Sofie Howard’s Malibu Mobile Home Gets a Bohemian ’70s Makeover

The best art/fashion/style has tension—a push and pull between textures, colors, and shapes. This recent project by a Remodelista favorite, LA-based Reath Design, has that coveted tension in spades. It is a modest mobile home, but sited in an exclusive Malibu Beach neighborhood. It feels youthful yet worldly. It juxtaposes somber, autumnal colors with more spring-like lavenders and greens. It places vintage rattan stools next to a sumptuous, color-blocked velvet sectional.

And it all somehow works. “I’m the happiest girl in the world when I’m here,” says Sofie Howard, a photo producer who has worked for high-profile clients like Nike and Beats by Dre. Longtime friend and Reath founder Frances Merrill had already worked her magic on Sofie’s prior two homes (one of which was a smaller mobile home in the same sought-after trailer park community of Paradise Cove), so Sofie knew she could trust her to redo her beach shack—but make it fashion.

The whole project was seamless—”When the trust is already built up, it really flies,” says Frances—but getting that effortless look takes effort. The key? “Test, test, test, test again. And then make a leap.”

Photography by Laure Joliet.

the previous owner, a famous actress, had remodeled the \1,000 square foot trai 9
Above: The previous owner, a famous actress, had remodeled the 1,000-square-foot trailer to be modern, white, and shiny. Sofie and Frances’ vision for the home was the antithesis of this, more bohemian-chic than Hollywood bling. First order of business: line the ceiling with red cedar planks that warm up the space and give it a retro ’70s grooviness.

lavender kitchen cabinets are tempered by the brown fireclay tile backsplash. h 10
Above: Lavender kitchen cabinets are tempered by the brown Fireclay Tile backsplash. Hovering over the island are ceramic pendant lights by Kevin Willis. The vintage rattan stools are from Amsterdam Modern.
a long, custom designed corner banquette provides ample seating for sofie and h 11
Above: A long, custom-designed corner banquette provides ample seating for Sofie and her family. Nakashima chairs surround Ilse Crawford’s Together Table. The upholstery fabric used for the banquette bench is from Raoul Textiles.
years before, frances had picked up the vintage \1970s italian resin pendant la 12
Above: Years before, Frances had picked up the vintage 1970s Italian resin pendant lamp—featuring real stems of foliage and blades of grass—with the hope that she would find a good home for it one day.
the multicolored sectional, a signature reath design element, is sofie
Above: The multicolored sectional, a signature Reath design element, is Sofie’s favorite part of the home. “The entire family can cozy up here and laugh and talk,” she says. The upholstery fabric is from Knoll’s Instinct K2258 line.
the green lavender rust color palette extends into the main bedroom. here, a re 14
Above: The green-lavender-rust color palette extends into the main bedroom. Here, a Restoration Hardware bed was given a bohemian makeover via layers of textiles (the rug draping the headboard was a gift from Sofie’s son). Frances sourced the cheery deadstock Pikkudaalia patterned wallpaper from Helsinki-based Tapettitalo.
this fireplace and a hot tub were the only features that sofie chose to leave u 15
Above: This fireplace and a hot tub were the only features that Sofie chose to leave untouched. French club chairs from the 1920s provide perfect seating in front of the fire.
Above: “Calm and content,” says Sofie, pictured here, is how she feels when she’s in her Paradise Cove trailer.

For more favorite Reath projects, see:

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