Palos Verdes Pop

New to the Peninsula, a family of four put their own colorful stamp on a mid-century modern home.

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  • Written by
    Suzanna Cullen

Often falsely characterized as staid and stuffy, Palos Verdes is spectacularly beautiful and offers larger lot sizes with significantly varied architectural styles. It also has the tremendous perk of being far less congested than the other beach cities. 

Tanya and Paul Mann have been longtime residents of Manhattan Beach, but a visit to Palos Verdes changed their home search. “Our dream was to find a home that truly represented us, so we wanted a mid-century modern house with a pool. But we never expected to find it in the South Bay, because the lot sizes are too small to accommodate a sprawling ranch,” says Tanya. 

I don’t want anything so precious that I have
to worry about it.”

Tanya and Paul are also cognizant of the significant confluence between home design and personal style. As the vice president of global design and brand strategy for Mattel Global Consumer Products, Tanya spends her career focused on the perfection of representation. Paul is the art director and creative force behind his graphic design company, Paul Mann Designs. Together Tanya and Paul have an innate understanding and true appreciation of accurately represented homes. 

In addition to wanting a contemporary home with a pool, the Manns wanted great schools and good neighborhoods for their two daughters. While exploring different areas, a happy accident occurred. “We were driving in PV when a sign caught our eye,” says Paul. A large ranch on a huge corner lot was for sale, so they decided to take a look.  

Stepping into the private courtyard, they found a pool and patio surrounded by a ranch-style house. Further exploration of the house revealed a pristine 1950s home that had exquisite original slate floors, expansive windows on both sides of the house for terrific views and good ceiling height. 

Additional bonuses included an open floor plan, renovated bathrooms, contemporary lighting and an updated kitchen. It was exactly what they were looking for: a perfectly preserved mid-century modern house with a pool on a huge lot. 

With no structural work necessary, Tanya and Paul’s only consideration was how to address the interiors of the house. “Other than a fresh coat of paint throughout and installing hardwood floors where there was carpet, we only needed to furnish it,” says Paul.

Wanting to keep the process simple and relaxed, Tanya and Paul wanted a designer who shared their philosophy. “I was in Hermosa Beach when a storefront caught my eye with its fun, playful touch,” says Tanya. 



In Shryne Design, Tanya found an eclectic shop selling home goods, gifts and jewelry. Shanna Shryne’s belief that houses should be “relaxed and not so serious” was a match for Tanya. Tanya found that by using the internet, she could select things online and communicate with both Paul and Shanna so everyone was involved throughout the process.  

The family room has a decidedly mid-century feel with Eames chairs and a Noguchi coffee table, while a cowhide rug that Shanna made adds an unexpected earthy vibe. Framed pieces of painted wood hang above the linear sofa and provide a sculptural element to the room while complementing the horizontal lines of the house. 

Tanya and Shanna elevated the period glamour of the house with flocked gold wallpaper in the powder room. Pendant lights and a gold mirror further accent the Palm Springs tones of the house. 

Paul’s art is carefully placed throughout the rooms. His Picasso-style etching hangs above the living room fireplace, while the rest of the monochromatic room has equally strong visuals in the flocked tree wallpaper and graphic rug. Clean lines, simple forms and durable finishes translate into rooms that are actually used rather than just viewed. “I don’t want anything so precious that I have to worry about it,” says Tanya.  

The L-shaped house provides a great flow for the Mann family and their guests when they entertain. The living areas open onto the pool and patio, while the bedrooms and bathrooms are contained in a separate wing of the house. With an abundance of closets and storage space, the house feels open and airy. 

Nw that their daughters are happily enrolled in the excellent schools of Palos Verdes, Tanya and Paul are settling into the relaxed lifestyle of the area. “We’ve come to love the interesting people up here—from expats to hippies to quiet, established families. It’s a great mix,” says Tanya. 

It seems that the home of Tanya and Paul Mann reflects the people they’ve met in Palos Verdes. It’s rooted in history with significant architectural elements but retains an open, relaxed feeling that invites everyone inside. 

“Now when I get off the plane from a long international trip, I finally feel like I’m home,” says Tanya. The Mann family didn’t have to go to Palm Springs to find their dream home; they just had to open the doors to a gem in Palos Verdes.


Giant Dora Maar Vase
by Jonathan Adler
Shryne Design in Hermosa Beach,, $550

Mary McDonald Directoire Flush Mount
Lightopia in Manhattan Beach,, 



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Angela Lai, L.AC., DIPL.OM (NCCAOM), Practitioner

The goal of Ageless Acupuncture and Herb Center is to provide quality, comprehensive, individualized and holistic natural healthcare to each patient through the use of acupuncture and Chinese herbs.

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