“This home is a 1950’s bungalow,” designer Gina Rachelle says. “A true “Little Box” named after the song by Pete Seeger (theme song of TV show Weeds). The song was written after seeing the housing developments around Daly City, California, built in the post-war era by Henry Doelger.” Gina’s clients, Michelle and Darrell Draper, wanted to transform their home from “Little Box” to a space that was bright, open, thoughtful and full of their personality.
Michelle had purchased the home in the ’90s and filled it with furniture hand-me-downs and flash sale finds. “She never fully invested in making it truly her own,” Gina shares. “After being married for 10 years, Michelle and Darrell were trying to decide if it was time to buy a new house elsewhere or invest in a remodel. Because they love Daly City, their neighborhood, and its proximity to [San Francisco] and the South Bay, they felt it was right to stay and make changes.”
Their requests were fairly standard: an open kitchen and family room where they can entertain family and friends; a master suite that encompassed a bedroom, bathroom, walk-in closet and office; and thoughtful storage – from plenty of closet space for clothes to a workspace for bikes and hobby builds in the garage. “The only true requirement was us keeping in mind Darrell’s height of 7 feet,” Gina recalls. “This means being aware of the height of shower heads, the length of bath tubs, the drop of light fixtures and the comfort of all furniture selections.”
With this vision in mind, Gina and her team gutted about 85% of the place, and added on to make the family room and master suite large and spacious. They salvaged the original flooring and preserved the fireplace facade, while the rest of the home was a blank canvas to start fresh. Gina was able to strike a perfect balance, blending modern details with the home’s original charm. “It is definitely a balancing act that we have mastered over the years,” she smiles. “As you’re walking through a home, yes, your eye goes to the beautiful furnishings and decor but it also goes to the home itself so you cannot forgot details such as the style of windows, ornate trim, type of doors, and hardware finishes.” She concludes our chat with a bit of handy design advice: “When designing we typically start with a focal point in the room whether that be standout tile, a fireplace, or wallpaper. From there, we build out the room layering styles, colors, textures, and metals so there is equally distributed visual weight.”
In the slideshow, Gina takes us on an exclusive tour of the house, including her inspiration and the sources that brought it to life. Enjoy!