When and her family found their 1927 dream home in the La Cañada Flintridge suburb of Los Angeles, CA, they had already settled on a nearby ranch-style house from the 40s. There hadn’t been a lot to pick from in the area they wanted to live in, and the family simply felt that they could make some improvements to the ranch home down the road. All those plans went out the window when they first set foot into the newly listed 4,400-square-foot house that would soon become theirs. A combination of Spanish Mediterranean and Italian Renaissance, there was something truly special about this house. Despite some parts that were remodeled in the 80s, it had tons of that old-time charm and character that the family loves, including high ceilings, rounded arches, and large original windows. Needless to say, they decided to take the plunge and leave their ranch house behind. Everything happened amazingly fast — both sales were completed within a week thanks to hard work and a bit of luck!
It has been nine years since Sharlene along with her husband Kevin Dorse, a trial lawyer, and daughters Joelle and Jenna, moved into their beautiful 11-room house. On top of volunteering for a nonprofit organization serving at-risk youth, tutoring elementary-age children and mentoring, Sharlene is also a maker and stylist and the creative force behind the family’s art-filled and eclectic haven of a home. “We wanted our home to feel welcoming and have an artistic and whimsical feel. We also wanted it to be the hangout place for our kids and their friends,” Sharlene shares. It is safe to say that Sharlene and her family have been able to create just that — a warm and inviting home that you simply don’t want to leave.
Sharlene has tastefully mixed flea market finds, antiques, bohemian decor and natural materials. Each room is more creative than the next, and surprises you with delightful details, inspiring colors and plenty of texture. Sharlene also loves to swap pieces around between rooms, which means that most spaces tend to get periodic transformations and mini makeovers. She swears by colorful Kantha quilts, the easiest and quickest way to change the look of a room in less than five minutes. For the most part, the house is just the way Sharlene and her family like it, though a little kitchen update may be coming up in the future. “The thing with evolutionary design is, it will never be done!” Sharlene adds.
Besides the creative and eclectic decor, what makes the Kayne-Dorse residence truly unique is the art. Sharlene’s own artwork, from colorful portraits to amazing newspaper weavings, can be found throughout the home. In addition, Sharlene and her family have collected special pieces by other artists during the years, and together they make up a tasteful yet quirky collection. The end result is an aesthetically imaginative home full of personality — a place that truly inspires and amazes with its artful and laid-back feel. Once you’ve toured this home, odds are you’ll want to go right back and click through it again! — Sofia