• Nicole Sours

American Society of Interior Designers - Award Winner

When interior designer Dasha Hervey of Sea and Pine Interior Design set out to redesign the master suite and street-front balcony of the Del Mar home she shares with her husband, Dean, she knew she wanted to “create a clean, classic look that embraced our love of travel: Old World meets boho chic. We wanted classic coastal but minimal care,” she explained.


Master Bath with enclosed Wet Room


Twenty-one years ago, when the couple purchased their 2,550-square-foot house built in 1972, they had it taken down to the studs and remodeled. But after years of exposure to corrosive sea air, the home needed TLC, which coincided with their desire to refresh their personal spaces.


Several considerations guided Hervey’s design of the four-bedroom and three-bathroom house. While ease of care and cleaning were important, health and wellness were paramount, because she was suffering from worsening allergies and asthma. And sustainability always factors into her design choices. “As designers, we want to select products that are sustainable, life-cycle products that are recyclable or reusable, that are good for the Earth when they’re done with their life,” Hervey said.

Coastal Master Bedroom


Availability of convenient technology guided her pick of readily programmable smart systems — controlled by phone, computer or nearby remotes — for lighting, entertainment, heating and air conditioning as well as other systems. The Herveys broke their project into two parts: their balcony/bedroom and the large bathroom. Each took about three months. Because of scheduling issues, they worked with two different contractors.


She hadn’t expected to find quick answers to why her allergies and asthma had worsened, leaving her feeling sick regularly. But as soon as the master suite and balcony contractor, KL9 Construction, began demolition, the couple discovered several clues to her ill health: rotting wood on the balcony, and mold and mildew concealed in the window frames and walls of their bedroom.


“We didn’t realize how sick the room was,” Hervey said. The first order of business was repairing the damage and removing the mold and mildew. For the 10-by-20-foot ocean-view balcony, the contractor tore out the rotted beams and wood decking, replacing them with new beams and wood-patterned porcelain tile. The classic coastal-style white railing is weather-resistant polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. Hervey chose a UV-rated chevron-woven recycled plastic rug and two midcentury modern slipper chairs crafted of white plastic tubing on blue powder-coated aluminum frames to furnish the balcony. Screened side panels on either side of new doors from the balcony into the bedroom improve ventilation and catch ocean breezes. Cement-board siding in a milk chocolate hue was installed on the front exterior.

New Deck with Sunset Views


Health concerns determined many of Hervey’s selections for the 13-by-20-foot bedroom, but she was still able to combine the old with new. To reduce allergens, dust mite-attracting carpeting was replaced with hardwood flooring. Benjamin Moore paints in gray tones and that emit no volatile organic compounds were applied to the wall. For her reading nook, Hervey chose a slim, high efficiency Heat & Glo gas fireplace with zero emissions. It is encased in a textured herringbone-pattern marble surround that pairs with an antique Kazakhstan rug and a reupholstered 19th-century English chair, gifts from her antiques-loving mother.




For easy care, Hervey chose washable gray-and-white linen window treatments and a white, embroidered cotton duvet for the bed, which has a black custom iron headboard. Over the headboard is a whimsical painting of a peaceful cow seated on a green and gold settee. On either side of the bed are white quartzite-topped nightstands and three-tiered boho white, wooden-bead chandeliers from India. The bed sits on a textured soft sisal rug, while a light mauve velvet bench trimmed in gold and blue wooden Shaker-style dressers contribute a touch of glamour and splashes of color.




Mix of Old and New and to the BoHo Flair


Hervey’s husband requested a television in the bedroom. It sits over the fireplace and mantel disguised by a mirror, which lifts via a power-assisted system. Both the television and its streaming surround-sound system feature remote smartphone controls. In the corridor connecting the bedroom and bathroom, Hervey placed three oval black-trimmed mirrors with a sisal runner echoing the bedroom rug. For the bathroom remodel, Hervey wanted a luxurious, European spalike feel, similar to bathrooms the couple encountered on their travels. “We wanted an Old World but modern flair,” she said.


To improve ventilation, the other contractor, DRC Construction, installed a skylight that opens and replaced the door with a sliding louvered barn door with a zero-entry threshold, which eliminates trip hazards. Decorated in tones of gray, black and white with gold accents, the bathroom features easy-clean porcelain floor tile. Twin white quartzite-topped black vanities trimmed in gold with anodized brass fixtures sit beneath gold-framed mirrors and gold-and-white LED sconces.

His and Her Vanities


Textured, sand-colored herringbone porcelain tile lines the walls in the European-style, glass-enclosed “wet room” with dual thermostatically controlled brass rain shower heads and a recyclable soaking tub made with soy and minerals. Tucked into a small enclosure is a Toto Washlet, a combination bidet/toilet with his-and-hers programmable controls; nearby a tall, black built-in cupboard provides linen storage along with a niche for a sparkling vanity set.



As a mark of her design’s success, the San Diego chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers recognized Hervey’s work last December with a first place for a large bathroom in their Design Excellence Awards.


While the pandemic has prevented the Herveys from traveling, their newly remodeled master suite provides them reminders of European luxuries. Best of all, Hervey’s allergies and asthma have disappeared in the new, healthier environment.


Nicole Sours Larson is a freelance writer. This article was published courtesy of the San Diego Union Tribune