Color Schemes and DIY Dreams


Avid DIYer Mila Moraga-Holz had design sense instilled in her from a young age. Despite growing up in a remote part of South America, she learned the importance of creating beautiful spaces with the tools you are given—a talent and passion she documents through her design-and-lifestyle blog, Jest Café, and in the intricate renovation projects she takes on with her Los Angeles home.

Where did you grow up, and what was your childhood like? I grew up in the south of Chile, far away from the rest of the world, but I still felt connected to it by my parents. I was surrounded by nature and love. Growing up, my mother and father filled our home with beautiful things. They designed our house from the ground up, and they decorated it with art, plants, and fun furniture—specifically rustic and vintage items. Our home was carefully curated, which is not an easy thing to do when you live so remotely.

Have you always had a passion for expressing yourself creatively through design? Was this something you discovered at an early age? My mom always asked my opinion when decorating my bedroom, and she supported my crazy ideas, like painting all the walls different colors. I was also very interested in DIY projects and loved doing needlework, but I didn’t know of anybody who did these things for a living, so I didn’t pursue them as a career. My parents were design aficionados, but in their daily lives my mom owned a very successful cordonería, or sewing goods store, and my dad was a lawyer; my world was very, very small.

When did you first start doing your own interior design work? I have tried to bring something special to every room and home I’ve ever lived in, but I started to actively pursue my passion for design in 2015 when I started my blog, where I was inspired by other bloggers to do what I love.

How did you choose a name for your blog? Is there any significance behind it? I wanted a name that wasn’t too serious but that embodied a place where people could gather, be entertained, talk, and have fun. I want my readers to laugh and feel connected to a community.

I took the word “jest” from the book Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, which talks about the importance of entertainment in our lives and how the pleasures we choose define who we are. In the end, though, I just liked how the words looked together.

Where or what do you turn to for inspiration for your projects? I subscribe to a lot of design magazines. Architectural Digest Spain is my favorite, but Instagram is another important resource. I have saved many images from these sources that help me come up with new ideas.

What is the first step you take when embarking on a new project for your home? Do you look at each room as a separate element or try to renovate the space more holistically? I start with an object or an image that inspires me, and I move on from there. I definitely keep all the rooms in mind when decorating a space, especially in my home because it is very small—nine hundred square feet—so the flow between rooms is particularly important. I like the door frames to act as windows to the next space, which means that the color palettes have to work together.

It’s easy to see your appreciation of color in your spaces. How do you go about selecting a color scheme? I get inspiration from nature, among other places. Any colors that work well together in nature will work well together in your home. I also pay attention to the shade of colors that I see throughout the day, and I try to use the ones that inspire me in my house. To narrow them down, I take a photo of a palette I like (a flower, for example) and I find matches in Photoshop or the Pantone app to come up with a final color scheme. As much as I like color, I like to keep a room within a palette and I try not to go too crazy with it.

How do you balance the color transition from one room to another? I think the best decision is an informed one. I take my time when choosing a color. First, I look at the possibilities in Photoshop, and then I go to the paint store to get a lot of sample patches that I stick to the wall. I live with them on the wall for days until I can narrow down the choices to three. I buy paint samples of those choices to paint large patches on the wall, and, again, I live with them for a few days. I pay attention to how the colors change throughout the day until I am sure which one is the right one.

How do you decide what furniture to incorporate into each room? My first thought when looking for furniture is the price. I have a budget, and the furniture I choose has to be within that budget. My next considerations are color and shape. I like statement furniture that is different, but my husband cares more about comfort, so I need to keep that in mind, too.

Tell us a bit about your most recent home project and your thought processes behind it: My most recent renovation was my kitchen, which I did when I was eight months pregnant. That room started with a color: berry. I knew I wanted the kitchen cabinets to be painted in a fun hue, and I ended up using a color inspired by Farrow & Ball’s Radicchio. After that, everything else followed. Creating a room—deciding on shapes, textures, colors, lighting, and tiles—is a wonderful process that I love. Seeing it all come together is so exciting! It gives me life. I know it sounds corny, but it’s true.

What is most challenging about embarking on a new DIY or renovation project? The most challenging aspect is envisioning the end product. I am good at seeing the big picture, but mistakes happen, and sometimes I need to take detours. A good quality I have is that I make fast decisions and don’t dwell in self-doubt too much. Plus, when you have a small budget, there is not much room for different options or for making mistakes.

