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Home Tour: A Media Power Couple’s Modern Living Room

By: Casey Gerber

August 4, 2016

When you spend your days changing the face of new media and your nights at home raising an energetic two-year-old, decorating your space probably falls last on your to-do list.

So, when Digital Media Exec Sarah Penna’s realtor showed her an off-the-market, modern stunner in Mar Vista, CA, she decided to leave the design work to the professionals.

“I was driving myself crazy on Pinterest. I could probably do a hilarious [Youtube] series about things I saw on Pinterest, tried to do, and absolutely failed,” says Sarah.

The Before:

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“That big wall is such a blank canvas for somebody to work with. We actually had a gallery wall up there, but it just didn’t look good at all.”

The After:

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“The console plus the two photos on top of it were my favorite thing I wouldn’t have thought of.”

And she knows a thing or two about YouTube. Penna was the first person to manage YouTube stars, later spinning that expertise into media company BigFrame and now Awestruck, which produces content for millennial moms. Oh and she’s married to YouTube star Joe Penna (aka MysteryGuitarMan).

After a series of DIY disasters and some sticker shock at the cost of traditional interior design, Sarah did what she does best: find online talent. She came across Laurel & Wolf and worked with designer Yekii Killion to transform her living room.

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“It was really exciting to see how this space can work and how people are imaging things that I never would have imagined,” Sarah says.

What was once a room filled with son Jonah’s toys and an uninviting layout is now the heart of the home.

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“Before we redesigned, we just didn’t use this room. It was so frustrating to me because we have a lot of parties, and we would just wind up hanging out downstairs,” Sarah says.

Turning that unused square footage into a gathering place for friends and family is exactly what Yekii did, first by separating Jonah’s play nook from the rest of the space, and then by adding storage and comfortable seating for guests.

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“My son loves the new space. He knows it’s his world, we’re just living in it,” Sarah says.

But the new design has also become a play space for the couple’s friends, particularly for game nights. “We’re the house everyone goes to now.”

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Balancing work and home life is a challenge for all new parents, but having a space to be together helps. “My home for me is like my sanctuary. Without sounding over the top, I try to be very sacred about my time there,” Sarah says.

The new design provides a serene retreat after busy days at the office. “I love how it’s so simple and clean, but it’s something that I would never have been able to put together in a million years.”

Check out the space here!

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