Stepping inside the San Francisco home of interior designer Marea Clark, you’re greeted by just a hint of Southern charm. The space is calming and eclectic, with elements of Marea’s Kentucky upbringing as well as her modern California sensibility.
The shingled 1913 home is located in Cow Hollow, a peaceful, comfortable neighborhood at the base of Presidio National Park. “The neighborhood is super family friendly, and because we live by the park, we’re surrounded by trees, so it’s very quiet,” she says. “The area is the perfect location for our young children to explore, while still growing up in a city environment. It’s truly the best of both worlds.”
When the family first moved in, the abundance of natural light and views of the greenery shaped Marea’s design plan. “I painted the living and dining room a muted blue/green, which beautifully plays off all the natural and organic colors we see through our windows,” she says. “The Jasper fabric on the chairs were also a deep source of inspiration for me, while the first thing I bought for the house was the antique dining table from the 1860s. I needed a narrow table that could not only seat my family of 5, but survive meals with a baby, a 4-year-old, and a 6-year-old. The table already had a lot of character and history, and we are continuing to add to it with our family’s story.”
The primary bedroom is restful, warm, and inviting. “With three small kids and two full-time careers, we knew we needed a calming space, so I employed a neutral color palette with a few jolts of pink, in addition to the floral Bennison fabric,” she says. “I particularly love this floral, and it brings me joy every time I make my bed, which is definitely a plus!”
For the children’s rooms, Marea looked back to her own upbringing for inspiration. “It was a childhood fantasy of mine to have stars on the ceiling of my room, so when I designed my kids’ rooms, I made sure to put stars on their ceiling,” she says with a smile. “I made sure to design the room so that the space was flexible, and work for either boys or girls, or both. The playfulness of the Jennifer Shorto fabric on the banded drapes really spoke to me, and I find the colors to be so interesting and visually pleasing.” She also had a custom headboard made to fill the entire back wall, which not only looks beautiful but prevents from kiddos bonking their heads on a hard wall. In an adjacent playroom, she added art by Anne Louise Ewen. “I love the scale, the coloring, the symbolism of the open arms,” Marea explains.
Like many creatives, designing your own space can be incredibly fulfilling. “Designing for myself and my family has been so fun! I know this won’t be my last house, so it’s been super enjoyable and rewarding to make the space super cozy and functional for our young family,” she says. “I love layering and adding to the house over time and am always on the hunt for new pieces to add to the mix. I think it reflects my southern background but also incorporates a California sensibility.”