12/21/2012 03:58 pm ET Updated Dec 21, 2012

A Look Inside Challen Cates' Chic And Comfortable Family Home

Bobby Quillard

Do you believe in signs? Well actress Challen Cates does, and when she first saw this Mediterranean-style house in Hancock Park, CA, she knew it was meant to be her family's new home. Not only were there grape-themed stained glass windows, but the motif popped up again in the carved fireplace mantel, which immediately reminded her of growing up on her family's vineyards in Roanoke, Virginia. These interesting details and Cates' great decorating ideas make it a house tour we had to share.

Cates, who plays a stellar mom on Nickelodeon's "Big Time Rush" and had a reocurring role on NBC's “Passions" also incorporates her winery roots in DIY decor projects using corks, which she admits she just can't seem to throw away. Recently she's used them for place cards and also assembled entire cork boards to display her kids' artwork.

We were most intrigued about how she keeps her home, which has a mostly-white color palette, looking so fresh and spotless with two kids and dogs. Her advice is to have at least one room in the house where toys are off-limits, which gives it a sense of peace and calm. In her own home, she doesn't allow them in the living room, since this is the first space you see when you walk in the front door. And Judy, the family's faithful pet, can't climb the stairs anymore so Cates explained that she has the luxury of installing a white rug in her bedroom. Also a great tip for pet-owners: Cates puts down dark brown yoga mats in the kitchen that match her wood floors so the dog has a non-slip surface to rest on, plus they are easy to take outside and hose off. Just another reason why we are so impressed!

Click through the slideshow to see photos of her lovely (and surprisingly impeccable) home.

Challen Cates House Tour

Have something to say? Check out HuffPost Home on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram.


Do you have a home story idea or tip? Email us at homesubmissions@huffingtonpost.com. (PR pitches sent to this address will be ignored.)