A note from our editors: 

It’s time for one of our favorite traditions! Each year, we spend the holidays reflecting on the stories and articles you loved most. It’s the “Best of Rue” and this is one of 2019’s top stories. Enjoy!

Previously published on July 18, 2019:

When designer Clara Jung of Banner Day Interiors began to work on this Bay Area home built in 1914, it had gone through many renovations over the years, with an interior that lacked cohesion. Although the exterior was stately and well taken care of, the interior felt dated – with painted fish scale tiles from the ’90s and an ’80s steam shower. When it came time to redesign it, Clara and the homeowners agreed that they wanted to preserve and pay homage to the original architectural character of the home, but also give it a contemporary and whimsical look.

“When the clients first contacted me regarding this project, they gave me their new home address and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that they were moving in four doors down from me,” the designer shared. “They had found me via Pinterest, and after narrowing down their inspiration photos, we came to the consensus that this home would bridge the traditional and modern.” The first decision they made was to tear down the load-bearing wall between the kitchen and dining room. “It was a bit sad to remove original built-ins that were along that wall, but the house feels much more spacious and has an overall better flow with this change,” she explained.

That allowed the kitchen to be reconfigured and extended into the dining room space. The former guest bathroom was converted into a pantry, a feature that is a rarity in Bay Area homes. Because the homeowners thoroughly enjoy cooking at home, Clara designed a custom kitchen for them, including an outsized fridge and a Waterstone faucet. She incorporated hardware from Rejuvenation as well as tiles for the backsplash from Heath Ceramics.

Clara brought in a bit of whimsy with the leaf-printed wallpaper in the master bathroom and star-printed tile in the kids’ bathroom. The color scheme was mainly kept to blues and whites, where she used Benjamin Moore’s “Simply White” for the walls. “This was a fairly long project, from start to completion it took about a year and half,” the designer said. “By the time we were done, nothing was left untouched.”