At Home With Hermosa Beach’s Caroline Payne

A retired human resources manager and full-time mom shares her favorite room.

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  • Photographed by
    Lauren Pressey


Hermosa Beach across from St. Cross Church.

How long at this current home?

In 2003 we bought the Cape Cod-style home, which was built in 1939. We then purchased the south lot in 2011 and rented out the duplex on the lot for five years. In 2016 we tore down the duplex, combined the lots, extended the deck on our Cape Cod, changed the style to industrial farmhouse and built a half-lot addition, yard and patio with a pizza oven and a spa. We are very proud of the fact that we reduced internal square footage across two lots and added more outdoor living space, a yard and a garden. We moved back in February.

Who lives here?

My husband, Glen, our two daughters, Emmaline and Hennessey, and our pup, Roo.

How would you describe the style of your home?

Industrial farmhouse. Some people refer to it as modern farmhouse, but we added numerous exposed structural steel elements internally and externally, so it has a little “edge” to it.

Did you employ any help with its interior design?

I designed the interior myself; however my good friends Talia Frederick, a local interior designer, and Val Mellinger were my sounding board for many decisions. Talia helped me design a few pieces of furniture and select some super-unique wallpaper.

“We love our proximity to Downtown Hermosa Beach, and we walk everywhere. We try not to use the car on the weekends.”

What’s your favorite room in the home?

We love to hang out in our kitchen, which is the heart of our home.

Minimalism or the more the merrier?

Minimalism! The less “stuff” we have, the more at peace we are.

Any special attachments to a piece of art in the home?

My soulmate, Jessica Alley, is an amazing artist, and we are lucky to have numerous pieces of her work. My favorite is a contemporary hot pink mixed media that greets you as you walk in the door. She also designed and painted two barn doors in our house, so essentially we have sliding art!

How about other furniture or décor?

I love our black farm-style kitchen table. We designed it ourselves at Big Daddy’s Antiques. It’s made of steel and zinc.

Neutral or color for your preferred palette?

Neutrals, with a pop of color where you least expect it. I painted a rusty mirror neon yellow, and it hangs under our stairs. It’s weird, but I love it.

What will never make its way into your home?

Curtains, carpet … and cockroaches.

Do you like to entertain at the home or prefer to enjoy on your own?

We love to entertain. My husband, Glen, is an amazing chef, and he is perfecting the art of homemade pizza in our wood-burning pizza oven. But we love quiet days at home with our family too.

What keeps you living here?

We love our proximity to Downtown Hermosa Beach, and we walk everywhere. We try not to use the car on the weekends.

If you could change one thing, what would it be?

We would add a broom closet. We forgot about this when designing the home. Oops!

What should every home have?

A wood-burning fireplace in the kitchen. Ours is grandfathered; we are very lucky. Everyone gravitates to our fireplace when it’s ablaze.

If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?

We wouldn’t live anywhere else but Hermosa. Go HB!