Designer Lisa Bakamis says she spent her childhood creating what she refers to as “interesting spaces – even if it meant upsetting my parents.” A trip to San Francisco confirmed her calling. “I loved the interesting blend of Victorian style homes paired with modern, clean lined interiors, or vice-versa—an Eichler style home paired with more ornate interiors. I moved out west and enrolled at SF State in the Interior Design program to see where it would take me! I knew it was my path, as I had never in my life felt more connected with my goals, and more passionate about the work I was doing.”

Today she’s still in the Bay Area and is sharing a recently completed project, the Kentfield, CA home of two doctors, their two adorable daughters, and an equally-cute 12-year-old Golden Retriever, Sammie. 

Tell us a little bit about your client’s goals for this space? 

They wanted a cozy yet modern, farmhouse feel with a fun twist:  a monochromatic color scheme, punched with pops of color, pattern, & texture. It was important to them that the design embodied a fun, casual and inviting atmosphere. They wanted an open floorplan, to maximize the ceiling heights throughout, as well as the natural light with as many floor to ceiling windows (and doors) as possible. Their key desires:  open fireplace, unique lighting, a large gathering island in the kitchen, and a location for their baby grand piano. The clients were inspired by a lovely weekend spent with their family at the Solage in Calistoga.

What was the space that took the most time to design, the one that you went back and forth on with the clients?

The fireplace/built-in wall, without a doubt! For structural purposes, we had to keep this dividing wall between the formal living room and the family room. It really did turn out to be a blessing in disguise, however! The client had a lot of elements they wanted to incorporate into this open kitchen/family room–a fireplace, additional media/kitchen storage, a wine rack, and a wet bar! This wall became the keystone for the function & design of the space. Between myself, the architect, and the client, we had many back-and-forth iterations of the layout of this wall to creatively maximize this unique design.

What was the biggest design risk you took that paid off?

The formal dining room chairs were certainly a design risk that paid off huge!! I worked with Revitaliste on the upholstery of these dining chairs. I sourced the frames, and loved their mid-high back, clean-lined modern aesthetic, with metal tapered legs. I wanted these side chairs to be high impact, with a bold, yet balanced pattern that would coordinate nicely with the intricate kitchen backsplash. The client also stressed the importance of durability. I fell in love with this killer Perennials Fabric, with its high contrast bold vertical pattern. Revitaliste brilliantly laid out the pattern, when upholstering, in a way that gave such a vibrant life to these chairs, and truly created this dining room!  

How did this space differ from your other projects?

This project was definitely a more subtle color scheme than I typically work with; however, it is easily one of my favorite projects completed to date! It made me really appreciate the impact and beauty in the use of a more monochromatic palate, rich texture, and subtle injections of color. I think the biggest challenge was finding the right and safe balance between white fabrics and durability. Thank goodness for high quality indoor – outdoor fabrics!!

See more in the slideshow!