Why are plants and flowers important to you, and how do you feel they contribute to the look of a space? Plants were a major decoration item in my home when I was growing up, so I naturally incorporate them into my home as an adult. They warm up a room and make it come alive.

Did you conceptualize and paint the murals, like the ones in your kitchen and living room, yourself? How did you create them? The mural in my living room was inspired by a textile by Roberto Burle Marx, and I created the mural in the kitchen with Adobe Sketch.

Do you have any exciting projects coming up? I am working on an affordable and colorful home goods line. It’s taking a while to get it off the ground because I have three boys and designing is not my full-time job, but it will happen soon.

The Melody of Sunshine

As my ride cruised toward the Hillcrest neighborhood in San Diego, the twelve-bar blues refrain of an up-tempo Beatles tune bestowed its happiness on my ears like audio confetti. “It’s so fine, it’s sunshine. It’s the word love,” John Lennon proclaimed.

I looked out my open window to see a white Mustang convertible in the other lane with a small, very pleased-looking dog sharing the front seat. “Do you like the Beatles?” I asked my driver, as another classic from the Rubber Soul album began to play. “Oh, I love them! This is my soundtrack all day long,” he replied with a smile. Perhaps the Beatles were right after all—sunshine is love, and I was ready to dig into the happiness of this sun-soaked city.

Flora and Food The car pulled up to my Airbnb, a pink paradise in the form of a Spanish Colonial building with meticulously landscaped grounds. Succulents and assorted fronds cuddled with wildflower blooms in fuchsias and corals. The inviting vignette was shaded by a pair of gently sloping trees, whose foliage resembled seaweed more than leaves. After dropping my bags inside the adobe wonderland, it was time to scout out the food scene.

I was grateful that I had planned to meet up with a friend when we arrived to our dinner spot because there was an hour-long wait. Unfazed, we hopped across the street to a bar-restaurant called Kindred. Inside we found white marble, a gridded ceiling of mirrors, and an iconic sort of patterned wallpaper that looked like the inside of a very posh handbag. We also found a summery pink cocktail with elderflower and Aperol. We shared a freshly baked farinata (chickpea flour) flatbread artfully topped with hearts of palm, mushrooms, and cilantro, drizzled with chili oil.

Tide Pools and Tacos I woke up early the next morning, excited for the tide pool tour I had planned. The idea of peering into nooks and crannies and identifying sea creatures appealed to my nerdy sensibilities, no doubt shaped by childhood summers enrolled in educational museum camps. (Thank you, Mom and Dad.) I met our tour guide, Matt, a former marine biology teacher, at the tide pools in La Jolla, twenty minutes up the coast from the pink adobe. (If you want a slice of paradise, the La Jolla coastline is marvel-worthy, especially when the sunshine burns off the morning fog.) On this day, the low tide was a -.1, which Matt explained means one-tenth of a foot below sea level.

The cratered landscape revealed by low tide is what I imagine it might be like to walk on other planets—the rocky beach slippery in spots and full of both shallow and deeper pools of water, depending on the zone. “Touch this,” Matt encouraged us, as we gently stroked what appeared to be a collection of shell pieces. Underneath the coating of shells was a sand-colored, doughnut-shaped object, and when we poked it, the squishy doughnut creature suddenly contracted as our group collectively exclaimed, “Ack!” The doughnut creature was a green anemone, which covers itself in the shells to avoid desiccation (or drying out) when the tide is low; the beach was also filled with hundreds of thousands of another species of anemones called aggregate anemones.

We were examining acorn barnacles when we heard Matt’s enthusiastic cries of delight a few craters over as he motioned to a large, black, gelatinous blob. The blob inched its body forward, and we could see it was a sea slug—specifically a California black sea hare, named that because of its resemblance (and I use that word loosely) to a rabbit. Because they taste disgusting, they have few predators and are mostly free to grow into even bigger blobs. Bending over to examine sea creatures is a great way to work up an appetite, and I was on a mission to find tacos, specifically the fish variety. I chose my route up the coast, wanting to catch a glimpse of the seals at the Children’s Pool Beach. The beach was closed to people because of harbor seal pupping season, but the observation walkway was a great way to view them.

