfectly balanced spaces and how they effortlessly reference her Korean heritage with a bold color palette or vintage accessory.
“I love the way people are embracing colors, patterns, textures and materials in their homes these days,” Grace explains. “It brings out so much more character than spaces that are overly minimal and muted, though I do like a really intentionally pared-down space from time to time.”
Perhaps her ability to accessorize so well comes from her first career: After studying fashion at School of the Art Institute of Chicago and starting her own bridal line, she made the switch to designing for physical spaces.
“I found that there were so many similarities in the design process from fashion to interiors,” Grace explains. “I moved out to the West Coast and started my own company designing homes for clients all over California across the country as well.”
We asked her to share more of her design philosophy and how she’d bring it to life in a summery bedroom.
What's your philosophy when it comes to refreshing a room?
I aim to capture the essence and feeling that I want to portray by making small adjustments with a big impact.
For example, if I want a bedroom to feel moody and cozy, I’ll incorporate more warm lighting at head-level, such as table or floor lamps, instead of ceiling fixtures. Recessed lighting can be so harsh, even with dimmers. If I want a room to feel crisper and brighter, I’ll include more whites in the bedding and accents.
What inspired this calming bedroom?
I created this moodboard while thinking of a weekend getaway to the Korean countryside. This vintage photo of my husband’s late grandfather sets the feeling with comfortable sepia tones and the traditional Minhwa painting hung above the bed reflects the same mood.
I love the brightness of the yellow garden rose from the farmer’s market. It looks and smells like everything summer has to offer. The palette of worn linen, faded green suede, and walnut paired with the brass incense holder provides coziness and warmth. The goal is to feel as easy as if you’ve just arrived at a bed and breakfast in the late afternoon.
How does that relaxed feeling play into the items you selected in the room?
I utilized the Softexture Duvet Cover, Linen Sheets, and Anywhere Linen Throw because I absolutely love how fitting these pieces are for the summer. The textures remind me a lot of the beautiful bedding my mother would buy from Korea.
Northern California is notorious for having extremely hot, dry summers that carry well into late September or even October, so having light, breathable bedding that still provides enough warmth for the chilly nights and early mornings is really important.
I adore the Anywhere Linen Throw—it’s perfect not only for inside on warm evenings, but it’s also incredibly versatile to pack and take on an outing as it has little to no weight or bulk. I brought mine with me to a wine tasting in Healdsburg over the weekend!
What other designers or architects do you admire or draw inspiration from?
I greatly admire the work of Roman & Williams and Avroko. Both do a lot more commercial work (restaurants and hotels) but they build such intensely thought-out worlds within the spaces they create. Every place I’ve visited transported me to another time and place. The amount of cultural references, layers and details are outstanding.
What is your process for getting to "done" on a room?
Completing the details! It’s especially hard as a designer to feel like a space is ever really “finished,” but even if there are elements that are constantly evolving it makes a world of difference to have the details worked out. Elements like throws, trays, candlesticks, coasters, books, vessels, artwork, and especially flowers can really help a space feel more cohesive and tied together.
Ready to check into your own Napa-style hideaway? Shop the room below.