You’ll Do A Double-Take

By Lisa Boone
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Meet the enterprising sisters from California who are creatively shaping their careers via a love for design.


Tessa Hendrie’s interior design career began when she was 8 years old.

“She started by redoing her bathroom,” recalls her mother, Stephanie.

It turned out so well, she encouraged Tessa to move forward with a red and black jazz-lounge-themed bedroom.

Stephanie knew her daughter was serious about interior design when she made the paint attendant at the hardware store remix a gallon of red paint “about 50 times.”

“Tessa kept saying, ‘Red is not red,’ ” her mother says now with a laugh.

An aspiring interior designer, Tessa, now 29, realized her dream eight years ago when she and her sister Alyssa, 36, purchased a rundown beach house in Dana Point.

“It was advertised as the cheapest house in Dana Point,” says Tessa, who was a student at San Diego State at the time.

It may have been the cheapest house, the sisters had saved their money for years to purchase a home, but it was also, well, sketchy.

Still, Tessa looked at the forlorn property and imagined a Caribbean-style boutique hotel.

Commuting from San Diego, Tessa and Alyssa updated the house, doing much of the work themselves. They painted the walls and exterior in colorful hues, furnished it with Craigslist finds and christened it the “Bitchin’ Beach House.” Before long, the rental was booked regularly and bringing in more than $200 a night.

After seeing what they could do, family friend Debe Vicharelli hired the sisters to find and design a high-end version of what they had accomplished in Dana Point.

The only requirement: The house had to have a view.

Now a licensed Realtor, Tessa found a dated double-wide trailer in the gated Point Dume Club just a few miles from Zuma Beach.

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