Waterleaf Interiors

Describe the featured project.

Waterleaf completed this ground-up, double-lot home over 15 years ago, and this family of six has enjoyed it to its fullest! After four kids, several pets and homeschooling during COVID-19, it was time for a complete refresh. We call this the “Fun Project” because our client was inspired by Palm Beach and the Bahamas and wanted lots of color and pattern. In addition to updating the home, the goals of the project were to connect the flow through the bottom level to the outdoor space and enhance the backyard functionality. We opened up the beach room area with a larger window system, built a full outdoor covered kitchen and eating area with recessed heaters and TV, and added a jacuzzi and cold plunge.

Tell us about your business.

Waterleaf Interiors is a full-service residential design firm based in Manhattan Beach. Led by Jill Johnson and Suzanne Ascher, the firm assists clients with a wide range of projects including ground-up design, full-home furnishing, renovations and decorating functional beautiful spaces. Since 2006 Waterleaf has curated inspiring interiors in the luxury home market across the country. Current secondary home projects are in Aspen, Vail, Kiawah, Nantucket, Indiana and Texas. The Waterleaf team, composed of 25 talented individuals including designers, retail associates and back-office administrative support, provides our clients with the utmost expertise and support.

Describe the ideal relationship between you and clients.

Being a good listener and active learner of how clients live in their homes is key to a successful project. We ask questions to understand the interests of each person living in the home; what rooms are not being utilized; and the daily patterns of work, school and hobbies. Every project and client is unique. The most important elements of an ideal working relationship are trust and communication. It’s a collaborative effort with the goal of getting our clients the best possible representation of their vision. Our passion and dedication keep our clients coming back to work with us again and again.

What are some bells and whistles that you like to incorporate into your projects?

Creating stylish, inviting in-home wellness areas is a key priority for so many of our clients right now, and we love this trend. It’s fun to turn unused rooms into wellness areas by adding an infrared sauna or red-light therapy room, exercise equipment and cold plunge.

Photographed by Taryn Kent