Michelle Lisac Interior Design was tasked with a huge project for a family in Los Altos. “The original home was in decent shape but some of the appliances were no longer working, there was a termite problem and the layout wasn’t ideal for their family,” she recalls. “So they decided to do a complete tear down of the original house and build a brand-new one from the ground up.”

The homeowners, Katie and Rick Liniger, have been married for 10+ years and have two daughters and one large Bernese Mountain dog named Bear. Rick is an anesthesiologist and Katie, formally in the Silicon Valley tech world, is now a stay at home mom who spends a lot of time volunteering at their kids’ schools. They describe their lifestyle as casual, but busy. They have a love of travel and are into sports and surfing, and wanted this reflected in their home’s aesthetic. Michelle got to work designing a coastal, modern farmhouse with high-end details.

“We worked with the client very closely throughout the entire project,” the designer tells us. “We helped with revising the overall layout of the home as well as selecting all of the finishes, fixtures, furniture, paint colors and exterior finishes and colors.” The 4,000 square foot home has an “H” shape configuration with 4 bedrooms and 3-½ baths, and a mostly open floor plan.

Michele walks us through the space: “When entering through the front door there is a study/lounge directly off to the right and through the entry is the living room and dining room. The living/dining room has a large La Cantina sliding door that opens up to the backyard, which includes an outdoor TV and covered lounge area. (The outdoor TV was one of Rick’s few requests, along with a surfboard rack in the garage). Off of the dining room is the large kitchen with a peninsula, island and banquette.” The banquette, Michelle tells us, was a revision to the original design plan. “I love the little cozy nook that this created. A banquette is always a good addition when possible!”

The kitchen opens up to the family room with a comfy sectional and marble-clad fireplace. A long hallway with a herringbone wood floor connects the two sides of the “H.” There are bedrooms for the two girls, and a guest bedroom at the front, and the master suite at the back. “The master bedroom also has french doors that open to the backyard,” the designer says.

Overall, the interior is light and airy, but warmth is added with the wood flooring, beams, and furniture. Michelle and her team balanced the neutral palette with woven linen, leather and patterned rugs and fabrics. Needless to say: the home, which took roughly two years to complete, is a far cry from a termite-ridden structure Michelle first saw.