Both a tech executive and a mother to a busy 10 year old boy, Brandee Barker is a force to be reckoned with. In recent years, she’s focused her work on social impact projects and activism in the U.S. as well as the developing world. She is currently attending Stanford University as part of the Distinguished Careers Institute, so to call the single mom busy is an understatement. When it comes to her Menlo Park home, she wanted the space to be multi-faceted: refined and sophisticated, yet warm and inviting for young kids and families. She enlisted the help of designer Alison Koch to transform it.
“The existing house had great structure and proportion,” Alison tells us. “We accented this by opening up the back of the house with more windows and steel doors off the family room, replacing the heavy staircase with slimmer profile railings, lightening up the floors and walls and simplifying the color palette overall.” The result is a welcoming indoor/outdoor concept that lends itself well to entertaining both children and adults.
Of course, Alison knew the importance of creating spaces for the single mom to unwind. They transformed the master bathroom into a spa-like retreat for Brandee, complete with soaking tub, built-in vanity and large marble shower. There’s also a “lady den” in the basement, a departure from the man cave there prior. Now, the space is an elegant media and entertainment room to serve drinks, read, watch movies, or listen to vinyl records.
Alison and her team at Outfit Home were involved in every step, from demo to finishing touches. “Their French Bulldog, Donut is really in charge of the home, so his input on style was also strongly considered throughout,” Alison laughs. The project took just under a year, but was well worth it. “Brandee was out of town at the end so we were able to bring in furniture and accessories for a big reveal that made a huge impact,” Alison concludes. “She loved it!”