Here Comes the Sun

Photography by Chandler Kim

A boho chic home in Hilltop takes advantage of the Colorado light with highly curated (but fun) finishes

DINING ROOM Custom chairs by ModShop are upholstered in a very pale blush velvet with gold brass hardware to add a bit of whimsy to the open dining room, which includes a table topped with white laminate by the London company Monologue. “Simona and Brian wanted it to be fun, and they wanted it to feel cozy and quirky,” says designer Layne Kula. “Bringing the pastel color in there was a really interesting and offhand way of doing that.”

“A modern boho Barbie dream house.”

That’s how Los Angeles designer Layne Kula likes to describe this light-infused, six-bedroom home in Hilltop.

“We used so many bright, quirky colors—the teals and seafoams once used at Mattel that we had gotten away from for a while. And the way we incorporated all these minute details to create a well-thought-out, well-designed home is like when you’re playing in a Barbie house and you’re making it ‘just so.’ That’s how I think about this house.”


KITCHEN “Because we have such an open layout, it’s important to really distinguish rooms and give each one its own unique look,” Kula says. “We went back and forth on whether to keep the high-gloss wood in the kitchen or make it all white, but I think this really works. It has a very grounding presence in the home.” The oversized island is surrounded by low-back bar stools from Bend Goods.

Kula, who comes from a theatrical and production-based background and does a range of creative work, including event planning, styled the 2016 Laguna Beach wedding of the new homeowners, Brian and Simona Wohlner. “I knew them like the back of my hand, and really understood what they were going for, so after they purchased this house, they said, ‘Not only do we want you to do our wedding, but we want you to do our new home, too.’ It made sense to be involved in this part of their lives.”

PIANO ROOM Simona’s black grand piano (she currently teaches piano) is offset by a lush floral wallpaper by Ellie Cashman, used on only one wall and visible from the first floor. “One thing I really wanted to do was incorporate cool wallpaper that could act as its own installation piece,” Kula says. “Because you can see into the space from below, we wanted to embrace that fact and really make a statement. This print is so bold and unapologetic.”

“Initially, we just loved how bright and open the house was,” says Simona, an instructor at the Barre Code and CycleBar as well as a piano teacher. (Brian, a financial adviser, recently launched his own practice, the Kelly & Wohlner Group.) “The outside is completely white, and it’s very contemporary and clean. It has these beautiful, huge windows, and we were like, ‘This is awesome.’ ”


OUTDOOR SPACES The house is surrounded by patios. “This area echos the space inside,” says Kula. Below, she created two separate seating areas: an industrial-feel metal-topped dining table is surrounded by teal chairs in a variety of shapes. The lounge area surrounds an outdoor fireplace; a faux-greenery wall, adorned with a disco ball and other fun items, adds privacy to the space.

“They lean towards that very modern, clean style,” Kula says. “And in the same way that the open floor plan exists inside, it does outside as well. They also wanted things to feel loose and organic but very detailed—not unruly and wild the way bohemian can sometimes be.”


LIVING ROOM “I wanted to create a lounge-in-the-round in the living room, to give the space four corners and offset it to the space outside,” says Kula. A custom sofa by Restoration Hardware is covered in a wear-resistant army duck. It shares the space with two light-tan leather sling chairs from Blu Dot, an Abalone Coffee Table from Anthropologie, a Serena & Lily white/wood side table and a pair of brass-legged Caine Bench Ottomans from Jonathan Adler. “His work is incredible,” Kula says. The finishing touch: a Zahira Moroccan rug in gray/indigo.

One way Kula achieved that was by adding texture onto an overall white palette. The couch in the living room, for example, has a simple silhouette and is covered in a rugged white duck fabric. “People love the idea of a white room, because it’s reminiscent of a beach house or hotel,” Kula says, “but not everyone knows how to incorporate it into their home.” Her solution: adding custom-sourced pillows from, among other places, Moroccan vendors, to play up the bohemian vibe.


MASTER BEDROOM “Simona and Brian wanted a super, super open bedroom with an accent seating area,” Kula says. “They have a gorgeous walk-in closet, so they didn’t need to put any armoires or wardrobes in the room.” A king bed, by BluDot, is surrounded by lacquered Regency nightstands from Anthropologie, with Aurora sconces by Amber Interiors; the Palermo accent chari is from The Citizenry.

The Wahlgrens also wanted touches of whimsy throughout, whether through soft-pink dining room chairs (“millennial pink is having a moment right now,” says Kula), boldly hued wallpaper upstairs or a crystal-encrusted cow skull on one art wall. “After a while, it’s a lot of white walls, and the ceilings are so high,” says the designer. “The art in the house is predominantly not a picture or a painting in a frame; instead, it’s a lot of hanging pieces, a lot of ceramics, a lot of mixed-media art. That felt very right for them, to break up the rooms and keep it feeling modern instead of like a museum.


HIS OFFICE “We wanted to hit all of the primary colors in Brian’s office that weren’t necessarily elsewhere in the house,” says Kula, who chose a Rothko yellow-and-orange print and a hypertextured rug from West Elm.

“We also created little nooks and crannies filled with different elements to give architecture and depth to the space inside through styling, like clustering different kinds of plants at different heights.”

That contributes to a sense of warmth throughout. “I like to spend a lot of time at home,” Simona says. “I just wanted the place to feel comfortable and cozy, and it does.”

Interior design: Layne Kula, Los Angeles