Nest: Tudor With the Color Black

french tudor pool house
Pool house exterior paint color: Sherwin-Williams’ Iron Ore

When you turn a patchy grass area into a gorgeous pool, an uneven brick patio into a sleek entertaining space, and a detached garage into a stylish home office and guest quarters, it’s not just a backyard transformation—it’s a complete lifestyle upgrade. “The weather is great for so many months out of the year, but we never spent any time in our backyard because it was choppy and never felt clean or put together,” says Lauren Niello, who lives in her East Sacramento Tudor-style home with her husband, Derrick, and two children (with another on the way). Christina Valencia and Kele Dobrinski, the husband-and-wife team also known as Colossus Mfg., turned their unused outdoor space into a true extension of their living and work space—one that been featured by Domino no less.

pool house interior
Lauren Niello describes her office space in the pool house as a game changer. “I was using a kitchen nook that didn’t have a door. With toddlers and the increased video and conference calls that started with COVID, it just wasn’t sustainable.”

“Since we were creating a space for a young family, we wanted to really modernize the idea of what Tudor can represent,” says Christina. “By leaning into a black-forward palette, we were able to make a bold, fresh statement with their outdoor area but have it grounded in the home’s original identity.” The biggest black splash? The pool house. “When we first presented Lauren and Derrick with the idea of painting their pool house a striking black (their main house is beige), they were hesitant,” Christina adds. “But they quickly fell in love with the juxtaposition. It provides a backdrop for the white interior furnishings and adjacent blue pool water to really pop.”

black and white awning stripes on sling chairs
Black-and-white awning stripes on sling chairs add a touch of St. Tropez style to the backyard.

Inside, Lauren’s home office gives her a stylish, silent space to be productive. And when work is done, everyone often just heads outside. “Many weeknights and most weekends we find ourselves outside swimming with the kids, entertaining friends, or even at times just lounging while our kids run circles around us.”

french tudor dining table
Another French detail: black-and-white bistro chairs
french tudor with a touch of St. Tropez
Designers Christina Valencia and Kele Dobrinski whitewashed the brick themselves to get the look just right.
tudor pool house entrance
“We added traditional Tudoresque elements to their backyard, such as white carpet roses, brick detail and oversized wrought-iron sconces, to strike a balance between the more modern furnishings found throughout,” says Christina Valencia.