A House in the Hills contains some contextual affiliate links. An affiliate link is a link in which advertisers have agreed to pay a commission should a purchase be made from that click-through. I do not post anything that i haven't or wouldn't purchase myself.


All images on this site are taken by myself or Lou Mora, unless otherwise noted. We're happy for you to share for any non-commercial purpose but please make sure to link back to the original post and give credit where it's due. Conversely, should we feature an image of yours that you see mis-credited or would like taken down, please let us know and we'll take care of it right away! Good interweb manners are always appreciated. Cheers!



I have a crazy announcement, one that I've shared on Instagram through sneak peeks but kept mum about on here until I had some pretty photos to share.  I think I've also been nervous to make it Official OFFICIAL, you know?   Drumrolll....We're moving back to the coast to be full time San Diego residents!  We've been going back and forth about what to do for months, after realizing that no matter how hard we try, the desert just isn't for us. We knew that it was a possibility when we bought the house, that we would move to a town we'd never lived in and decide that it wasn't the right fit, but we of course had hopes that it would be.  

We won't be moving into a dream home in San Diego, we'll likely be renting a two bedroom apartment or duplex. It will be a dramatic change from this luxury living but we're looking forward to the adventure! As for this sweet home, we've got HUGE plans!  We're turning our dream home into a vacation rental!!  We just can't let it go, it's such an incredible space and we know that we can make it an ideal spot for out of town visitors to get away to. I've had my hands full shifting my design ideas to accomodate the new plan!  More details (including sources), lots of photos, and a sneak peek of the dining room progress after the jump!  xx- Sarah

First up on THE MORA HOUSE rental plan agenda was the great couch debate.  This couch cost an arm and a leg, we had lofty dreams of it being our forever couch so we made the investment (and by made the investment I mean used Restoration Hardware's amazing deal where if you get one of their credit cards you can pay off your first purchase over the course of the year finance free! WEEEEEEEE!.  But it's enormous.  And a sectional.  And perfect for this room.  So how could we possibly take it with us?  I don't think we will.  The plan, as it stands, is to leave it and pray to the rental gods that people are kind to it.  Rental gods, do you hear me?  I love this couch.  I really really REALLY don't want to have to replace it in two years, ok?

Next up- A HANGING CHAIR!  Because it makes the room SWANKY, right?  I don't know.  That's what I said when Lou told me the room didn't NEED a hanging chair.  But what room DOESN'T really need a hanging chair?! I'm in love with it.  Ten times over in love.   In my mind it completes the room and I can barely understand how we ever lived without it.

When we shifted our plans we said goodbye to the idea of the built ins we'd been planning for the living room (remember this? we've come a long way baby!) and said HELLO, LOVELY to these West Elm Parson shelves and this CB2 credenza.  It saved us $9,000 and I think it was a brilliant compromise.  YES, you read that right!  Built ins are CRAZY EXPENSIVE!!!!  A crazy expensive investment that may make sense when you own a house and intend to live in it until your last hair turns grey, but not so much for a rental house.   Now the room has a strong focal point, the bookshelves are filled with pretty things to look at and read and it still is visually light enough to keep the room balanced with that ginormous brown couch.  A sure WIN for The Mora House! 

And last but OMG definitely not least, the dining room progress sneak peek!  We relocated the Nelson chandelier that was in the house when we purchased it and hung this copper pendant lamp.  The bookshelves are being painted white after a silly amount of "should we, shouldn't we's" and while they're gone I'm basking in the glory that is this minimalist dining room.  It just photographs so beautifully!  As for the return of the bookshelves, I have this vision of them being scarcely decorated with only things that are black and white.  I know, it's a rare form of neurosis and I have zero idea how I am going to find enough thrift store goodies that are black and white to fill those shelves. BUT I INTEND TO TRY! 

Now, for the details about renting our home sweet home... the house will be available starting in July.  If you'd like to be notified when the website is live for rental opportunities, please email and let me know what dates you're interested in.  In turn I'll email you as soon as the rental site is up and running! OR, you can follow along with progress updates here, I will post as soon as the site goes up.  Thanks so much for following along on this nutty adventure of ours! 

SOURCES:  Couch: Restoration Hardware, Coffee table: Vintage, Pillows: Amber Interiors, Pouf: Overstock, Hanging Chair: Two's Company, Bookshelves: West Elm, Credenza: CB2, Floating Shelves: comissioned a builder for my design, mirror: Restoration Hardware (sold out), Copper Pendant Light: Viso, Dining Room chairs: CB2.  

Reader Comments (28)

How gorgeous! I especially love that last picture...the copper light, the Saarinen-style table, the great chairs, it all works so well together!

03/18/14 | 6:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterEmma

oh god! i hope the rentees are good to that amazing couch. makes my stomach flip thinking about it! beautiful space!

03/18/14 | 6:25 AM | Unregistered Commenterlauren

So thrilled you'll be moving back to San Diego! Hope to see you at more events, etc. :) And those vacationers who get your house are LUCKY.

03/18/14 | 7:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterArchana | My SoCal'd Life

exciting news! I would love to rent this place!!

03/18/14 | 8:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlex

i am IN LOVE WITH THAT COUCH! holy smokes. it reminds me of the one i grew up with. a big fat leather sectional that my friends and i would rearrange and make fun little forts with.

my boyfriend and i are redoing his family's farm house and i am about to show him all of these pictures because they are amazing and so inspiring!!

03/18/14 | 8:20 AM | Unregistered Commentermolly yeh

This is beautiful!

03/18/14 | 8:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterJourdin

EEEEEEE!!! I just yelled the news to Andres from the other room! One, we're SO excited that you're making your way back to SD! This means we'll most definitely get to see you guys (and um, finally meet Xio!), since we do down about once a month. Second, we're sooooo going to get in line to take a little vacation in this swanky, most beautiful house ever! A millions times YAY!! Can't wait to hear all about your SD adventures as well. The desert was great to you, but I know San Diego will welcome you back with open arms. I see some lunch dates at JUKE in our future ;)


03/18/14 | 8:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterJunia

So awesome! The space looks absolutely beautiful. And yay for San Diego!! I currently live up in coastal north county and plan to never leave. It's the best!! XO

03/18/14 | 9:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterNatalie Lynn Borton

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>