Living most of the year in Asia, a couple who works in finance and real estate investment bought a second home in Los Altos Hills, California, when their eldest of four began attending college in the area. They were looking for a place for the family to come together as well as enjoy it as a vacation home when spending time stateside. “The property was completely empty,” said the interior designer on the project, Christine Lin of Form + Field. “It hadn’t been renovated in a long time and you could tell that from the flooring, the millwork, the stone countertops, and light fixtures.”
“The owners specifically asked for a comfortable family vacation home to host three generations and guests,” she explained. “The wife prefers modern, yet still warm and welcoming, while the husband had slightly more traditional leanings.” Christine’s task was to bridge both while also respecting the classic Tudor style of the house itself. Although this project would require a major overhaul of the interior of the home – new doors, flooring, layout, kitchen, and bathrooms – the homeowners were against pursuing anything that would require complicated permits that would increase the cost and time of the project. That meant the things such as the fireplaces would remain intact.
What did change, though, were how the home’s 6,400 square-feet were used. For example, one of the requirements from the homeowners was that there be a downstairs bathroom – Christine repurposed a former bar area between the family and media room into a powder room. Near the kitchen, a space that was previously used as a living room was transformed into a breakfast room, complete with a custom banquette. Furthermore, to accommodate the large stature of some of the family members, the designer removed the soffits in the kitchen and enlarged a few of the doors that lead out to the back yard. Finally, one of the last major functional changes made to the home, was to give every bedroom in the house an ensuite bathroom by dividing a large shared bathroom in the hallway in two.
Once the new layout and interior architectural details were complete, Christine worked on creating the bright, airy, and welcoming aesthetic that the homeowners asked for, as well as bridging the couple’s slightly differing styles. “At the clients’ request, we incorporated a Persian rug from the wife’s childhood home in the living room,” Christine explained. “It’s a very pastel colored rug with pinks and pale blues, and was certainly a challenge to design around given the modern direction of the home and the overall color palette. We curated a mix of furnishings and decor that skewed modern, but could still feel at home in a traditional setting because of their timeless shapes or materials.”
Pastel tones, such as in the kitchen cabinetry created by Westwood Design, are carried throughout the home. By implementing this light and neutral palette, Christine created a soothing environment for the family. “For the upstairs bedrooms, we chose to keep the walls white but added interest and contrast by painting the moldings,” she added. There was one room in the home, however, that breaks with the overall color scheme: “I convinced them to try a dark green for the library since the room is fairly shaded and north facing,” she said. “They ended up loving the library despite being hesitant at first!”
Given the size of the home and the scope of the project, the fact that it took just fourteen months from planning to when it was move-in-ready is a testament to Christine’s superb project management skills. “It’s a lovely home!” her clients shared. “We have told our friends who visited about the rarity of having it delivered very much on time and on budget.”