A few minutes later, I arrived at my destination, Puesto, which was easy to sneak into as a party of one despite the crowd. Unvexed by the lunch rush, my waiter went above and beyond to accommodate my request for grilled fish tacos and suggested a mango-límon agua fresca to wash it down. After feeling inspired to pen a one-line thank you note to my waiter, I headed down Girard Avenue in search of Trilogy Sanctuary to reconnect with my friend. This rooftop cafe, complete with silks for aerial yoga under the sunny skies, was the perfect place to relax with an orange blossom matcha.

Paraglider Pals I had starred the Torrey Pines Gliderport on my map, not knowing if it was a place we could even get to. We pulled into the dirt parking lot to check it out, surprised to see that parking was free. “Can we just walk up there?” I asked my friend, as we nervously surveyed the grounds. But the magical thing about the Torrey Pines Gliderport is you really can just walk up there. And suddenly you’re among these paragliders, who very well may be part bird, as they run toward the edge of the cliff, their brightly colored parachutes filling up with air. Watching them float over the cliffs and Black’s Beach is equal parts terrifying and peaceful.

I introduced myself to Ira Hayes, a frequent paraglider and the COO of a tech company. He likes the sport because it’s portable—the parachutes and equipment fit into a (albeit large) duffle bag. He joked that he and other paragliders carry their emergency parachute onto commercial flights in case something goes wrong. “If I can get out of the plane, I’m good,” he joked.

Old Town Origins When I woke up the next morning, I entertained the idea of solely eating tacos for the rest of my trip. I knew a history lesson would be more valuable, though, and our tour guide, Deborah Seitz of Experience San Diego Tours, certainly delivered with her engaging stories and contagious enthusiasm for the subject matter. Most of our tour took place in the Old Town State Historical Park, which is within the Old Town neighborhood. The park is a collection of buildings and homes from the nineteenth century, either original or replicated, that give visitors a glimpse into what the original square might have looked like and how the community operated.

In fact, San Diego is one of the oldest, most history-rich cities in the country. Historically home to the Kumeyaay Nation, it would eventually become the first colony in California. Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo became the first European to set foot on the coast of California, in search of gold and a rumored water route that would connect the North Pacific to the North Atlantic oceans. However, colonization of San Diego was eventually prompted by Russian fur traders, who were working their way along the coast from Alaska. The king of Spain ordered the Spanish settlers in Mexico to start moving north in order to mark the territory. In 1769, the first colony was established, and the first mission on top of Presidio Hill was built.

Deborah led our trio to an impressive, white adobe building known as La Casa de Estudillo, one of the most famous buildings built during the Mexican era in the early 1820s. The Estudillos were a very prominent family in the 1800s and early 1900s, as evidenced by the virtual adobe castle that was situated in front of the main square. They hosted parties, community events, and even Catholic Mass here. The original structure still stands and is free to tour. It’s also one of the settings of a famous novel written in 1884 by Helen Hunt Jackson, a passionate advocate for the Mission Indians. The success of Ramona made La Casa de Estudillo a popular tourist attraction.

Fajitas Al Fresco After thanking Deborah for the tour, I made my way to Miguel’s Cocina for a late lunch. As I sat on the front patio, shoveling tortilla chips and salsa into my mouth and gazing adoringly at the sizzling vegetable fajitas in front of me, the lyrics of that Beatles song came into my head. The beauty of La Jolla’s coast, the fresh seafood, the rooftop coffee with a view, the happiness from my tour guides who have been able to make a career out of enjoying their city—I admire the way locals inhabit and share their inner happiness so freely with others. In the words of another Beatles song, “Here comes the sun, and I say it’s all right.”

Famous Tourist Attractions Around Orange County, CA

Newport Beach has a lot of notable communities, like Homes for sale in Belcourt, making it one of the most colorful cities of Orange County, California. There are Homes for sale in Belcourt, San Juan Capistrano Homes for sale, and several more that gives you more choices and option to bring diversity in your daily life. There are a lot of exciting attractions to go and visit when you are nearby homes for sale in Belcourt. Below are the five tops picks to visit to brighten your visit where you could tour nature and travel back in time.

