This Bay Area renovation had a special twist to it—and interior designer Ling Law was excited for the challenge. “My client grew up in this house,” she tells us. “They wanted to remodel it to become their own home for their family of four today.”
The two-story property is nestled into a verdant neighborhoon on the lower slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains. It’s surrounded by tall trees and lavish landscapes, and the occasional wild peacock strolls through the yard. “The homes here were built by different builders over time, and really have their own personalities and ‘feel,’” Ling explains. “This home in particular has a more contemporary ranch style to it. You might be mistaken and think you were in the Napa area when walking up.”
Ling says the family wanted the house to feel nice and new, but also comfortable. The first floor is largely open concept, with a living, dining, kitchen, and wet bar. “With that in mind, we tried to design this space as a whole,” the designer explains. “We used some of the vertical shiplap elements to tie in these three areas together. We especially love the cedar wood ceiling which adds some warmth and different dimensions to the space.”
In the kitchen, Zellige tiles give an organic, lived-in look. “We also used the tile on the hood for a more seamless look,” she says. “We especially love the darker stained wood island to complement the lighter cabinet color.” Darker wood is also prevalent in the wet bar, which is a striking focal point in the living and dining spaces.
The laundry, powder room, and mud room all tie in similar design elements. “The power room doesn’t have any natural lighting, which prompts us to design something more moody. We paired the wallpaper with darker color wainscoting and hand-made floor tile. This room is consistent with the similar organic materials throughout the house,” Ling explains. The guest bathroom is on the lighter side, with a custom checkerboard floor, while the mud room offers abundant storage.
The en suite primary bathroom, which we featured in our winter issue, was dated and poorly oriented. “It actually faced the backyard, where the primary bedroom now sits,” the designer says. “However, given the privacy a bathroom requires, the blinds were always drawn so you never really got to enjoy the view.” There was also carpet throughout and an oversize, elevated tub. (No really. You had to climb up two steps to get in!)
Ling got to work with a new plan in mind—and her design hinged on one element the clients loved. “They requested reeded details on the bathroom vanity at the very beginning of the project, and we designed everything around this element,” she says. “We tried to incorporate mostly natural materials in this space to create a lived-in feel.”
The team designed a large shower stall that features two high-level windows, allowing light to bathe the Zellige wall tiles and marble mosaic floor tiles. She also brought in the aforementioned reeded vanity, which includes ample floor-to-ceiling storage and elegant brass details both in hardware and plumbing fixtures.
“It’s calming, elegant, and timeless,” Ling says. And with a retreat like this, the family’s escapes to the actual Napa Valley are now few and far between.