Sarah Hoover’s recent project took on the task of updating and modernizing a classic midcentury home built by Eichler Homes. She collaborated with the homeowners, a vivacious, design-savvy New York transplant and her charming professional chef husband to remodel their kitchen and redecorate the living room and dining room. “The homeowners have a penchant for collecting lively, abstract art—both vintage and contemporary—and love to scour local and online vintage stores, like San Francisco’s Black & Gold, Past Perfect, and the Palm Springs Modern Show, for unique furnishing and accessory finds.” These finds were the base of Sarah’s designs, leading her embrace a bold color palette.

“I like to think of this project as ‘In Living Color,’” Sarah says. “We created an inviting, tactile home where we chose color as our neutral — because, neutrals don’t have to be limited to beige and grey. They can also be robin’s egg, or aubergine, or even pattern. It’s the care with which you balance and connect the patterns and colors that turn them into the neutral, and allow them to offer excitement along side welcoming comfort and ease.”

In the kitchen, the husband’s treasured 75+ piece, vintage Health ceramics set, inherited from his grandmother, served as the color inspiration, and inspired the Heath tile selection for the backsplash. According to Sarah, “the original kitchen did not feature an island, but instead only a small peninsula with a tiny 1970s-era counter height oven that was relegated to the corner and directly in the walkway to the side-yard door.” This was a major issue for a chef and a frequent entertainer, so Sarah added an oversized island, creating ample space for meal preparation, weekly entertaining of friends and family, and an area for the couple’s nine year-old son to set up an after-school homework and tinkering station. Now the large kitchen frequently hosts “Cake Club,” a community event that takes place seasonally where neighbors get together to bake, share recipes, welcome new homeowners, and enjoy blind tastings over champagne. In addition to the Cake Club, the homeowner also hosts a maker crafting night with her girlfriends from time to time to collaborate on the latest DIY projects they’ve discovered on Pinterest and their favorite blogs, thanks to more open living room.

See the full space and learn more about how Sarah balanced color and pattern in a modernized midcentury home in the slideshow!