Aquarium of the Pacific

Founded in June 1998, Its is Southern California’s Largest Showcase of sea animals and the Pacific ocean. It is also a non-profit organization whose mission is to instill respect, wonder, and understanding for its inhabitants and the ecosystem of the Pacific Ocean. And their vision is to make an aquarium solely for preserving and nurturing nature by creating educated interactions among people and the environment.

Pirate’s Dinner Adventure

Aboard a replica of a Spanish Galleon and take a journey back in the olden times to see an interactive and authentic 18th century Pirate dinner show where pirates showcase their swordplay skills and their adventures. You can dance, sing, eat and laugh in this spectacle knowing that they would be providing you First Class food and an epic tale of romance. Comedy and adventure that may or may not have happened in the past.

Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament

It is highly founded upon true medieval history and true story of a noble family class with documented proof way back 11th century. You could travel through history to a time long forgotten where you could enjoy a show that exudes a tale of devotion, courage, and romance. Feast your imagination by being a guest of a Queen while experiencing one of the most popular dinner showcase as well as great food while watching the grand spectacle.

RMS Queen Mary Tickets and self-guided tour

Once the historic ocean liner in the world is the retired ship named Queen Mary, in this historical ship you can learn Fascinating stories behind the ship that crossed the Atlantic Ocean more than 1,000 times on both military missions and luxury cruises. She is now part of the National Register of Historic Places and is also part of Historic Hotels of America. The Ship currently offers hotel-like attraction since it is now permanently moored at the port.

Universal Studios in Hollywood

The most famous of our list is the Universal Studios in Hollywood. Visiting this place will give you and all in one kind of attraction. The area is a theme park and a film studio and is one of the oldest and well-known studios at present. It has been in around since the year 1912 and is still well known around the world. The theme park offers a variety of things to do from taking tours from studios to interactions of characters from notable movies. The place has exemplary events to provide for you to explore.

One day is not enough to visit these top picks so when you decide to purchase Homes for sale in Belcourt so that you would have easier access to all of these tourist places. We recommend that you speak to Cotier Properties Inc. could assist you in having a worry-free transaction.

Understanding Why Residents Love Living in Dover Shores – Homes for Sale in Dover Shores

In Newport Beach’s residences, wherein a variety of houses are famous for its extensive home types ranging from small condos to ocean view mansions. Dover Shores, a clean, peaceful, and friendly community coastal community in Newport Beach. Homes for sale in Dover Shores is a must-see property in Newport Beach. Among these houses that are well architecturally designed, these are placed facing to stunning beaches that give the residents a panoramic coastal view for people living in the area. The ocean views, magical sunsets, local activities, restaurants, and so much more give the city a real sense of community and active life. Residents are enjoying the picnic parks, public and private beaches, and more. Almost anything you want for a beachy lifestyle is here.

Dover Shores is located in the Upper Newport Bay area of Newport Beach, California. One of the well- known community in Newport Beach due to its stunning luxurious house designs and sizes. The community is surrounded by private beaches which give you the feeling of owning the beach in front of your home.

The weather is gorgeous all year round in Dover Shores. Beaches, houses, and weather? What more can you ask for when you live in this community.  Mariners Elementary School, Horace Ensign Intermediate School, are situated along the neighborhood border. The staff and teachers at these schools are dedicated and very creative. The location of these schools is just a distance away from your house. Less traffic and schools are just a bike away.  Absolutely, no reason why your kids wouldn’t excel in school.

Well since the beach is just a few steps away from your home. Every morning, make it a habit to walk or run by the beach before heading to your school or office. Bringing your dog while having your exercise at the beach is not an issue. The area is a dog-friendly community. Also, Meet with new people in the community at the beach with the same physical hobbies as you are. Definitely, an awesome place to meet up with friends or drive through to the nearest coffee shops and restaurants in the community.

Newport Beach is an upscale beach city located in Orange County California. Almost all cities and communities in this area are clean and well organized. Residential properties in Newport Beach such as in Dover Shores and homes for sale in Belcourt is well maintained as they have frequent cleaning services.  Aside from the clean environment, Dover Shores and other communities in Newport Beach has a very low crime rate which residents love being in this area. Police authorities are visible within the area, night and day. Overall it’s a safe, clean, and a great place to visit and an even better place to live in.

A quality real estate team professionals need to have the experience to ensure the job is done right. Cotier Properties Group has the experience and the manpower to handle your challenges in choosing your dream home. Contact them today and be guided with your decisions.